I think I must be stranger than usual sometimes, I always seem to take on topics that are somewhat more difficult than the mainstream, in very trying conditions - but the outcomes are very much worth it (not for me per se, but the benefits for everyone, potentially).
I try to instill this in my students, by 'gently' mentoring them and encouraging them to push their own limits a little further each time. Also, I teach them that 'failure' is just another step to success. For the most part, my students take on the challenges and the work, ideas and enthusiasm from them, frankly humbles me.
However, I am always wishing to learn new techniques to encourage my students to push, and even exceed their limits.
What strategies are most effective for encouraging students (and colleagues for that matter) to take on the difficult topics?