I am a physics master's student hoping to pursue physics research by doing PhD, post-doc, etc., following the standard path. To put it straight, how far can sheer hard work take one in academia until it becomes impractical and affects one's personal life?(in terms of research quality and quantity)
To anyone who is interested to know why I ask this, please read further:
Since high school, I have been working super hard to succeed and have managed to reach my goals and actually do things which I didn't think was possible(personally) a few years back. I am in one of the best places in my country to study physics, have (what I consider) good grades and some great research experience through which I even got to travel to different country. However, this has been mainly due to my hard work and my professors/guides looking at my hard work doing favors by giving great recommendations, calling up other professors for me to work with etc. I have almost consistently put in at-least 10hours per day(including weekends) since my high school and there is literally no way I would achieve any of this without putting in this much time.
Until a few years back I thought this is the way but now I starting to reconsider. I am starting to believe this is impractical in the long run in research where I put in over 12hours of hard work with moderate intelligence. I have seen some of my classmates who are obscenely smart and the only way I can even come close to their level(in terms of grades) is by sitting in library the whole day. I do not know how far this hard work can take me and even if I it does is it practical. But if I stop putting this much work my grades will definitely go down and I would be letting down my professors. But to do well I feel like I have to put more effort the more I go forward.