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Key to success: Vision Key to success: Passion Key to success: Perseverance Key to success: Preparation Key to success: Courage Key to success: Integrity Key to success: The American Dream Keys to success homepage More quotes on Passion More quotes on Vision More quotes on Courage More quotes on Integrity More quotes on Preparation More quotes on Perseverance More quotes on The American Dream

E.O. Wilson

Father of Sociobiology

No one ever becomes a general by joining the army at the end of the war. In other words, look for areas that are not yet opened up, and be a marathoner in a sense, or be prepared to run alone for a long period of time without anybody clapping or giving you any rewards for doing it, in order to be the first into a new area. It is probably the best way -- and certainly in the 21st Century -- of succeeding in science. But I learned a lesson in life when doing badly at distance running, and that was, I guess, humility. Whenever I feel I can fly by flapping my arms or anything, intellectually or any other way, I remember the long hard miles and hours and hours of trying that resulted in my discovery that I was hereditarily not going to be a good distance runner. I have to remind myself repeatedly, hereditarily, it is very likely you won't do very well in this or in that, don't move in that direction where you have doubt. Find out what you really love to do and where you might succeed. You don't have to be the very best, but move in that direction. Pick that field, and life will be a lot more satisfying.
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Oprah Winfrey

Entertainment Executive

I was raised on a farm with my grandmother for the first six years of my life -- I knew somehow that my life would be different and it would be better. I never had a clear cut vision of what it was I would be doing. I remember absolutely physically feeling it at around four years old. I remember standing on the back porch -- it was a screened-in porch -- and my grandmother was boiling clothes because, you know, at that time, we didn't have washing machines, and so people would, you know, physically boil clothes in a great big iron pot. She was boiling clothes and poking them down. And I was watching her from the back porch, and I was four years old and I remember thinking, "My life won't be like this. My life won't be like this, it will be better." And it wasn't from a place of arrogance, it was just a place of knowing that things could be different for me somehow. I don't know what made me think that.
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Tom Wolfe

America's Master Novelist

Tom Wolfe: I think The American Dream is very much alive. That's why there's incredible immigration to this country. And the idea is that no matter where you start out, you have the freedom to reach the height that your ability will enable you to do that. And the New York Times has just run a long series about class in America. They don't even realize they're not talking about class, they're talking about status. I mean, when they have an article -- one of the articles was about some evangelical Christians who somehow have come into money, and they know enough to go to Ivy League colleges, and they're making inroads at Brown and so forth and so on. That's class? These people have moved up? That is just sheer status. They've improved their status through hard work. And the entire series. Class, to have real class, it was understood in Marx's day, you almost have to have a land-based economy. People have to be pretty static. And there has to be symbolism. There has to be a sense that in one class you cannot wear -- in a lower class you cannot wear what they wear in a higher class. There's a certain kind of obeisance you have to make to people who are above you. And all that is gone in this country.
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