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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


Sir Roger Bannister

Track and Field Legend

When I decided that the weather [was right], I had to take the chance. The real thought in my mind -- and by then I did have a coach, Franz Stampfl, we met by chance in the train -- I hadn't plan to do it. He said, "If the weather is bad, what you have to remember is that (a), I think you can run it in 3:56," which is what a coach would say, so I didn't pay too much attention to that. The second thing he said is that, "If you have the opportunity -- not a perfect opportunity -- and you don't take it, you may never have another chance." It was that thought, I think, which eventually led me to attempt it.
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Sir Roger Bannister

Track and Field Legend

I wanted to go rowing on the River Severn near Bewdley, and the person who hired out the boats said, "No, it's too rough." You know, "It's not safe to go out." And I made such a pest of myself that my father said, "All right. You know, we will go out." And it proved to be dangerous and frightening but that's an instance of the determination I had to try to do things, and later on if there was any opportunity to climb a mountain, or to go ballooning, or some adventurous activity, I would always be keen to do it. And, it's perhaps fortunate that nothing ever went wrong, but my discovery in Bath was of the countryside. I loved the countryside. I cycled, from the age of sort of 10 to 15, all around Bath and Somerset and Cheddar Gorge, and the sites of castles and country houses. And I remember that as a time of freedom, often perhaps a bit solitary, but great excitement of discovery and exploration.
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Ehud Barak

Former Prime Minister of Israel

There was in the unit an emergency need to spread convoys of ammunition to maybe a dozen different points along the border, some of them 50 miles away from the boot camp. And as a result of the need to prepare at the same time all the units, there was a shortage of officers or NCOs that could lead an ammunition convoy to some desert place. The boot camp trainees were asked whether someone of us know how to read a map and can lead convoy a dark night to a certain position 50 miles from here. No one responded, and it seemed to be a kind of real emergency and I thought I can. So I raised my hand and I said simply, "I can do it." I had some experience in reading a map from summer camps and summer treks where I made the point of always knowing exactly where I was. So I get acquainted to looking at the map and it seemed to me that I understand it. I can read it. I still to this day remember the eyes of the battalion commander when he released me into the darkness kind of contemplating what will happen. If I cross the border with the convoy or something else, who will be responsible? But in a way he didn't have an alternative at the moment and he sent me.
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Ehud Barak

Former Prime Minister of Israel

In the Six Day War, I commanded a small reconnaissance unit, and it took us just four days to reach the Canal and immediately I asked myself, okay, nothing is going to happen here anymore so we jumped a few hundred miles to the other side. Maybe something will happen in the Golan Heights, and it happened that we came at the last hours of preparation for climbing on the Golan Heights, so we joined the Golan Heights battle as well, beginning at the northern edge and ending at Quneitra . But, you know, I'm smiling kind of recalling it now, but I should admit the first battles were quite a devastating -- kind of revealing -- experience.
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Ehud Barak

Former Prime Minister of Israel

My first real battle experience was in the Six Days War. A few operations before then, but on a small scale. And the real experience, the memories of tough, demanding psychological environment where most people are tending to lose their sense of direction and cohesion of action. The vehicles exploding around you, people killed, the bitter, sweet smell of human burned bodies all around, the feeling of being not in full control.
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Ehud Barak

Former Prime Minister of Israel

I still remember an operation where we had some of our pilots taken by the Egyptians during the war of attrition. They intercepted some of those with SAM missiles and we decided that the only way to convince the Egyptians to release them is by taking some Egyptian pilots and bring them to Israel and then suggest that we will kind of exchange them. And the only way that we found was to stop at a road leading to an Egyptian Air Force (base), back deep in the Nile Valley, by appearing as an Egyptian military police to move them from the road and to take over some pilots. I initiated such a raid and I was one of the two policemen with the motorcycles, fully dressed as an Egyptian MP with someone who talked Baladic -- kind of a street Egyptian -- much better than I could, in a much more convincing way, and we really made it. And we established a kind of check post on the road to an Egyptian Air Force base and we began to take vehicles at midnight. There was not a lot of transportation. We ended up with 40 people in some six or eight trucks and vehicles, and not a single man in uniform.
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Gary Becker

Nobel Prize in Economics

I didn't have a lot of universities interested in me. I've never gotten offers from the major institutions, aside from Chicago and Columbia. But I didn't consider that a setback. Chicago and Columbia were fine places, and I felt, well, that's the price of working on things that aren't so popular. So I accepted that. I didn't like it that my work wasn't received so well, but again, as I said earlier, I had this inner faith that I was right and they were wrong. I mean, I'll put it bluntly, that's what I felt. As did some of the people I respected so much, my teachers who had confidence in me, and a few other people, and that gave me further capacity to go on. So given my inner faith that what I was doing was important, it seemed obvious to me these are important problems and that I wasn't just a crazy man. There were some quite respected economists who thought I was doing important work, even though the bulk of the profession didn't. But that was enough for me. That kept me going. Everybody gets a little depressed, but I never went through any major depression over the fact that my work wasn't being accepted. I felt it will turn out to be that way. So I coped with my personal difficulties, with my wife's death. I remarried, a very fine marriage, my wife is here now, and she had two children who I'm very close to. So I sort of feel I have four children now, the two sons through her first marriage and my two daughters. So my personal life improved a lot. And finally, my work began to be accepted much more, I'd say sometime starting in the mid-'80s.
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