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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


David Herbert Donald

Two Pulitzer Prizes for Biography

David Herbert Donald: The American Dream is one of those loose phrases that we use in too many contexts, I think. But by and large, Americans have had similar aspirations: aspirations to be free, aspirations not to be meddled with, not to be told what to do, aspirations that mean the whole future is ahead of you. You can do all sorts of different things and you don't necessarily have to do what you were slated to do in the ninth grade or the 12th grade or the first year of college. The world is really open to you, and there are so many choices that you can make, and in many cases you will do as well in one choice as another. You're not sort of fixed from the beginning: I'm going to be a scientist, I'm going to be a historian, I'm going to be a farmer. You probably could be good in all three of those roles, but you have to chose between them.
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Sam Donaldson

ABC News Correspondent

Now, my goal when I came to Washington was to some day, some day, earn $10,000 a year. I thought if I could earn $10,000 a year I could write back to El Paso, Texas and say, "Look at me." I've done a little better than that. But I guess my point is, there was no money in the news business when I started in it. That was not the goal, to make money. And I never thought about being famous. It didn't occur to me that that was going to happen to me. I simply enjoyed the work. I think people ought to think about their goals, not in terms of, "I'm going to make millions of dollars," or "I'm going to win the Nobel Prize," if you're a scientist, or "I'm going to win an Oscar," if you're an actor. You think in terms of what you'd like to accomplish in your field, what you'd like to do. And then, if you're lucky enough to be able to do that, these things may come, or they may not. But they're not the goal. It's something else that's the goal. And then material benefits, or other so-called benefits, will flow from that.
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Rita Dove

Former Poet Laureate of the United States

For a long time, the American dream meant, you know, a chicken in every pot and a Frigidaire, right? You know, "You need a Frigidaire in the kitchen." And now we're beginning to realize that the American dream really is not about uniformity, but it's about -- I don't want to say diversity. What I want to say is, it's more like a mosaic. It's not a melting pot, it's a mosaic, and we all contribute our tiles to making up that big picture. And that's glorious. That's nothing to be afraid of.
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