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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


Ray Dalio

Hedge Fund Master

Ray Dalio: I have mixed feelings of the American Dream. I'll tell you what I love about the American Dream. This is a country of -- I think it's defined mostly as a country of immigrants, of people who have come with all different points of view, and all different perspectives, and that they had to get along. There had to be an acceptance at least -- in many cases an appreciation for -- all of those different points of view. It was a land of opportunity. It should be an opportunity. That is fantastic. A meritocracy, to be all you can be. That is the American Dream and I love that element. At the same time, I don't want to stamp it as American. It is what is uniquely American, I think. But it can be, in various ways, anywhere, and wherever it is, it's good. Now we're in a global world, and it's very important in that global world that we emphasize, most importantly, good ways of being. Not overdo the Americanism part, relative to the "What is the good way of being?" and then understand, also, other good ways of being. Those dimensions, to me, are -- absolutely I love. And then we also can bring in elements of, let's not be so emphasizing the American part of it that we also say, "It's got to have an American stamp on it to be good" that we can't then also say, "What are all the different other ways of being in the world that we also can learn from?"
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Ray Dalio

Hedge Fund Master

Ray Dalio: What is in common with the Chinese Dream and the American Dream? Do you know what? So then they become some of the universal rules. So the Confucian notions of certain -- saving! --it looks like a Horatio Alger. In many ways the Confucian values are similar to the Protestant work ethic. So what are you trying to achieve? So what is -- when we say, "the Chinese Dream," if you go beneath the surface, just like I've said, there are elements of the American Dream. It's the meritocracy, it's all of that. When you deal in China, what they want is in many cases what we want. They want their families to be well educated. They want to progress, they want similar things. And then there may be differences too, and how do they go about that? Basically, for the most part, most people want similar things, not identical. I mean you could break the world, I think, into -- I would say different sort of categories -- to make a big difference rather than put names: "China." We are more similar to China in many ways -- China and us -- in that there's a desire to, in the Americas, in the United States or in China, there's a desire to accomplish. Or to change the world or to evolve and to raise your living standards and all of that.
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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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