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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

Scott Momaday

Pulitzer Prize for Fiction

Scott Momaday: Fix your sight upon something and then go after it, and try not to be deflected. You have something that most of us don't have and that is time. You have time in which to deliberate, time in which to reflect, time in which to determine who you are. Use it. Don't panic. A lot of kids tend to panic, but I say just take it easy. But go for something. Move positively towards some goal that you would like to achieve. Always think, ask yourself how you would like to be known. Don't let yourself be determined by others. And this is especially true where young people are concerned, because everybody wants to determine them. And they have very few defenses against that. So I say, for God's sake, you know, don't let other people tell you who you are. If I had let people tell me who I was, I would have dropped back there somewhere. Determine who you are, and don't let anybody else do it for you. That's the best advice I can give a young person.
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Greg Mortenson

Best-Selling Author, Three Cups of Tea

Greg Mortenson: After we were on K2 for about ten weeks, everybody else had left. I was just there with three other climbers, and I really wanted to get to the top. I pushed myself way beyond the physical and emotional limits. And it wouldn't make sense at that point to really keep on trying to get to the top. It's kind of like going on a 400-mile journey with 200 miles (worth) of gas. Going up to the top at the beginning, it was almost as if I felt my sister there. And I also visualized -- I really believe in visualization when you set your goals -- so I visualized putting that amber necklace on the top. But I also, as it got more and more difficult, I started thinking. I kept wondering, "How much is this going to take?" And at one point before I started to turn down, I even thought, "I can probably get to the top. I may die, but that's okay, because I'll make my goal." And then when I came down from that -- you kind of go up and down -- when I realized I had been so focused on getting to the top, I really hadn't focused on the bigger goal, that Christa certainly wouldn't want me to die just to climb a mountain in her honor. It was on September 3rd actually. I remember this very vividly. I was carrying some rope up the mountain. And I was up, I was pretty high. And I suddenly realized, I really need to go down, and it's okay to go down. But I felt in my mind as if I'd failed. And I had to come to terms with that.
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Story Musgrave

Dean of American Astronauts

The way you remember the past depends upon your hope for the future. And if what you see in your future has no hope, it has no potential, then you view the past that brought you to here as not very good. For myself, all of those things were ways that I built myself, that I measured up, that I that I got self-reliance. That I learned even as a three year-old that I see this world that is really a mess and I learned to say, this is not me. I am not the one that is messed up. It is out there.
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Story Musgrave

Dean of American Astronauts

Story Musgrave: I have always known the risks of the shuttle, and the risks are very high. It's the most dangerous vehicle we've ever flown without escape capability, and I knew that from the very start. It was distressful though. I knew we would have an accident, but I expected it to be what we call an act of God, in which the entire team was doing exactly what they should have been doing to the best of their abilities. But you are operating such a fragile vehicle -- a butterfly strapped onto a rocket -- that no matter how perfect you are, you're going to lose something. I expected the accident would be due to that, as opposed to just out-and-out negligence. That is what was troublesome.
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