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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


Ralph Nader

Consumer Crusader

Ralph Nader: It's important to be able to stand tall, have the courage of your convictions and to have resilience if you are up against a disappointment or a temporary defeat. In fact, some of the same features on the athletic arena, basketball court, baseball field, football field, where you never give up, you keep bouncing back and you hold you head high when you walk off the field those are the kinds of characteristics young people should have in a much more important field called the citizen arena because that's what's going to affect the quality of their job, their standard of living, what their children are going to grow up in, and what's called the pursuit of happiness.
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Paul Nitze

Presidential Medal of Freedom

Paul Nitze: It seemed to me at the time and it seemed to me since that the questions were easy in the Cuban missile crisis. We had both a conventional superiority around Cuba -- which we demonstrated thoroughly by making all their submarines surface -- and God knows what on sea and land and air. So, we had total local control over Cuba. And we had clear and dominant strategic nuclear superiority at the time. There wasn't any doubt about that. If we let those missiles actually continue in deployment there at Cuba, then it would have become doubtful. Therefore, it was essential for us to get those missiles out of Cuba. But, until they had gotten them operational and ready to use them, we were in a dominant position and the Soviets couldn't contemplate going to war with us at the time, either in Berlin or any other place because they would risk that we would be the ones that would escalate to a nuclear war and they couldn't tolerate that. Therefore, it seemed to me, we could operate with full confidence. We ought to do it with a minimum use of force that was necessary to get the results we wanted. The clear way to do that was to start with a blockade, we called it a quarantine. If that worked, why the show was over. If they withdrew their weapons from Cuba as a result of that quarantine, then we had won. If they didn't, we might have to attack those weapons before they could be fired, take them out. If we could do that, then the show was over and we had won. If we couldn't do that, if the Russians wouldn't take them out, then we had to invade the islands. Capture them, dig them out by hand. In the meantime, I thought there was zero chance, almost zero -- you could never be sure that somebody wouldn't be a madman -- but very little chance that the Soviets would retaliate because they weren't in a position to so do. So I was not worried during the crisis.
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Paul Nitze

Presidential Medal of Freedom

Paul Nitze: I've often had doubts. Almost all the time. If you are dealing with the important issues, none of them are clear. Why do they hire people in the policy business? Because policy issues wouldn't be policy issues if you could just put them into a computer and get the answer to it. They're policy issues because the odds that one side or the other of a given issue is right are probably in the range of 48 percent to 52 [percent], or something like that. There isn't a clear choice. Then you have got to make up your mind on something that is very complex and decide that the odds are better for this side of the issue than that side, but it's touch and go. It's a hazardous business to deal with policy. That's why you get well treated if you are in the policy business because it is a hazardous game.
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Jessye Norman

Legendary Opera Soprano

Jessye Norman: I don't think that I have had doubts about my ability. What I certainly have had doubts about, particularly as a very young performer, was being allowed to have what I felt -- and what a lot of people felt -- as my potential to catch up with my age, or perhaps it was vice versa. I'll give you an example. As a very young singer, I was invited to the opera house in Berlin by the then-director of the opera house, Egon Seefehlner, and I had one opera to my name that I knew. He felt that there was a lot that I could learn there, which was very true, and I was so lucky to be able to have this opportunity. The thing that was happening is that I kept being offered operas that I knew that I wasn't ready to sing, just from an experience point of view, as well as being 24 years old. So I was always asked to sing things that I thought, "Well no, I really don't think I should sing that now. I need to sing that maybe in five years, or maybe in 10 years, but not right now. Couldn't I please sing something else?" And that became a difficulty for me. And after being at the opera house for three years, and singing Elsa and Elisabeth -- the Wagner roles that are not sort of the heavy Wagner roles -- and then Mozart operas that suited my voice at the time, I was continually invited to sing things that I just felt I shouldn't. So I took it upon myself to go to speak with the artistic director to say that I thought I should leave the opera house, and come back in some years when my maturity sort of chronologically would have caught up with the invitations that I was being offered. Of course, considering that he'd taken me into the opera house when I knew one role, he wasn't all that happy. I thought he'd say, "Oh, what a smart girl. Oh yes, absolutely. That's what we'll do." No, no. He was absolutely furious.
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Jessye Norman

Legendary Opera Soprano

I decided that I had to save myself by leaving the opera house. It isn't as though I had, you know, sort of sheaves and sheaves of work. I made this decision because I was trying to save myself. I have always sung more solo recitals with piano than opera, but it isn't as though I had recitals lined up all over the world. I had two or three things that I knew that were coming up, but I didn't have a lot after that. So at that point in my very young life, I wasn't sure whether or not I was going to be able to continue, because it wasn't certain that I would have enough work as a solo performer to support myself. So there were probably about two months before I actually told my parents what I'd done. When I called them, and my mother was on one extension and my father was on the other one, which was in the kitchen, and there was stunned silence. And my father said, "Well sister, how is it going since you've left the opera house in Berlin?" I said, "Well actually, I have two recitals in this place, and another recital in that place, and I think I'm going to be all right." And at some point mother said, "Do you need to come home?"
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