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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 Trevor Nunn

Theatrical Director

Unquestionably, the first few weeks when I took on running The Royal Shakespeare Company, it wasn't just self-doubt. I mean I was deeply frightened. I was frightened that I was going to be exposed, or even -- you know, I was going to have to go through the ignominy of being rebelled against. You know, that there were people working for me who were going to say, "I'm sorry, I'm not going to go on doing this because I don't respect the leadership sufficiently." I mean, I was deeply frightened that that was going to happen. There have been a number of other occasions, but it's to do with trusting your judgment. At one stage we were in bad financial shape at Stratford, and I decided to do a rare Shakespeare play and to spend more on the design image of it than had been spent on other productions. People said, "This is totally crazy, with the financial situation that we're in." And I said, "I think we've got to give the opposite message. I think we've got to get people into the theater because we're giving them more and the word will spread." Having taken that decision, in the weeks or the days immediately prior to the opening of that, yes, I was deeply frightened that that was a mistake and that would mean the end of the regime, the end of my job. And the opposite happened.
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Sir Trevor Nunn

Theatrical Director

If you can't fully believe in your ideas, it very quickly communicates to a group of actors who need something to hold onto. They need to believe that whatever criticism, whatever comment is received, is meant. And, if they pick up the message of "I might mean this. On the other hand, I'm feeling rather doubtful about myself, so maybe I don't mean it. And maybe you've got a better idea. Or maybe actually what he said is better." Then, of course, chaos reigns. And self-doubt is something that communicates very quickly through an acting company. It's contagious.
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Joyce Carol Oates

National Book Award

I'm very deeply inculcated with a sense of failure for some reason. And I'm drawn to failure. I often write about it, and I'm sympathetic with it I think, because I feel I'm contending with it constantly in my own life. A sense that there is a movement toward light or illumination which requires strength and ingenuity. But then there's another contrary force that pulls us back into defeat and a sense of giving up. I feel, probably, that I'm in the throes of that contest every day of my life, virtually.
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Pierre Omidyar

Founder and Chairman, eBay

Pierre Omidyar: I was the pretty consistent bull and the cheerleader on eBay actually. I just felt -- once I realized the human connection that people were making with one another over the service -- I just knew that there's just nothing that can happen that can make it go away. And even after a massive outage like that, you really anger your community, they are depending on -- a lot of them are dependent on us at that time for their livelihood and still do today -- so it's really a hardship. Even after that, they come back and they say, "Okay, well, we know you're doing your best. We're with you." And so I've always had, you know -- I've always had kind of this unshakable faith that it's going to endure.
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Pierre Omidyar

Founder and Chairman, eBay

Pierre Omidyar: I always kind of just went ahead and tried things and one of the things I learned later -- you know, more kind of professionally -- is that a lot of people don't just go ahead and try things. They'll have an idea and they'll say -- they'll convince themselves or other people will convince them that it can't be done. You know, one or the other. Actually I think that the first is even more dangerous and more serious. It's convincing yourself that it can't be done. And I never learned that for some reason, so I just kind of had this naive approach to -- well, gee, you know, why not. I'll just go ahead and do it.
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Pierre Omidyar

Founder and Chairman, eBay

When you look at the accomplishments of accomplished people and you say, "Boy, that must have been really hard," you know, when you look at something that looks hard, that was probably easy. And conversely, when you look at something that looks easy, that was probably hard. And so you're never going to know which is which until you actually go and do it. So just go and do it, try it, learn from it. You'll fail at some things, that's a learning experience that you need so that you can take that on to the next experience. And don't let people who you may respect and who you believe know what they're talking about, don't let them tell you it can't be done, because often they will tell you it can't be done, and it's just because they don't have the courage to try.
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