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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


Daniel Inouye

Medal of Honor

To show you how lucky I am -- but I knew this was the day -- the first one Boom! The second one Boom! Until a grenade launcher came directly at me. Instead of hitting me here, it hit my arm. Now that's luck. Don't you think so? I lost my arm but I was still alive, until I got hit in the leg and then I couldn't walk. I must have looked terrible, because with blood gushing out, I've got this submachine gun, brrr, like the movies!
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Daniel Inouye

Medal of Honor

Daniel Inouye: You have certain responsibilities as a platoon leader. I wanted to make certain before I left that the men were deployed in positions of defense, because you can always count on the enemy counterattacking. Once you've pushed them out, they try to get back. We were now at the high point, and I might as well tell you now, but most people think I got hit by Germans, right? No. In the early stages of World War II, the Italian army, navy, air force surrendered. If you think back to the African war, they surrendered. They sunk the navy, the aircraft were all burnt. One division refused to surrender, the Bersaglieri. They were the -- I would say the successors to the Praetorian Guards. In the old days the Praetorian Guards protected Caesar, the dictator. These were Bersaglieri troops, crack troops, protected the king. And their attitude was, "We will put down our arms if the king tells us to do so." Well the king was nowhere around, it was run by Mussolini. So they fought until the end of the war, and these brave fellows, when the war came to an end I think there were less then 500 out of the whole division. And so if you go to my office you'll see the hat and the plaque. I'm a member of the Bersaglieri, because years later -- I'm a Senator now, chairman of the defense committee -- I was in Rome as part of the negotiating team for the use of Aviano, the airport. And after the negotiations were finished, I looked at the Prime Minister and I said, "I'm looking for some one who fought with the Bersaglieri." He says, "Why?" and I told him. "These were brave men. None of them ever surrendered. They fought until they were killed or wounded, and I just want to shake their hands to say that it was an honor fighting them." He says, "This general is in charge." A battalion of Bersaglieri was run by a four-star general, that's how important they were.
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Daniel Inouye

Medal of Honor

So here I am, I get to the hospital at midnight. I'm in a room about -- oh, five times this size -- it was a tent. And you can see hundreds of stretchers lined up, and some of the men are dead, some are severely wounded. And there were about three or four teams of doctors and nurses going up and down the line and they're mumbling. But after awhile I'm watching them, and it became very clear that they were deciding. This one? "Immediately in the surgical room, because he needs treatment." Next one? "You can wait. Not that serious." The third category? "God bless you." Well when the doctors came by, and the nurses, they looked me over and they put me in that category. Category three, that they say good-bye. Because the hospital had so much in resources and so many nurses, and so many doctors, and so many beds. They couldn't accommodate all. And some of them were already dead or unconscious. So when the chaplain came by, and he's following the doctors, he came by and he looked at me. "Son, God loves you." I said, "Oh yes, I know God loves me. I love God too, but I'm not ready to see him." He looked at me, he said, "You're serious aren't you?" I said, "Absolutely. I'm not ready to go yet." He ran up to the doctors, and I don't know what he said, he was mumbling away. Doctors came by, looked me over, shipped me out right away to the operating room. I had to do my first surgical procedure without anesthesia because they were afraid that I might not wake up. See how lucky I am?
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Jeremy Irons

Award-winning Stage and Screen Actor

If you're successful in a sort of role, when people read another role that's rather similar they think, "Ask him, he's the man." You read it and you say, "I've done this. I did this for this guy. I don't want to do this." So nevertheless, what I'm saying is that what one is -- one's parameters are constantly narrowed by one's success, and my desire is to widen my field even if I risk failure. The risk of failure and daring failure, I think, is another great way towards success, which George Orwell says in 1984 doesn't he? I don't remember the quote but, "If you take away the freedom to risk then you take away the freedom to succeed." I'm misquoting. What I try to do as an actor is constantly find that, find ways to risk, find opportunities to fall on my face if it's going to be worth it and then maybe I'll surprise myself.
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Jeremy Irons

Award-winning Stage and Screen Actor

"You're being very British about this, Jeremy. You're 30. If you're going to make it in this life you're going to make it in your 30s. And you think you're right, and you're stepping down because you've been told you can't win in court -- If that's the way you're going to manage your life then fine, but don't expect too much." So I sat down. I had a couple of martinis and dinner and then returned to my home and wrote a long letter to the chairman of the television company telling him that I was off unless by six o'clock the following day he would agree to release me to make this film. And I laid out -- I knew everything he would do to me. I said, "I know you can bar me from the union. I know you can sue me." They by then had spent eight million, I think. I said, "My house is worth 85,000. That's about all I have but you can sue me for that. I'm not a hysterical actor. I'm just an actor against the wall." You know. I called my lawyer the first thing in the morning and read it over the phone to him and said, "That's what I want to send." He said, "If you're absolutely sure. You seem to know the down side." I said, "Yes." He says, "All right. Fax it to me and I'll have it delivered around," which he did.
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Jeremy Irons

Award-winning Stage and Screen Actor

I went to lunch with my agent in a restaurant. There was a phone call during lunch from the chairman of the television company who said, "Will you come for tea?" I said, "Yes." I asked my agent for a valium, went to walk the dog on Hampstead Heath, and then went down to have tea with the chairman of Grenada, who was very cross, said he felt let down. I said, "I feel let down. We're both in the same boat." He said, "If I can work something out, will you go back to work?" I said, "Certainly. I'll be back there tomorrow morning." He left the room for about 15 minutes, came back in and said, "I'll work this out in three weeks. Give me three weeks." So I went back to work. Three weeks later they tied the two things together, the film and the television, so that the film paid for the down time in the television, and the television invested in the film, and I was able to do both. But on the journey down, the night before when I had driven down in my Volkswagen Beetle, a long drive on the M6, about a four-hour drive, I remember thinking "That's it. That is it. Now if I'm not going to act, what am I going to do? I could be an agent. Should I write? Well, can I write? I don't know." But I knew that was it. And I knew that I had taken my destiny in my hand in a way that I had never felt before and I think that's when I grew up. I knew I was my own man. I could do anything.
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Sir Peter Jackson

Oscar for Best Director

I left the newspaper, left my full-time job after seven years. I left at the moment the Film Commission came in with money for me to finish it. Quit my job, and I've never been back there since. Always felt that one day I might have to go back, but I guess now I probably can start to put those fears to rest. I still have recurring dreams that I'm back at the newspaper there, that things haven't worked out well in the film business, and I'm back in the photolithography department.
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