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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


Ernst Mayr

The Darwin of the 20th Century

As Darwin put it about himself, I was born a naturalist. At the age of six, already I was a passionate bird watcher. My older brother had an aquarium, which we jointly took care of, and we caught little fish and little sticklebacks in the streams and ponds of the neighborhood, and snails and things, and watched all the water life, the larvae of insects living in the water. And my mother was a great collector of mushrooms. She knew not only the poisonous and the edible ones but she knew everything about the in between kinds of mushrooms, which is the majority. She really knew mushrooms well. And both of my parents took us three boys every weekend on a little excursion, on a hike, on a walk, and we studied the spring flowers or my father took us to a limestone quarry where we found ammonites and other fossils, or we went to a heron colony and watched that. Anyhow I was almost trained to be a naturalist.
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Ernst Mayr

The Darwin of the 20th Century

Ernst Mayr: Stresemann took to me and he saw my enthusiasm and he said, "Would you be interested, in your college vacations, to come here to the museum as a volunteer?" I thought somebody had given me a key to paradise. I said, "Of course, I would," and I did. And he put me to work unpacking new collections that came from expeditions in various places of the world and I was permitted to identify specimens that hadn't been yet identified and so forth. I had a wonderful time, and I had opportunity to talk with Stresemann about all sorts of things. And one day he said to me, after I talked about my dreams about the tropics of expeditions and the jungles and all that, he said to me very seriously, "Now look here, young man. If you become a medical doctor you will never have a chance to go to the tropics, you will be far too busy." When he saw how my face fell, he said, "Well, but there is an alternative. Let me make a proposal. Suppose, after you finish your first half of the medical study " -- in Germany the preclinical period and the clinical are sharply separated -- " after you've finished your preclinical period, why don't you stop studying medicine, take a degree in zoology, a Ph.D., and when you have that then I can find a place for you in an expedition somewhere, I'm quite sure."
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Ernst Mayr

The Darwin of the 20th Century

As soon as I had my candidate of medicine degree, I stopped medicine and I went into zoology, and I did something that is almost unbelievable. In 16 months I fulfilled all the requirements of a Ph.D. candidate in zoology, including a semester of philosophy and a great deal of botany and so forth, and I had written my thesis in that time. I was ready for the examination, and on the 24th of June my oral examinations were all completed and I was awarded a Ph.D. in zoology.
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Willie Mays

Baseball Hall of Fame

Willie Mays: Defense to me is the key to playing baseball. I know people say, "Well, you've got to score runs," but you've got to stop them before you can score runs. And, I used to love to run down a fly ball. I used to love to throw a guy out. But of course, I played good offense too. But I just felt baseball was a beautiful game, especially at night. The sun -- I mean, you had the lights out there and all you do is go out there, and you're out there by yourself in center field, and it's just a beautiful game. And, I just felt that it was such a beautiful game that I just wanted to play it forever, you know.
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Craig McCaw

Pioneer of Telecommunications

Courage is merely a matter of being committed and being prepared to pay the price, whatever it is, for what you want to have happen. And when you're really committed and when you love what you do, you will pay that price. I always want to say that for my company, I would probably stand in front of a truck and start shooting at it to stop it because I wanted to defend the company. I viewed it as my responsibility to the people and the mission and the goals. And if my personal price was too high, I was prepared to pay it nevertheless, on behalf of the whole concept about what I was about.
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