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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


Rudolph Giuliani

Former Mayor of New York City

Rudolph Giuliani: My parents were very, very supportive of getting a good education and then deciding what you want to do. They did not put a great deal of pressure on me to do any particular thing. Their feeling was that you should get a very good education, the best you can get, and then decide on doing something that will make you feel fulfilled, that will make you feel happy. And, I sort of developed the idea -- maybe with their influence and other people -- that you had to find something to do that you were good at, because if you are good at something, it's a lot easier to do it as work than when you are struggling with it. And, the reason I decided to remain a lawyer when I tried law school was I enjoyed it. For me, working on legal problems, writing about them, thinking about them, debating them, was very, very interesting, so I never regretted that decision. It has always been like an adventure for me, being a lawyer.
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Louise Glück

Former Poet Laureate of the United States

Louise Glück: I learned to read very early, very young, and my father was fond of writing doggerel verses. So the children, the two of us, we started writing books very early. He would print them out and we would illustrate them, and many times the text was in verse. But I started reading poems that I found. I remember my grandmother, who wasn't a bookish woman, had a tiny little anthology -- it was physically a small object, as I remember -- of "Beloved Poems," or some sort of comprehensive title of that kind. And I remember reading Blake's "Little Black Boy," and I remember reading the song from Cymbeline, "Fear No More the Heat of the Sun." And I must have been five years old -- four years old -- little. But I heard those poems. I often didn't know -- with Blake's poem I knew, obviously, nothing of the historical background of the poem -- but the cry from the heart to my ear, that I could hear. And I thought, "These are the people I am speaking to, and this is why my everyday life is such a catastrophe."
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Louise Glück

Former Poet Laureate of the United States

I remember, a little later than that, having in my mind a sort of private crucial competition for the greatest poem ever written, of course based on the sample I had then read. And the finalists were Blake's "Little Black Boy" and "Swanee River." And if you think about it, they're tonally very like. The same solitary voice raised in lament, essentially, and grief. That tone reached me very quickly. The songs from the plays of Shakespeare were very different. Many times I didn't understand some of the words and had no idea what need they filled in the play. I don't even think I knew that they were parts of plays. But I read them hypnotically. Even after I had memorized them, I kept reading them.
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Whoopi Goldberg

Actress and Activist

I knew as soon as I hit that light. I was waving! It's always been. It's as much a part of my whole being as breathing. I always knew this was it. I didn't know it was going to be like this, you know. But I always knew that I wanted to act.
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Whoopi Goldberg

Actress and Activist

Whoopi Goldberg: I was a teapot. I was a small teapot, short and stout, here was my handle, this was my spout. And I was like seven. It was the greatest. I was just bowing, and bowing. They had to come get me off the stage. I just kept bowing. "Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you." You know. All the other pots are gone. Born ham, that's basically me. It's the truth. My mom told me. I'd forgotten it. She also tells the story of my birth. I'm almost half kidding when I say, I came out and waved. My mother says that I came out head, arm, other arm, thumb in mouth, immediately. They were astounded, because generally that's not what you do. I was born clear, you know. They just kept calling people. I was just hanging out, thumb in my mouth. Some people are just born that way.
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