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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


Doris Kearns Goodwin

Pulitzer Prize for History

When I was six years old, my father taught me that wonderful and mysterious art of keeping score, so that when he went to work during the day, I could stay home and record the history of that day's Brooklyn Dodger game, play by play, inning by inning. And at night when he would come home, and you're only six years old, and he tells you, "You're doing great as a miniature historian." I think in some ways, that made history have a magic that it still holds for me to this day.
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Doris Kearns Goodwin

Pulitzer Prize for History

My mother was very sick from the time I was born, and died when I was 14. So I think my love of books in some ways came from knowing that she was pretty much bound to the home, and read all the time as a way of learning about other worlds that she would never be able to experience, because she couldn't travel very much because of her heart condition. So books took on a certain kind of magic for me, just as the baseball scores did. So between those two experiences, somehow history and reading became a very important part of my childhood.
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Mikhail Gorbachev

Nobel Prize for Peace

Because of growing up in a peasant family, and my experience of life and the war -- which I saw myself, all this blood and destruction, horrible destruction -- all this had great significance. This was all when I was a child, and yet that whole period is as clear as if it happened yesterday. I have forgotten a great deal of what happened in my life, but all that hasn't left me. At that time, I began to feel the desire for something more; I wanted to do something to make things better. This was unconscious; it was just something that was brewing inside of me, without my really being aware of it. So, when my father said, "If you want, why don't you go and try to get an education. If not, you can go on working the land with me." And I said, "I want to try." I ended up at the university, and this was a completely different world, the start of a whole new life. The university was like a door opening up on the whole world. For a young man thirsting for knowledge -- coming from the sticks, from the back of beyond, coming to the capital, to Moscow, to the university -- it was cataclysmic.
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Mikhail Gorbachev

Nobel Prize for Peace

There were many such people with initiative in the Soviet Union, very many, and they wanted to find ways for self-actualization. There was the Party, there was Komsomol, and naturally, since the Party was actually the only party available, everyone joined it. There was only one Party, everyone joined the same party. Also, I must confess, I remember that at the time the Party's slogans appealed to me, they made quite an impression on me. It was very seductive, very attractive, and I took it all on faith. A lot of time still had to pass before I began to understand what the purpose and nature of the Party slogans really were, and what real life was, and what the Party meant for the country. And that the Party, which I had joined, itself badly needed to be reformed and reoriented toward democracy. And through this, the country could begin to gain some freedom. That came later, but it all started with the desire to do something and show initiative. That was what led many good people to join the Komsomol and the Party.
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Stephen Jay Gould

Evolutionary Biologist and Paleontologist

My father was a soldier in World War II and I didn't see him for a couple of years. So when he came back, his mode of re-acquaintance was to take me to every interesting place in New York City, and the Museum of Natural History was of course on the agenda. So it must have been some time in 1946, when I was four or five -- maybe '47, I'm not sure -- and we went to the Museum of Natural History and I took one look at the dinosaurs and they were just so interesting. You ask why. You and everyone asks always why kids are so fascinated with dinosaurs. I don't really know the answer to that, but it certainly seems persistent. A friend of mine is an eminent child psychologist. He once gave an answer, which may be a little oversimplified, but I think is basically pretty good. He says, "Why are kids fascinated with dinosaurs? That's simple: big, fierce and extinct," which they certainly are. Maybe that's all it was. But I remember standing under the tyrannosaurus, and it's pretty big even today -- but when you're five, it's a lot bigger -- and a man sneezed, and I thought the tyrannosaurus had come to life and was about to devour me. But at that moment, the fear -- I just let fascination creep in.
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Stephen Jay Gould

Evolutionary Biologist and Paleontologist

People talk in my profession, university teaching, "My teaching load " That's always struck me as such a strange term, 'cause if you like something it's not a load, it just takes time. So I work all the time. I work every day. I work weekends, I work nights. But some people looking at that from the outside might use that modern term "workaholic," or might see this as obsessive or destructive. But it's not work to me, it's just what I do, that's my life. I also spend a lot of time with my family, and I sing, and go to ball games, and you can find me in my season seat at Fenway Park as often as -- well, I don't mean I have a one-dimensional life. But I basically do work all the time. I don't watch television. But it's not work, it's not work, it's my life. It's what I do. It's what I like to do.
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