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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


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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John Grisham

Best-Selling Author

We moved a lot when I was a kid, throughout the deep South. We would always go to a new town and go to the library, get our library cards and load up with books. And we spent our time reading, reading to each other. And my mother spent a lot of time reading to us. I've always had a love for books and a love for literature and a love for reading. Oddly, I never thought about writing until late in life.
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John Grisham

Best-Selling Author

The first book I remember that really grabbed me was a book that Miss McGuffey made us read, a book called Tortilla Flat by Steinbeck. And when I read it, I really enjoyed the book. And so I went to her and said, "This is really -- I like this." And she was shocked that I would show any interest in what she was making us do. So she said, okay, read this. And the next one was Of Mice and Men. So she sort of fed the Steinbeck books to me. When I read The Grapes of Wrath -- we saved that for last -- I knew that was a very powerful book. And I don't know if it had anything to do with my writing style, or me as a writer, because I wasn't thinking about it back then. It had a lot to do with the way I viewed humanity and the struggles of little people against big people. It was a very important book for me.
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Dorothy Hamill

Olympic Hall of Fame

Dorothy Hamill: My mother got up at 4:00 in the morning. I give her so much more credit today. You know, at the time I was just a kid. Well, that's what, you know, mom is doing. She got up and she'd make breakfast for me and bring it up to me in bed and wake me up and lay my clothes out and help me put them on. And then she'd go warm up the car. You know, in the wintertime it was freezing outside. She'd go down, start the car so I'd get into a warm car. I mean, she treated me like a little princess. And it was what I wanted to do. I didn't really -- a couple of the kids asked me today, you know, "Do you feel as though you missed out on anything in childhood because of your sacrifices?" Absolutely not. I loved it. Skating was the perfect excuse not to have to go to a friend's house, you know, for a sleep over. Not that I didn't have friends or didn't like my friends. I had a couple of very close friends. And I was always being invited to sleep overs and things. I just didn't want to go. So it was the perfect excuse. And you know, I think a lot of that was the shyness. But my mom sacrificed; I didn't sacrifice anything. I just was passionate, you know, it's all that passion.
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