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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


Khaled Hosseini

Afghanistan's Tumultuous History

Khaled Hosseini: I loved to read as a kid. In fact, I was raised in a household where classic Persian literature and poetry was revered and prized. Both of my folks were really into it and they got us into it. In fact as a kid, I grew up around the likes of Saadi and Hafez and Omar Khayyam and Rumi and people like that. And I really discovered the novels at a little bookshop in Kabul, because there is not a great tradition of novel writing in Persian literature, certainly not in Afghanistan. There is a great tradition, an ancient tradition of poetry, but not of prose novel. So I discovered Western novels, though translated into Farsi, at a local little bookshop in Kabul, and it was there that I read my first novels. I read 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and I was in wonderland. I think they had these condensed young adult editions of classics like Don Quixote and Ivanhoe and Treasure Island, and I remember reading all of those and just falling in love with the format. And then they also had serialized novels that they would publish in magazines, and I was really a sucker for those as well. So I really fell in love with prose at that time and I began writing my first short stories at that age. I was probably eight or nine years old when I began writing. I really loved it, and I was really passionate about it. I felt so in my element when I was writing. And pretty much since then, I haven't stopped writing. It is really kind of when my history of writing began.
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Ron Howard

Oscar for Best Director

Ron Howard: I became intrigued by what the director did primarily because when I was working on the show -- The Andy Griffith Show -- the actors, they were a blast. I had so much fun hanging around with them. They were interesting, they were smart, they were funny. They were playing practical jokes, then on a dime, they could focus and do great work. And even as a kid, I was impressed with these people. But I also really enjoyed spending time with the crew. They'd let me sit up there and work the camera or learn a little something about sound, how the microphone worked, and placement, and lighting, and things like that. And I enjoyed that time. And, after a while, I realized that the director was the one person who, moment to moment, day in and day out, really got to play with everybody. And the job just started to look very, very good to me.
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Louis Ignarro

Nobel Prize in Medicine

I was about ten years old. And for some reason, at ten years old I was interested in chemicals. I'm not exactly sure why. I think one of the neighbors talked about everything having its basis in chemistry, everything was made of a chemical. So I convinced my parents to buy me a chemistry set at the age of ten years old. I still remember it was a Gilbert chemistry set. I don't think they make them anymore. So again, no one could help me do the experiments. I would read the things as best I could. I think the chemistry set was for 14-year-olds and older. I was ten. But I was able to do the experiments, mix the chemicals. When you're ten years old and you mix one clear solution into another clear solution and it turns red, it's very exciting. And then if you add a different chemical to it, it turns blue. Well, that really got my attention! Or you might mix two clear solutions together and it forms a precipitate. In other words, a solid material just comes out of the solution. That was of interest to me, and I kept pursuing that further and further. Then, when I got into my young teenage years, I took it a step further because I wanted to make firecrackers and rocket fuel. But to do that I needed chemicals that were not in a chemistry set. So I would walk into the local pharmacies. Pharmacies back then were very different. Medicines were not in bottles that they just poured into your own bottle. They had to make everything. So I walked in there and I could see what ingredients they had. So then I would have one of my neighbors, older brothers or even his father, go in and get me some of the chemicals. They didn't really know the dangers in some of these chemicals. They would buy them; I would pay them for it. And then I would have what I needed to make little firecrackers, rocket fuel, and so on and so forth. I got in trouble for that eventually.
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Louis Ignarro

Nobel Prize in Medicine

Research, biomedical research, if you're not highly motivated but you do it because it's a job, those individuals don't think outside the box. They just read up in the literature, and they see what has developed so they'll know what direction to go to, to extend our knowledge in a particular area. I did a lot of that, but that never made me happy. I didn't want to extend what we knew about an area. I wanted to discover something new. That's the way I always was. And not because I wanted to be number one or be first. No, no, no. That's competition. I compete only against myself. I never compete against anyone else. So that wasn't the intent. The intent was there's so much information to be learned out there. There's so much to be learned. Okay? So if I just follow in the footsteps of others, I'm not going to be able to make those discoveries and learn all the new things out there. So I took every opportunity I had to think outside the box and go somewhere where no one else has been, if I may plagiarize that show. So that's what I've always done in my career.
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Louis Ignarro

Nobel Prize in Medicine

Louis Ignarro: I think the best thing that makes science exciting is that you have the opportunity to think about important questions in science. Whether it's science, technology, medicine, chemistry, whatever it is, you have the opportunity to think about important and exciting questions. You have the opportunity to then try to answer those questions. And it's up to you. In other words, everything was up to me. So everything is up to you. You can design the experiments. You test the hypothesis. You look at the data. You draw the conclusions. And then you go from there. And the greatest thing about all of this is when you're able to answer a question satisfactorily, then you've made an important contribution to humankind. I said, "Even if it's not an important contribution to humankind, even if you've answered your own question satisfactorily and you could publish it somewhere," I said, "that's very gratifying and that's a great reward in life," because it's one profession where you could have a lot of those rewards, but you do have to work hard.
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