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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


Philip Johnson

Dean of American Architects

All of my advice is straight to all kids, "Should I be an architect?" I say "No." Always say no, because if you can help it, don't. Go into something that'll make money, if that's what most Americans seem to want, me included. Just don't bother with architecture. You remember when a kid came up to Mozart and said, "Should I write a symphony now, Mr. Mozart? Do you know what I do?" Mozart said, "No." And the kid said, "Why do you say no? You wrote a symphony when you were my age," and he said, "Yeah, but I didn't ask anybody." In other words, if you're going to be an architect, you'd better have a feeling inside that you can't help it. A "calling" it used to be called in the days when religion was a little more popular.
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Philip Johnson

Dean of American Architects

All right, the times go bad, the times go good, but the eternal things, like poetry or architecture, go on. And, they will go on. That is one of the great things about being connected to an art as great as architecture. It's your desire -- Plato's words -- desire for immortality. That's what keeps you going, not sex. It doesn't make any difference anyhow at my age, but it's not important as a drive, Mr. Freud to the contrary notwithstanding. Plato was right. Everybody has a desire for immortality. So when you die isn't very important. Because your immortality -- what did you do when you were here that made any sense?
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Chuck Jones

Animation Pioneer

I'm still astonished that somebody would offer me a job and pay me to do what I wanted to do. And to this day, that's been the astonishment of my life, and delight of my life, and the wonder of my life, and the puzzlement that anybody would be so stupid as to be willing to do that. I hear all these success stories of people, these captains of industry, these forgers of the world, and empire builders and so on. And they talk about all the money they've made and become presidents and all that, and I thought, jeez, but look at me. When I was offered a chance to be head of studios I wouldn't take it. I like to work with the tools of my trade. The tools of my trade is a lot of paper and a pencil, and that's all it is.
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James Earl Jones

National Medal of Arts

James Earl Jones: When I left the Army -- when I left my training in Fort Benning, I bought a little used car that broke down in Akron, Ohio. In that little used car was all my poems, you know. So I put it in storage, and then when I went back to collect it later on after the Army, it was missing. And I'm grateful that the poem about grapefruit was missing, cause -- although it was it had all the poetic values and had all the meter and all that, it was basically -- just as Longfellow imitated the Finnish author of Kalevalaa, I imitated Longfellow's 'Hiawatha," and it had all that. But it was really about the beauty -- I don't know if anybody else can appreciate it. I wouldn't expect them to. In the wintertime, in the snow country, citrus fruit was so rare, and if you got one, it was better than ambrosia. It was better than a peach, it was better than anything you can imagine from exotic worlds, you know. And, I just poured my heart out to the wonders of grapefruit.
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James Earl Jones

National Medal of Arts

James Earl Jones: It wasn't acting. It was language. It was speech. It was the thing that I'd been denied all those years and had denied myself all those years. I now had a great -- an abnormal -- appreciation for it, you know. And it was the idea that you can do a play -- like a Shakespeare play, or any well-written play, Arthur Miller, whatever -- and say things you could never imagine saying, never imagine thinking in your own life. You could say these things! That's what it's still about, whether it's the movies or TV or what. That what it's still about.
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