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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


Johnny Cash

Country Music Legend

I grew up in the '40s and I heard all these great speeches, like Winston Churchill. His most famous, or infamous commencement exercise speech was one that consisted of seven words. He stood before this graduating class and said: "Never, never, never, never, never give up." And then somebody else said: "Every day in every way I'm getting better and better." I didn't especially believe that about myself, but I said it every day and I made myself believe it and it worked. I persevered. I never gave up my dream to "sing on the radio." And that dream came true in 1955.
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Johnny Cash

Country Music Legend

Johnny Cash: Sam Phillips, at Sun Records. There was a label called Sun Records in Memphis that was pretty hot, with Elvis Presley, and two or three locally well-known country acts, and some black, blues and gospel singers. When I got out of the Air Force I went and knocked on that door and was turned away. I called back for an interview three or four times, was turned away. So one morning I found out what time the man went to work. I went down with my guitar and sat on his steps until he got there. And when he got there I introduced myself and he said, "You're the one that's been calling." I said, "Yeah." You know, I had to take the chance, he was either going to let me come in, or he was going to run me off, turn me down again. Evidently, he woke up on the right side of the bed that morning. He said, "Come on in, let's listen." So he did. He said, "Come back tomorrow and bring some musicians." So I went down to the garage where I worked, where my brother, Roy worked, and was introduced to two musicians down there. Brought them back to the studio and the next day was our first session. We recorded, and released the songs that we recorded the second day.
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Dale Chihuly

Master Glass Artist

A lot of times when an artist starts an idea, very often people don't like it. Nobody really bought one of these for a couple of years, because they liked my earlier work. A lot of times the artists don't like it either. I remember on a couple of occasions starting a new series of work that I really thought was good, and some of my best friends would pull me aside and kind of tell me that they didn't think that was going to make it. But if you believe in the idea, then you go ahead and do it. At a certain point, maybe you might agree with them after three or four months. You've worked on it and you've developed it, and maybe you let it go. Either let it go or you carry on. For myself, it's usually when I exhibit it for the first time; that usually means I believe in the idea.
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Dale Chihuly

Master Glass Artist

Dale Chihuly: I suppose the most obvious setback that I had, I mean, I lost my brother and my father when I was in high school. And that certainly had a profound effect on me. And then I got in a wreck -- lost the sight of my eye -- in 1976, which made it hard for me to blow glass. It was a near-fatal accident, and six months in recuperation. I suppose that could have been a big setback, but it wasn't. I mean, it didn't get me down that much. I felt fortunate to have survived it. I suppose I could have taken a different perspective on the whole thing. I could have gotten depressed over it, but I didn't. I think sometimes those things make you look at things in a different way. Setbacks. Most setbacks in my own life have been self-inflicted. Depression, or whatever. Something to get you down and out. Usually that comes about for who knows what reason. But in terms of my career, I've been very lucky. I've had a lot of help, a lot of support from other people, and a lot of opportunities. That doesn't mean I didn't make a lot of those opportunities, but I think some of it must be some good luck.
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Tom Clancy

Best-Selling Author

I did all the right things. Maybe not always in the right way, but I did all the right things. Probably the most important message you can pass along is that if you have a dream, do not let go of it. I tell people the most important talent in writing is persistence. That's probably the most important talent in anything -- persistence, sticking with it, seeing it through, not giving up. If you do that, in a society like ours, chances are you're going to succeed.
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