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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


Scott Hamilton

Olympic Hall of Fame

You've got to fall down a lot. You've got to make a lot of mistakes. And you've got to fight for your place in the world, whatever it is. You know, whether it is in business or entertainment or the media or whatever. And you've got to take a lot of knocks and you've got to spill some blood in order to get there. And, that's part of the process.
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Scott Hamilton

Olympic Hall of Fame

The judge that told me I was too short to compete on the international level. Well, I'll prove her wrong, and I did. Another judge who just didn't really like me that much and was very powerful, always throwing up roadblocks, trying to get me to fail. "No, you can't. If you do this jump in competition, we're going to have to mark you down." So I changed the jump and I'd land a tougher jump to spite her and I'd win the competition.
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Scott Hamilton

Olympic Hall of Fame

I went for two years with Ice Capades, and they didn't know how to produce me or anything else. I ended up kind of having to produce myself because they never had to do that before. And then they called me in and they said, "We've just been sold and the gentleman who bought the Ice Capades feels that only a woman will sell tickets and he wishes you well." Basically saying, time for you to find a job somewhere else. And so, once again, the adversity, I had to find a way of reinventing something and I created a show with the help of International Management Group that became, now 10 years later, Stars on Ice. And it's huge, and it's changed figure skating, as the professional ranks and the integrity that I brought -- I don't like bragging, I don't mean to-- to the professional side of the sport like it'd never been done before.
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John Hennessy

President of Stanford University

Persistence, I think. Sometimes you just have to really believe in yourself, persevere, push hard. And if you're convinced your ideas are right, don't give up. Keep going until all hope is lost. Sometimes there are times when you won't make progress on something and you have to recognize that, but don't give up prematurely. I think it's too easy.
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John Hennessy

President of Stanford University

Try to have enough things on the plate that you can feel good about working on something else. I think the other thing I take solace in, in that kind of situation, is if you've really put your best forward into it, then you can be happy with the results. You feel like you've tried your best. You've really put your effort into it. And maybe it didn't work out. Maybe it was something out of your control. Maybe it was a risk that you took where some potential call on technology or some direction you wanted to go wasn't quite right. But if you tried your best, then you can take some comfort in knowing that you really did try to make it work, and maybe it's just not there this time.
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John Hennessy

President of Stanford University

John Hennessy: I've learned that there probably are some issues surrounding luck and timing that I think are not as obvious unless you've actually been there. Now I say luck and timing, because it's not all luck. Clearly part of it is being aware that this is a unique time. The luck piece is that you're there at that point in time that you have the basic opportunity to do something unusual and to really make a difference. I think spotting that opportunity is absolutely key, and I think most people would tell you that, but being aware that you're in the right place, and the right time, and that you are there, I think is partly luck, and those opportunities come along. They don't come along just once. They come along from time to time, but you have to watch out for them. It takes longer and requires you to be more persistent than I think is immediately obvious. When we finally realized that the work we had done on RISC was going to really be pervasive, that probably took five, six, seven years. I mean, we really had to slug away. Even though you generally think of things in the technology spectrum as moving much faster to the real world than say the basic sciences. Even so, it took us five, six, seven years to really get that confidence. So we had to be persistent, and we had to have confidence through that, and I probably didn't realize that it was going to take that long when I started.
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Sir Edmund Hillary

Conqueror of Mt. Everest

Sir Edmund Hillary: I have very modest abilities. Academically I was very modest. Mediocre perhaps, and I think perhaps physically I did not have a great athletic sense, but I was big and strong. But, I think maybe the only thing in which I was less than modest was in motivation. I really wanted very strongly to do many of these things and once I started I didn't give up all that easily.
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