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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


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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David Ho

AIDS Research Pioneer

David Ho: I encountered an array of receptions from the kids. As you might expect, some kids are cruel and if you can't say anything, they make fun of you. They call you stupid or other names. But, there are also a lot of kids who are quite reasonable, who try to help. I certainly remember a lot of them. Sure, when other kids are being cruel, it's very, very tough and then you have nothing to come back with simply because you can't express yourself.
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David Ho

AIDS Research Pioneer

We went into the experiment expecting to see some positive effect of the approach, and it didn't come up and we thought, "Well, maybe it's only this case. Let's wait until one and many more," and repeatedly it failed and failed. We were more interested in finding out why because there has to be an answer there. And, that process was pretty exciting, to be the one showing that it doesn't work although we wanted the positive result rather than the negative result, but that's science. You get a negative result and now you have to figure out why because it works beautifully in the test tube. Why isn't it working in the patient? And that answer and that discovery process really taught us a lot about HIV. And, this is the joy of science because you go into it because you're curious and you figure things out and you say, "Wow."
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David Ho

AIDS Research Pioneer

David Ho: I felt disheartened and beaten for a long time. Even though the science was coming out positively, we weren't making much progress for the patients. So, as scientists we could sit and celebrate each successful experiment, but we made very little difference to the lives of patients with HIV infection and that was very disheartening. And, seeing lots of patients go over that decade and almost a decade and a half is quite devastating, but I never said, "This is too disheartening. I'm going to quit." We were learning so much about the virus, one optimistically could expect some progress to come along. And, in fact, it did come along in 1994 when the protease inhibitors first went into human testing.
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