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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


Daniel Inouye

Medal of Honor

Daniel Inouye: I was an officer then, first lieutenant, and about a week before this attack, we had an officers' meeting and the captain says, "I want you to pledge silence. You're not going to tell anyone what transpires in this room." Okay. His words were very simple: "The war is over." I looked at him. "What do you mean, the war is over? They're still shooting!" "They're now negotiating. So be careful, keep up the pressure, because you don't want to prolong the war. You want to end it fast, so put the pressure on, but be careful." Well at that point, you don't want your men to be wounded, so keeping that in mind, moving up. On that day was I wounded a couple of times. The first one I thought somebody punched me in the stomach, but no one was around. A bullet had gone through my abdomen. Believe it or not, it just felt like a punch, but there's no pain nerves inside. The pain nerve's on your surface. It is much more painful if somebody stepped on your toe. So I kept on going. The bleeding was very minor. It wasn't fatal at that point. Then we were confronted by three machine gun nests.
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Daniel Inouye

Medal of Honor

Daniel Inouye: I had gone to the Draft Board to say, "I want to sign up," and they said, "No, you are 4-C." I had no idea what 4-C was, though. So I had to inquire, "What is a 4-C?" "You're enemy." Ho! To be told by a fellow American that you're an enemy, that's stunning. I could never forget that. I was just 18 at that time. And like most young men I wanted to serve my country. Put on a uniform and do our business. Well, about three weeks after the bombing we got word that we of Japanese ancestry, were declared to be 4-C. 1-A is physically fit and mentally alert. 4-F is, something's wrong with you physically or mentally. 4-C is the designation for "enemy alien." I was made an enemy, and as a result, I was not qualified to put on the uniform. So I couldn't be drafted, I couldn't volunteer. So we got together, Japanese Americans, and began petitioning the President to say, "Look, give us an opportunity to show our stuff." And in December of 1942 a decision was made, was announced in January, that they'll take volunteers to form a Japanese American regiment. And 85 percent of those in Hawaii who were qualified volunteered. Pretty good. To make a long story short, I got in at 18. I was second to the last to get in, because I was exempted, 'cause I was in the Aid Station, and I was in college as a pre-med. Doctors and pre-meds were set aside as essential, and those of us in the Aid Station were considered essential. So I quit school, I quit my job, and I went back and I said, "I'm ready." So I got in. I was one of the youngest in the regiment. I got a commission. I was too young, but they gave me a commission when I was 20. But at the age of 19 I was a platoon leader.
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Jeremy Irons

Award-winning Stage and Screen Actor

My next step must be to go to drama school. Well, I get into drama school, so I did that. Fortunately, my father was able to pay the fees and he said, "But I'm not paying for you on the holidays. You know, any extra money you want." So I worked as a builder, building new bathrooms for people outside their houses where they didn't have bathrooms and that enabled me to run a car and to go through my two years of theater training.
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Jeremy Irons

Award-winning Stage and Screen Actor

Now in my theater training I showed no aptitude at all. Funny enough, four nights ago I had dinner with three other colleagues who were at theater school with me, and Tim Piggott-Smith (who was in The Jewel and the Crown, I don't know whether you saw that) -- he had always thought I would give up very quickly, like in a year or two years after leaving drama school. He said, "You had no talent."
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John Irving

National Book Award

At the time, they didn't have the language for it that we have perhaps an over-abundance of today. Dyslexia, learning disabilities, whatever they are. I had something of that nature and never knew I had it until one of my children was diagnosed as being slightly dyslexic, and when they showed me the results of how they determined that he had a learning disability, I realized that they were describing exactly what I had always done. What it amounted to, in essence, was that I would ask my friends, "How long did the history assignment take you? How long did the English assignment take you?" And if they said, "Oh, it's 45 minutes," I would just double the time, or triple the time, and I'd say, "Well, it's an hour and a half for me." I just knew that everything was going to take me longer. Right?
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John Irving

National Book Award

So much of a sport like wrestling is drilling, is just repeating and repeating and repeating, so that you've done this thing so many times that if somebody just touches your arm on that side, you know where to go. You could do it with your eyes closed. If you're off your feet and you're up in the air, if you've been there enough, you know where the mat is. You know it's here, it's not there. You just know where it is. You don't have to see it, but you've been through that position enough so that you're not looking for the mat. You're not thinking, "Is it up here? Is it down there? Am I going to land on my head? Am I going to land on my tail?" You know? I think sentences are like that. If you're comfortable enough with all kinds of sentences, with verbs and their gerundive, with active verbs, with short sentences, with long sentences, you know how to put them together. You know how to slow the reader down when the reader is at a place where you want the reader to move slowly, and you know how to speed the reader up when you're at a place in the story where you want the reader to go fast. And it's drilling, it's repetition. Most people would find it boring, like sit-ups, you know? Like skipping rope. But I always had -- I could put my mind somewhere else while I skipped rope for 45 minutes. You know, people think you have to be dumb to skip rope for 45 minutes. No, you have to be able to imagine something else. While you're skipping rope, you have to be able to see something else. You have to imagine that your next opponent stopped skipping rope 15 minutes ago. Then you keep going.
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