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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


George Mitchell

Presidential Medal of Freedom

I've worked since I was really a very small boy. Everybody in my family held numerous jobs. I delivered newspapers, shoveled snow, washed cars. I myself worked as a janitor all through junior high school and high school, cleaning the local boys' club, the local government office, the unemployment compensation office, other facilities, and my brother and I ran kind of what we'd now call a janitorial service at night. So after school, we'd go and play ball and then go to all these offices, and as soon as they'd close, we'd go and sweep up and clean up. So I've always worked throughout my entire life, and my parents did impart that to me, a very strong work ethic. My parents, particularly my father, had a profound belief in America. His view was that if you were lucky enough to live in America, and you had an education, and you were willing to work hard, you couldn't possibly fail. Those were the keys to success, and he drummed that into us throughout our whole life.
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Mario Molina

Nobel Prize in Chemistry

Mario Molina: For me, moving from Europe to the United States was a very important step. I had gone through college in Mexico in an engineering field, but what I really wanted to do was scientific research. The reason I did that in Mexico is that I did my mathematics, physics, and for me that was the way to combine these, combine my scientific curiosity with mathematics and with chemistry at that time. But later, I realized I really had to switch to chemistry as a science. So coming to the United States, doing a Ph.D. in chemistry in Berkeley, it was at the beginning a difficult thing for me to do. I really had to sort of learn much of basic science that I had not learned earlier on, but I was able to do that with some hard work. Eventually, I saw that I could actually master all these subjects, get very good grades, and indeed start doing new research. We started finding out new ways in which molecules function, new ways in which chemical reactions take place. And again, that was really the sort of thing I was looking forward to work with since I was a child.
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Scott Momaday

Pulitzer Prize for Fiction

I was born at the Kiowa Indian Hospital in Lawton, Oklahoma, taken to my grandmother's place. They lived in conditions of dire poverty. I didn't know it at the time. We didn't have any electricity or plumbing. I grew up on Indian Reservations. I was born during the Depression. My parents were looking for work, they found it with what was then called the Indian Service, the Bureau of Indian Affairs. So, I lived on the Navajo reservation when I was little. I lived on two of the Apache reservations, and lived at the Pueblo of Jemez for the longest period of time. So I had a Pan-Indian experience before I knew what that term meant. And it turned out to be fortunate, I think, in terms of writing, because I had an unusual experience -- and a very rich one -- of the southwestern landscape, the Indian world. And that became for me a very important subject.
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Scott Momaday

Pulitzer Prize for Fiction

Scott Momaday: It's important to me because I am who I am. I have a certain temperament. I was born with certain potentials and possibilities, and I have been fortunate in realizing some of those possibilities. I was inspired to write at a tender age by my mother, who was a writer. I was fortunate to that extent, and I did follow in her footsteps and develop a voice, the voice of a writer. That's what a writer does. I tell young people often, "Don't worry about having a distinctive voice right now, it comes with experience and practice. You will develop a voice." Someone once said to me "Don't worry about imitating someone, that's how you learn." And eventually you will verge out and go on your own voice. I simply kept my goal in mind, and persisted. Perseverance is a large part of writing. So what success I have achieved has come about because of that, simply following the line.
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