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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


Nicholas Kristof

Journalist, Author & Columnist

I had been doing a lot of traveling, had traveled through the Middle East, and in particular had gone -- this was 1982 -- had gone to a town called Hamah, in Syria, where about 30,000 people had been wiped out as part of a suppressed insurrection. The center of the town had been completely destroyed. It was rubble, this big, huge, vast area of rubble. And I found some survivors who wanted to tell their story. I couldn't speak any Arabic, they couldn't speak any English or any French, so we couldn't communicate. That experience really made me think that if I wanted to become a journalist, that one of the key skills that would help in that career would be Arabic language, 'cause so few journalists speak it, yet a lot of things happen in the Arabic-speaking world. And so I had applied to study Arabic in Cairo, at the American University in Cairo, and the same week that program came through -- my acceptance there came through and Harvard Law School came through. The Cairo program would essentially take me toward a career in journalism, I thought, and the Harvard Law School to a career maybe as a law professor. So I thought about it, agonized about it, and then decided that Cairo sounded like a lot more fun.
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Mike Krzyzewski

Collegiate Basketball Champion

In high school, in sport, I had a coach who told me I was much better than I thought I was, and would make me do more in a positive sense. He was the first person who taught me not to be afraid of failure. He'd tell me to shoot 25 times a game, and I'd say, "No, I can't do that, everyone will hate me." "You do it." And even though I didn't do that all the time, he kept pushing me to be better. If success or talent were on floors, maybe I saw myself on the fifth floor. He always saw me on the twentieth floor. As a result, I climbed more floors when I was with him. I've tried to use that in my way of teaching. He even helped me choose West Point to go to school, where I was afraid of that. He felt that that would give me many more floors in my building, and he was right.
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Mike Krzyzewski

Collegiate Basketball Champion

Imagination has a great deal to do with winning. In my case, and I try to tell kids -- I teach at summer camp -- to imagine yourself. But it's your imagination. Why would you lose in your imagination? Why would you not achieve really neat things in your imagination? Why would you let someone else do your imagination for you? So in all these games that I would fantasize, I always won, and I always played well. Therefore, as a player, as a coach, even though we might have lost in a season or not won a championship, it was like a self-fulfilling prophecy that I'm going to win some time. I've never felt myself a loser. I never let a defeat determine what I think of myself. I think that I win. I don't all the time, but if I play long enough, I'm going to be a winner. I believe wholeheartedly that that came about because of imagination when I was younger.
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Charles Kuralt

A Life On the Road

Charles Kuralt: I had a little insight into life that most kids growing up in small town North Carolina probably didn't have. My mother was a school teacher, and a good role model for me. But, my father was the real one. He was a social worker and, for years, head of the social services department in my home town. And so, through his eyes I saw the underside of society. I saw how many people were poor and how many kids my age went to school hungry in the morning, which I don't think most of my contemporaries in racially segregated schools in the South thought very much about at the time. I think that was an advantage for me. I knew a little bit more about real life than most kids did, I think. And then, the storytelling tradition that you bring from the South, I don't know where it arose, but it's still there. You can't go to the feed store or the country courthouse on a Saturday afternoon without running into storytellers. And, I had some favorites. I was charmed to sit and listen. And my father, who was a New Englander and a little more reticent, not a great storyteller himself, also was charmed. And so, he and I would stand around and listen to these old guys tell whoppers. And, I think that appreciation for stories probably helped me.
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Charles Kuralt

A Life On the Road

I believe that writing is derivative. I mean, I think good writing comes from good reading. And, I think that writers, when they sit down to write hear in their heads the rhythms of good writers they have read. Sometimes, I could even tell you which writer's rhythms I am imitating. It's not exactly plagiarism, but it's just experience. It's falling in love with good language and trying to imitate it.
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