Academy of Achievement Logo
Home
Achiever Gallery
Keys to Success
 Passion
 Vision
   + [ Preparation ]
 Courage
 Perseverance
 Integrity
 The American Dream
Achievement Podcasts
About the Academy
For Teachers

Search the site

Academy Careers

 
 
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


Wynton Marsalis

Pulitzer Prize for Music

Wynton Marsalis: I was good, man. I made A's because I was studying because I always read all these books about the slaves, and people didn't want the slaves to get education. Also, my mother is very educated, she's smart. And my father, he would always talk to us like we were grown men, just in the content of his conversations. We never knew what he was talking about half the time. We'd just go, "Yeah, yeah, okay." Like you could ask daddy just something basic, "Daddy can I have a dollar?" And he would go into like a discussion! I believed in studying just because I knew that education was a privilege. And, it wasn't so much necessarily the information that you were studying, but just the discipline of study, to get into the habit of doing something that you don't want to do, to receive the information, and then eventually you start to like it. I always liked to read. My mother would make sure that we read. So, I would read a lot of books, and I would do good in school mainly because I hated to do bad.
View Interview with Wynton Marsalis
View Biography of Wynton Marsalis
View Profile of Wynton Marsalis
View Photo Gallery of Wynton Marsalis



Barry Marshall

Nobel Prize in Medicine

I'd actually worked this out when I was a student in college, that if I went to a lecture and came out of the lecture thinking, "I don't understand that," it was because it was a bad lecture, and the lecturer didn't know his stuff. Because when I had a good teacher, I would always know exactly what he was talking about and I'd never have to refresh it. I would just understand it. And that's actually something that I've taken into my teaching career, is that if I know the subject and know my stuff, I don't have to get nervous about getting up in front of hundreds of people and giving a lecture, and they'll say it was a good lecture. And so, it's the preparation you put into it, and you have to know your stuff to be able to teach it to others.
View Interview with Barry Marshall
View Biography of Barry Marshall
View Profile of Barry Marshall
View Photo Gallery of Barry Marshall



Barry Marshall

Nobel Prize in Medicine

One of the things that happened with me is that I was interested in computers, even in 1980 with e-mail, but it was really teletypes in those days. Our library had just got a line to the National Library of Medicine. So I came in and started doing literature searches, because I was interested in computers and it was fun for me. But I started trying to track these bacteria. And I found various, very widespread, dispersed references to things in the stomach, which seemed to be related to the bacteria, going back nearly 100 years. So that we could then develop a hypothesis that these bacteria were causing some problem in the stomach, and maybe that was leading to ulcers. And then, instead of having to do 20 years of research checking out all those different angles, the research was done, but it was never connected up. And so, with the literature searching, as it became available, we were able to pick out the research that was already there and put together this coherent pattern, which linked bacteria and ulcers. It didn't happen overnight. We actually thought about it for two years before we were reasonably confident. It was really quite a few years before we were absolutely water-tight.
View Interview with Barry Marshall
View Biography of Barry Marshall
View Profile of Barry Marshall
View Photo Gallery of Barry Marshall



John Mather

Nobel Prize in Physics

The setback of the failure of that apparatus really showed me something truly important, which was: If you don't test it, it's not going to work. People sometimes would say to you, "Well, why don't you just take a risk and push the button and it will work?" It might work. And I think we learned that that's cheating. Nature knows when you're trying to cheat. If you don't build it right, it won't work. So that turned out to be extremely important to me later, because when we were building the satellite, we knew that we didn't have a chance to do it over, and so it darn well better work. So it gave me the heart to say, "You know, if we don't test it, it won't work." That was pretty important at a time when the project that we were doing was running out of money and time and we might not be able to test it properly. So I finally said, "Well, you know, we've got to test." And my colleagues at NASA, the engineers, they know this. They know if you don't test it, it won't work. They're very determined. But it was really important for me to back them up and say, "Yes, we will test it." So it did work and then it did wonderful things.
View Interview with John Mather
View Biography of John Mather
View Profile of John Mather
View Photo Gallery of John Mather



John Mather

Nobel Prize in Physics

If you want to, say, do you design a giant telescope? You have to describe what the scientific purpose is, what you want it to accomplish. Then you have to set up a process with an engineering team to say, "Let's translate these wishes into drawings, concepts." This is something called systems engineering. It's a specialty in engineering to be able to translate the wish into the parts. So that's one thing to do. Then another thing is, if you're working on something -- which I often did personally during the COBE project -- say you're sitting there with a problem that has to be solved, and you're working with engineers to solve the problem. It's been my faith that I'm not usually the one that knows the answer. Somebody sitting in the corner not saying anything could be the one that knows the answer to this one, and has been waiting for you to call on him or her to say so. So a lot of it is a group process management to encourage the people who could solve the problem to speak up. So it's saying basically it's a social endeavor. Science and engineering together are both. And very rare for a single person to do it alone.
View Interview with John Mather
View Biography of John Mather
View Profile of John Mather
View Photo Gallery of John Mather



John Mather

Nobel Prize in Physics

I'd say one of the important things to know is it's not just about thinking of stuff and doing stuff, it's also communicating stuff. If you want to do what you want to do, you have to explain it to people well so they will support it. Science is almost never done just because it's cool. It's done because somebody really wants to help you find out. So you have to ask for a company to sponsor your work, or your family to sponsor your work, or your government to sponsor your work. One way or another you're always persuading somebody of something's importance. So think about persuasion. Study English and writing, and master the art of explaining things. So if your mom can understand why you're excited about what you do, maybe the funding agency will also. So my advice there is to give a lot of thought to good writing and good communicating. Practice it.
View Interview with John Mather
View Biography of John Mather
View Profile of John Mather
View Photo Gallery of John Mather



Browse Preparation quotes by achiever last name

Previous Page

          

Next Page