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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


Donna Shirley

Mars Exploration Program

I always wanted to fly airplanes, from the time I was very small. And when I was six, a friend of mine, a girlfriend, and I had this plan. She was going to be a nurse and I was going to be a bush pilot and we were going to fly into the outback and rescue people. And that was our objective. So, I built model airplanes and hung them from the ceiling and had a lot of books about airplanes. And then, when I was 10, we went to my uncle's graduation from medical school and on the program it said, aeronautical engineering. I asked my mother what that was and she said, "Oh, that's people who build airplanes." I said, "That's what I want to be." And so, that's when I decided that I was going to be an aeronautic engineer.
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Donna Shirley

Mars Exploration Program

It's catch as catch can when you promote engineers to managers. And so, I was looking at the people I was working for and I was saying, "Hey, I can do at least a good a job as these guys do." So, I decided to be a manager because you have to make a decision as to whether to try to stay up with your technology, particularly when technology is changing so fast, or to go into management. And so, I decided I would go into management. So, I laid out a plan: and this is how fast I was going to try to progress and these were the kind of jobs I wanted, and this was the job progression. And, I laid it all out by the time that Laura graduated from college, this is where I'd be, 'cause I needed the money to get her into college, and so on, and laid it all out. And, I've been tracking along very well with that plan.
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Donna Shirley

Mars Exploration Program

Mars Observer was launched in '92 and it was a failure. But, in the meantime, we started thinking about, "Okay, life lives on earth in many places where we wouldn't have believed that it would have lived." So, scientifically, we found life at the bottom of the ocean, living off of just the gases coming out of vents. No light, but there it is. We found life down in the Columbia River basalts, several kilometers down, just living off of rock and heat - life in Antarctica, in frozen, frigid conditions, inside rocks. So, anywhere there's liquid water on earth, there's life. So, we said, "Gee, you know, maybe there's life on Mars."
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Alan Simpson

Statesman and Advocate

Some young person came up last night and said, "I heard you say something about you had to have a belief in a higher being, or you said God, didn't you?" "No," I said, "No, I said a higher being." "Well," she said, "I don't have a faith in any kind of higher being, so I'm a little offended by that." "Well," I said, "then you got a hell of a rough life ahead of you, because you're going to find that at some time -- and you can't miss this -- but you will find a time when you don't know where to turn. And then you find there's only one place to turn when you don't know where to turn, and that's some higher being. It might be the Great Eel, it might be a green jade thing. Whatever it is, it's something that's outside of you that's bigger than you are." I said, "It might be even a tree or a mountain." Well that got her. So I said, "If you don't have any of those things in your life, you're among the dead unkilled." She kind of staggered off. I thought I'd ruined her sight. But what the hell, you have to. You don't make it in life unless you have some faith, some belief in something outside of yourself which is bigger than you are. And a good place is right here. You could look out and see the Tetons and say, "I don't have any religion. I'm everything anti-everything, but that thing out there, I think, is bigger than I am and will be here longer than I will." So, those are things that you sort out. In Wyoming it's easy to do. You get up in the morning and you look a hundred miles, and you can see forever. So those are things that you grow up with. That's the vista of -- it clears your mind out here.
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Ellen Sirleaf

Nobel Prize for Peace

On the one hand, you have to be strong enough to take the hard decisions that classify you -- characterize you -- as an Iron Lady. Meaning, in the midst of what may be formidable forces, you have to make the right decision and stand by it with the course it takes. But then we're also in a society of many young people, children. Children who had lost all hope, and just a few years ago you saw nothing but despair in their eyes. You want to be able to reach out to them with the sensitivity of a mother and grandmother. So in that environment you have -- and I'm so glad that one of the things I always said was -- to make the children smile again. Whereas before, if they saw a presidential convoy approaching, they would all run helter-skelter, because they didn't know what would happen to their parents. Security agents coming to look for but today, if the siren sounds, they all gather on the streets, and most times I get down off the so the "Ma" comes from that. It's a nice name for a grandmother.
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