Friday, July 15, 2016

On Luck, Work, and Success

From the May 2016 commencement speech by Purdue President Mitch Daniels:

But nothing will improve your odds more than the characteristic that got you into this auditorium today. Ask the great achievers of history, like our greatest inventor, Thomas Edison: “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” Or the incomparable champion of freedom Frederick Douglass, who taught: “We may explain success mainly by one word and that word is work … enduring, honest, unremitting, indefatigable work, into which the whole heart is put.” Or movie pioneer Samuel Goldwyn, who said, “The harder I work, the luckier I get.”

Baseball fans here will remember Eddie Murray, a Hall of Famer and one of the great clutch hitters of all time. Once, after his wrong-field bloop double had scored a winning run, Murray was yelled at by an opposing fan who shouted, “You must be the luckiest hitter in baseball.” To which Murray politely replied, “You must not watch batting practice.”

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