Another thing that I found is an intense interest in any subject is indispensable if you're really going to excel in it. I could force myself to be fairly good in a lot of things, but I couldn't excel in anything in which I didn't have an intense interest. So to some extent you're going to have to do as I did. If at all feasible, you want to maneuver yourself into doing something in which you have an intense interest.

Another thing you have to do is have a lot of assiduity. I like that word because to me it means: “Sit down on your ass until you do it.” I've had marvelous partners, full of assiduity, all my life. I think I got them partly because I tried to deserve them and partly because I was shrewd enough to select them, and partly there was some luck. Two partners that I chose for one phase in my life made the following simple agreement when they created a little design / build construction team in the middle of the great depression: “Two-man partnership,” they said, “and divide everything equally. And, whenever we're behind in our commitments to other people, we will both work fourteen hours a day, seven days a week, until we're caught up." Well, needless to say, that firm didn't fail. And my partners were widely admired. Simple, old-fashioned ideas like theirs are almost sure to provide a good outcome.

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