I can remember in grade school one of my teachers constantly telling us “It is your I DO not your IQ which is important.” This made a lasting impression on me. It was only later that I learned that this was a reworking of the Calvin Coolidge quote “Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan Press On! has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.” I realized to achieve I had to work really hard. I never could tolerate being mediocre when I knew I could have been better. I had nowhere near the athletic talent, strength, size, or speed of my friends growing up but I worked much harder than many of them at the sports I was interested in. I actually had a great sense of accomplishment because I was far from the best on whatever team I was on but I knew I was as good as I could be. Thus I was successful. In my career as a scientist I certainly never achieved like many others but I look back and can say I gave it my all and therefore I was a success. Trying but not reaching the peak is not failure, failure is not even trying to reach the peak.