The freedom to fail is vital if you're going to succeed. Most successful people fail from time to time, and it is a measure of their strength that failure merely propels them into some new attempt at success.
Success on any major scale requires you to accept responsibility... in the final analysis, the one quality that all successful people have... is the ability to take on responsibility.
I never met Peter O'Toole, but he one was of those rare actors whose success was defined by a single role. His incandescent performance in David Lean's 'Lawrence of Arabia' is one that nobody who saw it will ever forget.
This is true enough, but success is the next best thing to happiness, and if you can't be happy as a success, it's very unlikely that you would find a deeper, truer happiness in failure.
If you don't believe in yourself, then who will believe in you? The next man's way of getting there might not necessarily work for me, so I have to create my own ways of getting there.
It strikes me that people want to be engaged, and that those who go into a bookstore in a time of crisis are much more likely to be looking for explanation than for escapism.
It's not a field, I think, for people who need to have success every day: if you can't live with a nightly sort of disaster, you should get out. I wouldn't describe myself as lacking in confidence, but I would just say that the ghosts you chase you never catch.
Your chances of success are directly proportional to the degree of pleasure you desire from what you do. If you are in a job you hate, face the fact squarely and get out.
The novelist wants to know how things will turn out; the historian already knows how things turned out, but wants to know why they turned out the way they did.
I'm always astonished when I go into Barnes & Noble at the number of people buying books, of course, but also at the variety of books they do buy and the extent to which they are not the big bestsellers.
To have a childhood surrounded by people like Sir Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh sounds glitzy, but for years I wanted to repress it. I couldn't take that kind of power and success.