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Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.
The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.
F. Scott Fitzgerald
There is more credit and satisfaction in being a first-rate truck driver than a tenth-rate executive.
B. C. Forbes
No matter what happens in a child's home, no matter what other social and economic factors may impede a child, there's no question in my mind that a first-rate school can transform almost everything.
The third-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the majority. The second-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the minority. The first-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking.
A. A. Milne
Science is a first-rate piece of furniture for a man's upper chamber, if he has common sense on the ground-floor. But if a man hasn't got plenty of good common sense, the more science he has, the worse for his patient.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
A first-rate soup is more creative than a second-rate painting.
I will say that Edward Norton, who plays the scout master, would be a first-rate Eagle Scout. He's got all those techniques. If your plane crashes into the jungle somewhere, he would be the guy you would want to have with you.
A first-rate organizer is never in a hurry. He is never late. He always keeps up his sleeve a margin for the unexpected.
What's terrible is to pretend that second-rate is first-rate. To pretend that you don't need love when you do; or you like your work when you know quite well you're capable of better.
A theatre receives recognition through its initiative, which is indispensable for first-rate performances.
It's often better to read first-rate science fiction than second-rate science - it's far more stimulating, and perhaps no more likely to be wrong.
I may not be a first-rate composer, but I am a first-class second-rate composer.
You might lose your spontaneity and, instead of composing first-rate Gershwin, end up with second rate Ravel.
First-rate people hire first-rate people; second-rate people hire third-rate people.
We class schools into four grades: leading school, first-rate school, good school and school.
As horrible as jail was, there were some first-rate guys in there.
I think that, by comparison with $2,000 bottles of grand cru Burgundies, first-rate barolos, which sell for under $100, are undervalued ten-fold.
Atlantic's Jerry Wexler believes first-rate records are made by first-rate voices. He certainly has worked with enough of them: Clyde McPhatter, Joe Turner, La Vern Baker, Ray Charles, Otis Redding, Solomon Burke, Wilson Pickett and Aretha Franklin.
When I teach writing, I have a mantra: 'Be a first-rate version of yourself, and not a second-rate version of another writer.'
I was not proficient in Latin and so was not able to go to Oxford or Cambridge. However, I did enter the first-rate chemistry honours program at the University of Manchester in 1950, where the professors were E.R.H. Jones and M.G. Evans, and graduated in 1953, with the financial support of a Blackpool Education Committee Scholarship.
I can't name three first-rate literary critics in the United States. I'm told there are a few hidden away at universities, but they don't print them in 'The New York Times.'
It's always fascinating - and sometimes a little disquieting - when two first-rate critics violently disagree.
Within me, I knew I would never be a first-rate producer. I wasn't tough enough.
If you go to a second-rate place, and you are first-rate, it is very difficult to do first-rate work because you do not get that critical feedback you need for first-rate work on a daily basis.
A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
Leonardo da Vinci
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