What’s the Best Advice You Ever Received?

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QUICK TAKES WITH… Carol Muske-Dukes, Dara Torres, Heidi Klum, Katherine Schwarzenegger & Sue Monk Kidd.

Carol Muske-Dukes, California’s Poet Laureate; Professor, University of Southern California

The best advice I ever received was to not be dependent on anyone – but to take responsibility for myself. My mother gave me this advice – along with a strong recommendation that I choose a career before marrying. (I decided to be a writer – which takes a great deal of belief in self, aka chutzpah). I took her advice. “God bless the child what’s got her own.”

Dara Torres, 12-Time Olympic Medalist

What’s the best advice I ever received? To not think about what my competitors are doing, and to swim my own race.

Heidi Klum, Host/Judge/Executive Producer

The best advice I ever got was from my mom, and that was not to depend on anyone else. I was raised to figure things out independently and stand on my own two feet. So that meant in part to not look for a partner with the mindset that he will deal with all of the things that are unpleasant–things we all have to deal with, like taxes and paying bills and just plain making a living and being responsible for yourself. ??

Katherine Schwarzenegger, Author, Rock What You’ve Got

The best advice that I ever received is from my Grandmother: If you want something to be done or changed, do it yourself. Don’t wait around for someone else to do it just because they have more authority or power. In the end, none of that matters; passion and drive do! Change is a lot of work, but if you put your mind to it, you can do anything.

Sue Monk Kidd, Author, The Secret Life of Bees and The Mermaid Chair; Co-Author with Ann Kidd Taylor, Traveling with Pomegranates

Some of the best advice I ever received was to follow my heart. That’s what I did at age 30 when I decided to become a writer. A lot of people discouraged the idea, pointing out its sheer implausibility. I had no background, experience, or education as a writer, and no inkling of where to begin. I had only the passion and urging of my heart. It turned out that was enough.

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