138 episodes

Revealing, intimate conversations with visionaries and leaders in the arts, science, technology, public service, sports and business. These engaging personal stories are drawn from interviews with the American Academy of Achievement, and offer insights you’ll want to apply to your own life.

What It Takes Academy of Achievement

    • Personal Journals

Revealing, intimate conversations with visionaries and leaders in the arts, science, technology, public service, sports and business. These engaging personal stories are drawn from interviews with the American Academy of Achievement, and offer insights you’ll want to apply to your own life.

    Pitbull (Armando Christian Pérez): I’m Possible

    Pitbull (Armando Christian Pérez): I’m Possible

    He grew up on the tough streets of Miami in the 1980s, dealing drugs and learning how to survive. But this first generation Cuban-American took the stage name Pitbull, and became a wildly successful rapper and music producer, who has put out dance, pop & latin hits for the past twenty years. He calls himself a hustler, and talks here about how hard work and determination have been more important to his story than talent. And he describes the charter schools he helped start, to provide a better chance for kids low-income kids who face the same kind of challenges in life that he did.

    • 57 min
    Best of - John Lewis: The Spirit of History

    Best of - John Lewis: The Spirit of History

    In honor of Congressman John Lewis, who died of pancreatic cancer on July 17th, we are re-posting this episode. It was originally published in January, 2020. Lewis spent his whole life trying to get our nation to live up to its own ideals. He maintained faith and optimism about the future, and was inspired by the new generation of activists for racial justice. He was the son of a sharecropper, and tells the story here of how he grew up to become a legendary leader of the Civil Rights Movement and a 17-term Congressman from the state of Georgia. He describes his political and spiritual awakenings, and recounts how he learned to live fearlessly and non-violently, despite the many beatings and arrests he endured -- at lunch counter sit-ins and during the march from Selma to Montgomery. You'll hear archival sound from those events as well, and an excerpt of John Lewis speaking at the March on Washington when he was just 23 years old.

    • 49 min
    Ron Howard: Imagine Success

    Ron Howard: Imagine Success

    He has had one of the longest and most celebrated careers in Hollywood history, and it's still on overdrive. As a director, Ron Howard has worked in almost every genre. His films include Solo: A Star Wars Story, A Beautiful Mind, Apollo 13, Far and Away, Splash, and Cocoon. As an actor, he made his screen debut before the age of two, and then skyrocketed to fame at five, playing Opie on the Andy Griffith Show. As a teenager, he starred in the movie American Graffiti and the television show Happy Days, and then transitioned to directing, where he's made his mark ever since. Ron Howard explains here how and why he made the shift. He talks about embracing criticism, and he explains why he approaches his work as a collaborator rather than a lone wolf.

    • 40 min
    Best of - Maya Angelou: Righteousness and Love

    Best of - Maya Angelou: Righteousness and Love

    Maya Angelou took the harshest experiences in her life and turned them into words of triumph, justice and hope. Her memoirs and her poems told of her survival, and uplifted people around the world. Her first book, "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings," is a classic of American literature. Angelou's voice and the rhythm of her speech were absolutely unique. In this episode, which originally ran in December of 2016, you'll be reminded why she was one of the most inspiring figures of the past century, and why her voice is missed today more than ever.

    • 35 min
    Orhan Pamuk and Carlos Fuentes: The Art of Fiction

    Orhan Pamuk and Carlos Fuentes: The Art of Fiction

    Two world-renowned novelists, from different corners of the globe, talk about why they write. Orhan Pamuk, from Turkey, is the 2006 winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature. Carlos Fuentes, who died in 2009, was one of the most celebrated Mexican authors of all time. When Pamuk was facing a prison sentence for expressing his views, Fuentes gathered a group of international literary heavyweights to intervene on his behalf. You'll hear both authors describe how they discovered the power of literature, and how their writing relies on a combination of dreams, magic and discipline.

    • 57 min
    Bryan Stevenson and John Hope Franklin: Voices of Conscience

    Bryan Stevenson and John Hope Franklin: Voices of Conscience

    Both of these men grew up under segregation, 50 years apart, and each became an important force for truth and for justice. John Hope Franklin was a pre-eminent historian, whose scholarship focused on the central role of African-Americans in our national story. He was a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. Bryan Stevenson is a human rights lawyer who fights on behalf of death row prisoners in the deep south. He's also the author of "Just Mercy" and is the founder of the Equal Justice Initiative. Their talks, which you'll hear in this episode, are as pressing today as the day they were given. Perhaps more so.

    • 34 min

Top Podcasts In Personal Journals

Listeners Also Subscribed To