Academy of Achievement Logo
Home
Achiever Gallery
Keys to Success
 Passion
 Vision
 Preparation
   + [ Courage ]
 Perseverance
 Integrity
 The American Dream
Achievement Podcasts
About the Academy
For Teachers

Search the site

Academy Careers

 
 
Key to success: Vision Key to success: Passion Key to success: Perseverance Key to success: Preparation Key to success: Courage Key to success: Integrity Key to success: The American Dream Keys to success homepage More quotes on Passion More quotes on Vision More quotes on Courage More quotes on Integrity More quotes on Preparation More quotes on Perseverance More quotes on The American Dream


Maya Angelou

Poet and Historian

Maya Angelou: Dr. King was a human being. He had a sense of humor which was wonderful. It is very dangerous to make a person larger than life because, then, young men and women are tempted to believe, well, if he was that great, he's inaccessible, and I can never try to be that or emulate that or achieve that. The truth is, Martin Luther King was a human being with a brilliant mind, a powerful heart, and insight, and courage and also with a sense of humor. So he was accessible. I mentioned courage, and I would like to say something else about that, finding courage in the leaders and in you who will become leaders. Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can't practice any other virtues consistently. You see? You can't be consistently kind or fair or humane or generous, not without courage, because if you don't have it, sooner or later you will stop and say, "Eh, the threat is too much. The difficulty is too high. The challenge is too great." So I would like to say that Dr. King, while we know from all the publicity that he was brilliant, and he was powerful, and he was passionate and right, he was also a funny man, and that's nice to know.
View Interview with Maya Angelou
View Biography of Maya Angelou
View Profile of Maya Angelou
View Photo Gallery of Maya Angelou



Maya Angelou

Poet and Historian

We are all in process. And that's what I mean, again, about intelligence and its value. We have all believed the most outrageous things at different times in our lives. And as the position became untenable, as we saw through that position we were holding -- Here is where courage comes in: To be able to say, "Say everybody, you know what I said yesterday, and said so fervently, and said with such passion? Well I don't believe that any more. I have been changed." Now that is courage. So that is, you have the courage -- the insight to see, and the courage to say. That was Martin. That was Malcolm. That was it.
View Interview with Maya Angelou
View Biography of Maya Angelou
View Profile of Maya Angelou
View Photo Gallery of Maya Angelou



Maya Angelou

Poet and Historian

I notice on airplanes -- I have almost two million miles on Delta, so you know I am always in the air. I notice that if a person is very nervous and gets frightened when there is turbulence, it is the moment that happens, even though I am frightened, if I move over to the person and say, "Let me help you. Listen, all is well, I have been through this many times," that person will hold on to my arm or my hand and suddenly, I am freed and I am rid of fear. So it is something quite marvelous to help somebody else. You have no idea how much you help yourself.
View Interview with Maya Angelou
View Biography of Maya Angelou
View Profile of Maya Angelou
View Photo Gallery of Maya Angelou



Maya Angelou

Poet and Historian

It's called Brave Warriors Don't Cry, or something like that. It's going to be out in a few months. It's an incredible book, and I would encourage it for all young men and women -- all -- just to read what it's like to be 15, and try to go to a school where people are shouting and screaming at you and throwing things and saying how awful you are and that you stink. And then to persevere, to somehow continue, keep your head up, your chin out, you know, and walk on in. It's a marvelous book.
View Interview with Maya Angelou
View Biography of Maya Angelou
View Profile of Maya Angelou
View Photo Gallery of Maya Angelou



Robert Ballard

Discoverer of the Titanic

Robert Ballard: I had to wait an entire year before I could go back. The longest year of my life waiting to go back for the weather window to open up. We got back out there. We went out with ALVIN and our little JJ, the vehicle I wanted to send inside to investigate the Titanic. Beautiful weather -- gosh, it was gorgeous. It was the summer season, the perfect time to dive. We went out. We had satellite navigation. We knew exactly where the Titanic was. We put in our tracking network, and I got into ALVIN, buttoned up, put it over the side, pulled the valves, to vent it, and down we went. We now began to fall like a big rock for two and a half hours, we're falling towards the titanic with all this great anticipation. For the first time seeing it, landing on its deck, tasting it, having it pop into reality from the myth that it was living in, to make it real. Falling throught total darkness, and then everything started to go to hell. Everything. We started to have our maiden voyage. The first thing that started to happen was the sonar stopped working, so we couldn't sweep out and find the ship. Well, that's okay, because I've got my tracking, and I know where I am, and I'll just drive over there. Then the tracking went out. So now I don't know where I am. I can't reach out. All I am is a ball somewhere in the ocean, with a little window. Am I a mile from the Titanic? Is it behind me? Is it in front of me? Is it right or left? Then the submarine starts to take on water into the battery systems, and the alarms start coming on. And, the pilot's looking at me. We haven't got sonar, we haven't got tracking, we are becoming deaf, dumb, and blind down there, and on top of that, the submarine is taking on water and it's penetrating into the batteries, and it's starting to short circuit the batteries. It's just turning into disaster, and the pilot says, "Look, we are going to have to abort." "No! No, no, no. Come on, I've waited so long for this moment. Don't abort the dive."
View Interview with Robert Ballard
View Biography of Robert Ballard
View Profile of Robert Ballard
View Photo Gallery of Robert Ballard



Robert Ballard

Discoverer of the Titanic

Like the space shuttle, you could never lose sight of the fact that you were doing something dangerous. It may be apparently routine, but if you mess up, it will bite you, and it has over the years. I had a fire once -- not in ALVIN, in a French bathyscaphe -- at 9,000 feet, and almost died. I crashed into the side of a volcano at 20,000 feet and almost died. I got stuck in a crack for hours and almost died. Now I don't mean that it's really risky. It's probably safer than flying from here to La Guardia. Those planes fall out of the sky, and they crash and burn, and I suspect more people per hours have actually died in airplanes than in deep submergence. Only one person has ever died in a deep submersible, only one.
View Interview with Robert Ballard
View Biography of Robert Ballard
View Profile of Robert Ballard
View Photo Gallery of Robert Ballard



Sir Roger Bannister

Track and Field Legend

When I decided that the weather [was right], I had to take the chance. The real thought in my mind -- and by then I did have a coach, Franz Stampfl, we met by chance in the train -- I hadn't plan to do it. He said, "If the weather is bad, what you have to remember is that (a), I think you can run it in 3:56," which is what a coach would say, so I didn't pay too much attention to that. The second thing he said is that, "If you have the opportunity -- not a perfect opportunity -- and you don't take it, you may never have another chance." It was that thought, I think, which eventually led me to attempt it.
View Interview with Sir Roger Bannister
View Biography of Sir Roger Bannister
View Profile of Sir Roger Bannister
View Photo Gallery of Sir Roger Bannister



Sir Roger Bannister

Track and Field Legend

I wanted to go rowing on the River Severn near Bewdley, and the person who hired out the boats said, "No, it's too rough." You know, "It's not safe to go out." And I made such a pest of myself that my father said, "All right. You know, we will go out." And it proved to be dangerous and frightening but that's an instance of the determination I had to try to do things, and later on if there was any opportunity to climb a mountain, or to go ballooning, or some adventurous activity, I would always be keen to do it. And, it's perhaps fortunate that nothing ever went wrong, but my discovery in Bath was of the countryside. I loved the countryside. I cycled, from the age of sort of 10 to 15, all around Bath and Somerset and Cheddar Gorge, and the sites of castles and country houses. And I remember that as a time of freedom, often perhaps a bit solitary, but great excitement of discovery and exploration.
View Interview with Sir Roger Bannister
View Biography of Sir Roger Bannister
View Profile of Sir Roger Bannister
View Photo Gallery of Sir Roger Bannister



Browse Courage quotes by achiever last name

Previous Page

          

Next Page