I remember, as a child, being told to follow my dreams. Of course, no one expected my dreams to be quite so big, so soon after, I started hearing, “keep your feet on the ground… you can’t do that… you’ll never make a living doing that…” – I’m sure you all know how the story goes. Whatever lights your fire, someone has a wet blanket for it. I wanted to get a motorbike; Aunt Molly had the story of how her Jim broke his collarbone on a motorbike. “You don’t want one of them, they’re dangerous!
Well, I had news for Aunt Molly – that’s why people want motorbikes! They’re dangerous, and fun, and girls like boys on motorbikes… you get the feeling that the well meaning Aunt Mollys would have us on pushbikes for life – with training wheels, to boot. Not that there’s anything wrong with pushbikes, indeed some of my best friends have pushbikes, but let’s face it, they don’t pick up many girls on them!
In the 1950s and 60s, the United States wanted to put a man on the moon. Naturally, plenty of people said it was impossible they couldn’t do it – after all, it had never been done before, and people had only been flying for a few decades. NASA ignored the wet blankets, found some entrepreneurs who believed (and believed with their bankbooks) and simply set a date.
“In ten years, we will put a man on the moon.” The declaration was a bold one, but working back from 1970, they started taking the steps to space travel. They achieved the ‘impossible’ goal, with a year to spare
I learnt at an early age that if I want to do something, there’ll be plenty of people who don’t want me to do it – but there’ll also be people who do want me to, who are inspired and interested and will help with the journey, or maybe even join me on it. The trick is to hunt out your supporters and stick to them like glue. There’s no point in trying to convince the wet blankets that you can and will get to the moon, why bother? That just detracts from reaching your goals.