The first powered airplane took flight on December 17, 1903 on a wind-swept beach in North Carolina. Bicycle shop owner brothers Orville and Wilber Wright had long been testing theories of powered flight and on this day, their hard work paid off.
Orville piloted the first flight that lasted only 12 seconds and covered a mere 130 feet, but their theory was proven. Powered flight was possible. Their success gave them the courage to take three more flights that day.
However, the brothers did not just jump in their bi-winged motor powered creation and take off. They spent years testing their theories in a make-shift wind tunnel in their home in Dayton, Ohio and in 1902 they made more than 700 successful glider flights. This gave them the information they needed to tweak their contraption, and take the next step: fit it with an engine and make it fly.
But no automobile manufacturer had an engine light enough and powerful enough for them to use, so they designed their own light weight 25 horsepower engine that powered two propellers through an innovative chain and sprocket assembly. Finally their fateful day came when all of their theories, all of their planning, all of their experimenting, and all of their hard work would come together. The engine was started by hand, Orville took his seat between the propellers, a heavy lead weight on a tower was tethered to the front of the plane and upon Orville’s signal, was dropped. The rope tightened, the plane lurched forward, the engine roared and the first powered air flight happened.
Previous to their successful flight, many of the theories they had tested proved to not work. Many did. Knowing the difference made the difference. They took what they knew worked and worked to make history.
[Tweet “Every idea you have, every dream you imagine requires testing!”]
Every idea you have, every dream you imagine requires testing: Will it work or not? Can it actually be done? What have I missed? Who can help me make it work? What else needs to be considered?
As the Wright brothers discovered, reality is a two-sided coin: Sometimes it pokes you the eye and hurts like the dickens. Sometimes it shocks you by showing you just how good you are.
The good news about reality is that when you find out what works and what does NOT work, you are far ahead of anyone else, and there is only one way to find out – take action.
What ideas, what dreams are you hiding in your heart? What plans do you have that are on paper but have never been put to the test?
[Tweet “Proceed forward. Get out and try something new.”]
Proceed forward. Get out and try something new. Test them in the light of day. Do NOT fear failure, but see failure as a lesson in life.
Nothing significant has ever been accomplished by writing a business plan, talking for hours, praying for help, forecasting results, and analyzing and measuring until the cows come home.
Significance happens when action is taken and you find out how much you know, what you can do and how much more that must be done.
©2015 Ronald D. Ross
- 4.2: Proceed Forward – Calms Your Fears
- 4.4: Proceed Forward – Improves Your Skills