Back in the early 20th century, everyone in the United States was pursuing powered flight like the dot coms of the 1990s. In this pursuit, one man, Samuel Pierpont Langley, had what we assume to be the recipe for success.
Samuel Pierpont Langley
He was given $50,000 by the government (equivalent to over $1M today), he held a seat at Harvard, and he hired the best engineers and scientists money could find. On top of that, everyone was rooting for him. The New York Times even followed him around everywhere. Money was no problem for him, he had a stellar team, and the market conditions were excellent. On top of that, he was a well respected American Astronomer and Physicist.
Why is it then that most of us have never heard of Samuel Pierpont Langley?
A few hundred miles away in Dayton Ohio, Orville and Wilbur Wright, two bicycle shop owners, were pouring all of their blood and sweat into creating a flying machine.
Orville and Wilbur Wright
They had none of what we assume to be the recipe for success. They had no money, neither of them had a college education, and the New York Times did not follow them around.
They did however have a quality that made them unique. They were fueled by a strong mission and a passionate dream to make a functioning flying machine. They wanted to make the world a better place by revolutionizing travel as we knew it.
They didn’t care that they had little funds and they didn’t care that they would crash an average of five times before heading back home for supper. They enjoyed every second of it and the thrill was even better.
Then, on December 17, 1903 the Wright brothers took flight and changed the course of human history.
You would think that upon hearing this, Samuel Pierpont Langley would be ecstatic and he would congratulate the Wright brothers on the achievement. Maybe he would have wanted to collaborate with them to push humanity forward?
Well, you’d be wrong. Instead of joining forces with the brothers, he threw in the towel. Samuel Pierpont Langley wanted to be first at the discovery. He wanted the fame. He wanted the glory and more riches.
When he saw that he didn’t achieve these, he just quit and he was never heard from again.
The Wright brothers believed that their discovery could revolutionize the very way we traveled and this attracted other people with a similar belief. These people poured their heart, soul, and blood into the project because the cause was their own. The belief was something they could ALSO hold near and dear.
Be like Orville and Wilbur.
Follow that burning passion and strong belief of yours like there is no tomorrow and eventually you will attract others who believe in your mission and will pour their blood, sweat, and inspiration into the shared mission. If you stay true to this, you will undoubtedly bounce back from any failure because just like the Wright brothers, it is ingrained in your core.
Follow that passion of yours and go conquer the world.