Yesterday marked the 45th anniversary of man landing on the moon. I’m just old enough to remember the excitement the nation felt as we broke barriers, explored space and finally set foot on the lunar surface on July 20, 1969.
But, I don’t think our success came that day as I’ve said before here.
The decision to succeed is a powerful one. And my opinion the most critical of all success factors.
I believe it can be traced back almost a decade to May 25, 1961. But, let me take you back a few weeks prior to that—back to May 5, 1961. On that day, the Freedom 7 was launched with Alan Shepard aboard making him the first American in space. Now, it’s important to point out what qualified as space at this point in our history. Shepard was basically shot straight up in the air—outside of earth’s gravitational pull—and came right back down. He traveled just 116 miles above the earth and splashed down less than 16 minutes after liftoff.
Until this time the United States had only sent animals into space. Shepard became the first American as we raced the Russian’s and their Sputnik Space program.
However, less than three weeks later on May 25, 1961 President Kennedy said we WOULD put a man on the moon by the end of the decade. He didn’t say, “I hope” or “I wish” or “It really would be nice”. In fact, here is his quote:
“Let it be clear that I am asking the Congress and the country to accept a firm commitment to a new course of action—a course which will last for many years and carry very heavy costs: $531 million dollars in fiscal ’62—an estimated seven to nine billion dollars additional over the next five years.”
But here is where success was achieved. This is the crucial moment.
“If we are to only go half way, or reduce our sights in the face of difficulty, in my judgment it would be better not to go at all.”
What President Kennedy said was, “If you’re going to quit when it gets tough or when we stumble or an obstacle arises or we find a problem we have to fix, then let’s don’t even worry about going.”
He made the decision that day, May 25, 1961 and set the course of our history right then and there.
And though he didn’t live to see it, he was right. We did put a man on the moon by the end of the decade: July 20, 1969.
Is this a crucial moment for you? Are you at a point of making a decision to succeed? Don’t go halfway and turn around. Don’t quit at the first sign of adversity. Don’t give up with things don’t go your way for a day or so.
Keep moving toward your goal. Your destiny awaits.