Saying No to Interruptions
The world would be so different, if everyone who was told no got sidetracked by the interruptions of their dreams and listened to those naysayers to give up on their dream. We, too, must learn to say no to these interruptions and stay focused on our dreams.
There were many inventors, scientists and engineers such as Ford, Honda, Einstein, Edison, Newton, so many of these pioneers of our culture, studies and products that were told they were ordinary, stupid and worthless. Most of them were just at the wrong place, at the wrong time doing the wrong thing, constantly interrupted, but they stayed focused their passion, doing things that no one believed in or thought had any value or potential.
Harland David Sanders, aka Colonel Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken was rejected ONE THOUSAND AND NINE TIMES before he finally found a restaurant to accept his recipe. But he did not let those interruptions stop him and look at his success because of that!
I used this picture of the airplane because the Wright Brothers, inventors of the first successful airplane are a classic example of two people who said no to the interruptions.
As children, they were encouraged creatively and in an educational setting. Their father encouraged debate and whatever interests they had. In 1878, when Orville and Wilbur were ages 7 and 11, their father brought them a toy “helicopter,” made of cork, bamboo, and paper, with a rubber band to twirl its twin blades.
Of course, they became interested in the idea of flight and over the next few years, Wilbur and Orville tried to build these themselves. THey could not properly scale the project and have it fly. They decided to fly kites instead.
After a couple of sport related injuries, Wilbur started experiencing anxiety and depression and withdrew from everyday activities. During this time, Wilbur cared for his mother Susan, who was dying from tuberculosis. He also read extensively from the family library.
In 1889, the brothers designed and built a printing press, and began publishing a weekly then a daily paper. In 1892, they opened a bicycle shop, and in 1896 started manufacturing their own brand. Orville invented a self-oiling wheel hub. That same year German aviator Otto Lilienthal died in a glider crash, but his pioneering work showed that manned flight was feasible, which sparked a renewed interest in the Wright brothers.
They set out to learn everything they could about the subject, gathering and reading whatever they could, and later designing experiments. After numerous attempts at creating flying machines, several years of hard work, hundreds of interruptions, and tons of failed prototypes, the brothers finally created a plane that could get airborne and stay there. The Wright brothers developed the first effective airplane, and made the historic flight in 1903. Only five people were interested in watching this flight. There were no reporters, no potential investors or buyers.
In 1905, the Wright brothers built an airplane that could fly for more than half an hour at a time. They began to try to sell their invention. Although they were interested in commercializing the technology, they first approached the US and French government. Finally, they got an opportunity to show in France, but it was damaged in transit.
Just as they were gaining traction, the worst happened.
During a test flight for the US Military, Orville took a lieutenant up in a test flight. All was well, as the craft made several circles above the Fort Myer parade grounds, but after a loud bang from a rear cracked propeller blade, everything went south. Wright decided to cut power and attempt to glide the plane back to earth. The plane took a nosedive just 50 feet above the ground. Struggling, at approximately ten feet off the ground, Orville regained control of the craft, but it was too late. The Wright flyer crash-landed into a ravine at the far end of the field.
Orville survived but the lieutenant didn’t live past a few hours. Of course, they finally got publicity but for all the wrong reasons. A year later, they eventually completed the tests for the US government and in 1908 Orville made the world’s first flight of over one hour at Fort Myer, Virginia, in a demonstration for the U.S. army, which subsequently made the Wright planes the world’s first military airplanes. In the mean time, Wilbur made over 100 flights near Le Mans, France lasting over 2 hours, breaking his brother’s record.
After Wilbur died of typhoid fever, Orville struggled with different organizations and engineers over recognition for the claim of being the first official flyer. The Wrights sued several other pilots and engineers for copyright infringement, as the other pilots were claiming their designs were the first successful flights.
When a team of engineers and airplane enthusiasts attempted to copy the original Wright Flyer on the hundredth anniversary, they couldn’t get it off the ground. Even with the original plans and hey were copying off of Wright’s plans, they needn’t create anything, and yet they couldn’t do it.
These brothers battled depression and family illness before starting the bicycle shop that would lead them to experimenting with flight. After numerous attempts at creating flying machines, several years of hard work, and tons of failed prototypes, the brothers finally created a plane that could get airborne and stay there.
From people and lack of support to problems with the elements, the Wright brothers came across many interruptions, but they were able to focus on their passions to develop something that works. We too must learn to say no these interruptions and stay focused on our dreams.
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