I visited Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, last month. It was my first time in the Outer Banks and I was amazed at how far away I felt when there.
I had been holding off reading David McCullough’s, The Wright Brothers for this trip. It was surreal to read about their experiences in the Outer Banks a little over a century before I was there. Before it became a vacation destination life was hard in the area. You were a long way from civilization. The mail only came a couple of times a week and the mosquitoes bit every few seconds. The brothers were a long way from home and their support system and were struggling to fly. As I read through McCullough’s book I was amazed at every detail of the Wright Brother’s story. I most enjoyed Wilbur’s experiences in Paris. After flying for the first time in Kitty Hawk and then Ohio he worked out a deal to sell a plane to the French. I loved seeing a blue collar dude from Dayton, Ohio, head to Paris and experience the art, cuisine, and fame which came with being the first person to fly a plane. He was treated like a rock star while in France.
I have to think there were times when alone in his hotel room in the City of Lights he thought about those long days and nights at the end of the world in North Carolina. I know he and Orville had doubts about what they were doing. He had to think about quitting and going back to his day job where everything was known. It was hard to work all day and have failed flight after failed flight then lay down to sleep at night in the shack they stayed. As he laid there sweating trying to sleep in the southern heat I know he thought about quitting. Had he quit he never would have experienced flying and would have never gotten to live a luxurious life in Paris. They had to go through the beating of being there before they could get to Paris. We all have to go through something similar if we want to get where we dream of being.
We have to go through things which suck if we want to achieve anything. Not a tough time due to a death of a family member or unexpected expenses with your house or car. Those things happen no matter if you are trying to do anything worthwhile or not. If you dream of doing something incredible I guarantee you it’s going to be tougher than you can imagine.
You have to deal with rejection. You have to deal with mistakes because you don’t know what you are doing because you haven’t done it before. You have to deal with pain from a lack of sleep and taking care of yourself. There is no glamour and no rest if you want to actually do something. Statues aren’t built for people who try hard and fail. A high risk of failure and ridicule is all there is to look forward in the short-term. It is amazing to me how hard it is to actually do something of value. It’s not so much about how smart you are or how great of an idea you may have but it’s more about how hard you will work. It’s tough and nobody cares until you do something which is beneficial.
Whatever you are struggling with today and whatever you feel like isn’t worth doing remember why you started in the first place. Passion will fade but remembering what others have gone through when achieving greatness will help.