Life, The Moon Landing, and How They’re Connected

by Brandon

On September 12, 1962, President John F. Kennedy made a very important speech in Houston, Texas.

The speech was primarily inspired by a Russian cosmonaut named Yuri Gagarin. In April of 1961,  Gagarin became the first man in space. This was a big deal for Americans, because it looked like Russia was winning the “space race.”

So about a month later, Kennedy – who was still in the first few months of his presidency – made a speech before Congress, saying, “This nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth.”

Then, on September 12 of the following year, Kennedy made a second speech about going to moon. It was a relatively long speech, but here’s the best part (in my opinion):

“We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard; because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one we intend to win.”

At the time he made the speech, getting to the moon was impossible. We simply didn’t have the technology. NASA didn’t have the funding. It wasn’t big enough to take on such a mission, so it would have required expansion.

But America rallied. NASA got the funding. The technology was developed.

And then… on July 20, 1969… the world watched as Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the moon.

This was a legendarily important day for science and for space exploration.

But it was also a legendarily important day for another reason…

It was the day Americans proved we could accomplish the impossible.

So why am I going on about the first moon landing?

Because, for me, it is a great example of what humans can accomplish if we just… resolve to do it. It should be an inspiration to us all. It should be proof that we are smarter than we think we are. We are stronger than we think we are. And, if we truly devote ourselves to a goal, we have the capacity to be flat out unstoppable.

For me personally, it’s been a driving force in my life.

When I first decided I wanted to be a writer, people told me it was impossible. They told me it was practically impossible for a new author to break into mainstream publishing, and independent authors simply couldn’t make a living as a writer.

So I considered that speech from JFK. I thought about how people said the same types of things when JFK announced we were going to put a man on the moon.

And a few years later, my book sales were paying the bills.

After my diagnosis, the cancer had spread so much that none of the doctors thought I would live through it. Not really. They even considered skipping the chemo because they didn’t think there was any point to do it, and they didn’t want to cause me unnecessary pain.

But the doctors saw the resolve in my eyes. They saw the resolve in my wife’s eyes. They saw the resolve in my parents’ eyes.

So they took a chance.

And almost 2 years later, here I am. Working on my books, writing my blogs, and enjoying every second of life.

You see, Kennedy’s speech wasn’t about achieving average goals.

It was about achieving the impossible. It was about the unmatched power of human resolve.

And that’s what I want you to remember most about the moon landing.

Whenever you’re facing a decision about whether you should or should not take on a new challenge, think about the moon landing. Think about how it was an impossible goal that was achieved.

I guess I’m just saying we shouldn’t sell ourselves short. We shouldn’t settle.

We should decide what we want from life, and we should resolve to make it happen. We shouldn’t let pesky things like the odds prevent us from taking the chance.

If you want to be a chef, but think it’s too tough to accomplish, think of the moon, then resolve to make that landing.

If you want to be president, don’t think about how the odds are stacked against you. Just think about Neil Armstrong, making that first step onto the surface of the moon.

Life is too short and too fragile to live small. Trust me on this.

Live big.

Do what you love.

Resolve to accomplish your goals, put in the work, and make it happen.

Resolve to do it, not because they are easy…

But because they are hard.

You guys rock. I know you can be whatever the hell you want to be. You are your greatest obstacle, but you’re also your greatest ally.

So what are you sitting around for? Go! Do it!

Shoot for the moon!

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