Footprints On The Moon

Always go a little further into the water than you feel you’re capable of being, go a little bit out of your depth, and when you don’t feel that your feet are quite touching the bottom you’re just about at the right place to do something exciting.
— David Bowie
Footprints on the moon

Footprints On The Moon

Photo by NASA on Unsplash

If you gazed into the night sky on July 20th, 1969, a seemingly impossible feat took place. The lunar module Eagle (Apollo 11) touched down and Neil Armstrong became the first human to leave a footprint on the moon. Close on his heels, his friend Buzz Aldrin, the pilot and second person to walk on the moon.

Seth Godin tells the story of finding himself in the company of Buzz. Snug around a campfire, illuminated by the night sky, Buzz recounted the moments leading up to the landing. Buzz paused as the moon rose above his shoulders and remarked, gesturing to the Moon, "I've been there." Not until the moment his foot made contact did the world believe it was possible.

What do you want to do, but tell yourself is impossible? What do others tell you is impossible and you've found yourself believing?

It always seems impossible until it's not. This philosophy came from a man imprisoned for 27 years for opposing a racist regime. Nelson Mandela went on to become the first black president of South Africa. He brought about a peaceful transition from the white dominated government to a multiracial democracy. He stood for something very simple – equality and fairness.

It is easier to fall for anything then to stand for something. This plays to the desire of acceptance from our peers and harsh inner critic. It's not easy to live and act based on principles. But then again, if you expect anything meaningful to come with ease, you'll never do anything worthwhile. To live a life on your own terms is to take the difficult path. Swimming up current, battling the naysayers, until one day it happens. The impossible becomes possible.

When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education. Her message to all the girls who have faced injustice and been silenced: together we will be heard. Don't be afraid. If you are afraid, you can't move forward. At sixteen, she emerged as a global symbol of peaceful protest. In recognition of her courage and advocacy, Malala was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize.

It's a journey without a destination in mind. Day in and day out, you're working towards something bigger than yourself. You live, learn and fall in love with the process. Obstacles become opportunities to challenge your growth. Does this sound impossible? For many of us, it is because we'd rather hold on to the story – I'm a victim of my circumstances. You are what you believe.

But, remember, when you're looking into the night sky feeling hopeless, overwhelmed or fearful of your next step, there are footprints on the moon.

Howard Schultz (CEO of Starbucks) inspires us to dream big dreams and ignore the naysayers. "I feel so strongly that the reason I'm here is I dreamed big dreams. I dreamed the kind of dreams that other people said would not be possible."