The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process is its own reward.
– Amelia Earhart
I think I’m going to pin this quote above my office desk for two reasons. The first is to remind me that action is the first step, but without tenacity, action is a plane without a propeller or an engine empty of fuel. The most difficult thing to do is act, but it’s not enough especially if we want to achieve our goals.
Maybe you started a business or decided to get back in shape this year? At a certain point, staying committed to the action is difficult. Maybe problems arise or you get bored. Or, it’s not working out the way you planned.
Amelia was never the best female pilot – she didn’t win the Women’s Air Derby competition in 1929. She placed third and was a full 2 hours behind first place. But Amelia stuck with it, she kept going, she stayed the course despite repeated crashes and mishaps that made her journeys difficult.
The second reason for pinning the quote to my office wall is to remind me to LIVE. Amelia personified possibility and showed us the intersection of action and tenacity – LIFE. This is a big statement not taken lightly. Maybe you think I’m exaggerating? After all, you’re reading this article, aren’t you? But I challenge you to ask what it means to live? It goes beyond breathing and more than just surviving.
I’ve always hated that phrase, “I’m surviving” or “I’m just getting by.” Without being disrespectful, what does that say about a person when they live to see another day? It can’t be exciting even though it may feel good to have survived? Maybe some days we need to just survive. But not in the grand picture of life.
This coming Saturday, WS shares an article about Dr. Ken Hedges and his 50-year anniversary crossing the North Pole in the first Trans-Atlantic Expedition with four other men in 1969. His story reinforces Amelia’s message – don’t be afraid to explore and act on your dreams.
So the one glaring concern about Amelia’s life is how she chose to ignore paper tigers. She faced her fears as we saw this yesterday in Yara Zgheib’s article, Queen of the Skies. Even though Amelia broke stereotypes and showed women it was okay to rebuff domestic life, she was headed for trouble. In June of 1937, Amelia disappeared under strange circumstances. Maybe Amelia needed a limit, knowing when to stop and when to keep acting and stay the course?
Maybe all this tenacity was just too brazen in the face of real danger when Amelia crashed her plane in Honolulu as she tried to fly around the world. If she had stopped then, maybe she’d be alive. It’d argue Amelia died doing what she loved and without that, who can predict how her life would have ended.
What is certain is her disappearance. We are still fascinated with Amelia’s legendary status but we can’t honor her history without exploring the truth about what happened to her. Amelia’s exploration of geography was a quest to understand what compels our human spirit. How do we push the limits governing our understanding of life? Why are we here?
Tomorrow, we examine the haunting truths around Amelia’s death and the tenacity of others fighting to bring her disappearance to light, despite the secrecy surrounding the truth about what happened to Amelia on that fateful flight.
Check back tomorrow and don’t forget to see our product list in our WS Boutique.