Did you hear about the historic flight that Richard Branson recently took into space? It was an amazing accomplishment that captivated the world. When the spacecraft landed and Richard jumped out to celebrate his victory, did you ask the question, “How did he do that?” Some people may reply that Richard was able to do it because he was one of the wealthiest people in the world. I beg to differ. Visions do not become reality through financial wealth alone. You have to dig much deeper than money to find the answer to greatness.
Great Visions Challenge Conventional
Richard Branson frequently tells the story of how his dream to go to space began. One night, Richard and his dad were looking up at the moon after astronauts had just successfully landed there. From then on, Richard dreamt of going to space. Most people saw his vision as a frivolous dream. After all, he had severe dyslexia and had dropped out of school at 16 years of age. With a resume like that, how could he ever become an astronaut? This is where Richard beat the odds. What makes him extraordinary was the extremely unconventional way he achieved his vision. Richard ultimately went to space as a tourist on his own spaceship while somebody else drove the rocket. He did not care about conventional; instead he dared to be different and created his own way to space.
People who achieve extraordinary things, not only have great visions, but they create their own unique and unconventional ways to achieve them. When it comes to your vision and overcoming the impossible, be unconventional.
Combat Fear With Courage and Resilience
On October 31, 2015, one of Richard’s spacecrafts crashed causing the death of the co-pilot. Investigators found the crash was due to human error. The tragedy tested everyone’s courage to continue. Critics came out in droves and Richard was forced to look deeply at his vision. How could he continue?
Along with great visions will come the propensity for even greater failures. You cannot have one without the other. You must have a relentless courage to keep testing your fear and overcoming the obstacles you will encounter along the way. The failures you repeatedly face will stretch you beyond your capacity and gift you with the courage and resilience you must have to accomplish the impossible. Richard is a great example of somebody who fell in love with fear and taking risks. Instead of running away from the fear of failure, Richard ran toward it. One of my favorite quotes from Richard is, “If your dreams don’t scare you, they are too small.”
Attract People Equally Committed to Your Vision
Even at age 70, Richard is still a person whose energy and zeal continuously push life to the limit. He has always been a visionary and a leader but he realized early on that he could not achieve his dream alone. He was never limited by his disability or what he could not do well. Instead, he recruited people who had strengths where he had weaknesses and together they flew to space and made history. Great visions might be birthed within one person’s heart, but it takes many people to nurture a vision into fruition. Richard’s vision to go to space from childhood became a shared vision that influenced and challenged people throughout the world.
What is the answer to the question of, “How did Richard do this?” It certainly was more than wealth. Richard realized that a vision was more than an accumulation of things but becoming somebody of inner greatness along the way. My vision is not to go to the moon but to unite people all over the world for inclusion. What is your vision? Never let your dream get trapped by conventional limitations others have created for you or that you have created for yourself. You may have one vision but there are multiple ways to get here. Like Richard, dig deep, summon all of your courage, and never give up until you find the best way to reach the vision within you.
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