This past summer I went on an amazing vacation with the family to Kitty Hawk, NC. Kitty Hawk is where the first flight took place in 1903.
We went to the Wright Brothers Museum and learned all about the fascinating pair from Dayton, Ohio and their flying machine.
Feeling like I wanted to learn more, I read an amazing book, “The Wright Brothers” by David McCullough.
Here are some things about the Wright Brothers I think we can all learn from:
They were never satisfied – Sure, they were proud of their accomplishments but they were constantly thinking about what was ahead. In fact, after an impressive flight dealing with almost impossible winds, Wilbur Wright told the press, “A man who works for the immediate present and it’s immediate rewards is nothing but a fool.”
Application: We definitely want to be proud of our fitness achievements but it’s important to always have more to strive towards.
They remained true to themselves – Most people let fame get to their head. The Wrights didn’t squander their money or their life. They didn’t start taking advantage of people.
There had been an amazing homecoming for these two after people found out what they accomplished. Everyone wanted to honor the two brothers that changed the world like no other.
McCullough said of them, ” For all they had seen and done, the unprecedented glory bestowed on them, it had by all signs neither changed them nor turned their heads in the least.”
There was no boasting, no preening, no getting too big for their britches, as said, and it was this almost as much as their phenomenal achievements that was so greatly admired.
Application: I think when vanity is the only reason for your fitness goals, it won’t last. There has to be a deeper reason why.
They never gave up – The Wright Brothers were ridiculed for years. Almost everyone thought they were crazy for spending so much time trying to fly like the birds.
In fact, it was 10 years before they received any recognition. That didn’t stop them. They had unwavering belief and as unyielding resolve.
Even in the midst of a parade to honor them, they slipped away to work on their craft. They failed countless times. They spent hours upon hours building, thinking, and calculating. Usually after a tremendous amount of effort, something would go wrong, like a crash.
Application: Never give up. Ever. I don’t care how long it takes. Don’t give up.
They didn’t waste time worrying about the past. They kept moving forward. Unlike many others who tried before them, they didn’t have the advantage of education, support, or money.
They never worked Sundays – they refused to work on the Lord’s day, no matter what. We all need some time to rest and recharge. If the first men to fly through the sky can afford a day completely off, we have no excuse.
They didn’t hate – Of course, the Wrights had a lot of naysayers.
However, they didn’t reciprocate and always handled themselves with dignity.
When French aviator, Blerot flew the English Channel, they didn’t hate on him. They were confident in their own abilities.
Wilbur Wright told the NY Times, “I know him well and he is just the kind of man to accomplish such an undertaking. He is apparently without fear, and what sets out to do he generally accomplishes.”
Application – When you see someone doing well, be happy for them. You know they had to sacrifice something to get where they are.
I hope you are just a little more inspired after hearing more about the Wright Brothers.
I get so pumped up after reading stories like theirs. If they can change the world in such a large way, we can certainly change our health or physique.
They dreamed big and worked hard each day to achieve it.
If we follow the same formula, we may astonish ourselves.
Just 2 short years before the first recorded flight Wilbur told Orville it would be 50 years before flight.
Billy Hofacker – Owner & Transformation Coach at Total Body Boot Camp – BS, CSCS