The Power of Action

Trying new things is scary, but it seems that some people are up to the challenge more than most us.  As a continuation of the last post.  I will share another thought that I had while reading the book “The Wright Brothers” by David McCullough.  In this story, it was not necessarily the genius of the brothers, but the genius of their most trusted worker at their bicycle shop, Charlie Taylor (Charles Taylor).

This could be a tale of bravery on the part of the Wright brothers, but mostly genius on the part of Charlie Taylor.  After two years of testing gliders and wing designs in Virginia, the brothers decided to power the glider and turn it into a plane with a motor.  The brothers spoke to nearly every combustion engine manufacture in the U.S. and not one could build the motor to the specifications that the brothers desired.  It was then when Charlie Taylor said that he could build the engine.

Charlie had no experience what so ever with combustion engines.  He simply did as much research as possible and built a motor.  He machined many of the parts himself, other parts he could order from larger machine shops around the country.  He might have even been the first person to build the motor block out of aluminum to make the engine lighter.  Charlie spent months working on the motor and testing it.  One experiment went so wrong that Charlie had to start the building and designing process all over.

Once the final motor was completed, it was mounted and the brothers took it out to Virginia and began testing.  This was when the Wright brothers succeeded in flying.  Charlie was also essential to the brothers as a mechanic, and most likely without the help of Charlie, the brothers may not have succeeded.

Here are some questions that I will leave unanswered.  What if Charlie had been too scared to research and build the engine for Wright brothers airplane?  What if Charlie had let fear get the best of him, and think that he was not qualified to do such a thing?

For me, these are the lessons that I learned from this story.  If you think you can do something, do it.  If you think you want to try and do something, do it.  For me, this was far from some, “finding your passion” lesson.  It was more a lesson in the importance of action, the importance of following through with what you think you CAN DO.  Some people say that thinking about the regret that one might feel for not doing something is motivation.  For me this is false.  I have found that through the years, thinking about succeeding is what motivates me.  I am sure that is what Charlie Taylor did.


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