I was a space-race-smitten 14 year old kid when Neil Armstrong stepped on the moon 50 years ago tomorrow, July 20, 1969. It was THE huge, earth-shaking achievement of 1960s technology. It is forever etched in my memory.
I recall staring in amazement at the TV cabinet console, late at night, in a house my parents rented at the beach for the week. I will never forget Walter Cronkite’s adept coverage, with his wise commentary, sage insights, and facial expression of relief and amazement at the achievement, just like a 14 year old. The whole world saw it for the first time: a human walking, no hopping, on the moon!
Footsteps left indelibly, an American flag propped since there is no moon wind to flap in.
But what did it take to get him on the surface of the moon? Thousands of unsung heroes worked as a mighty team to bend science and technology to make his steps possible. Most will never be recognized. It started with JFK’s May 25, 1961 vision of the accomplishment before then end of the 1960s, and unfortunately, he never lived long enough to see it come to pass. This saga is so well documented by Douglas Brinkley in his book “American Moonshot.”
The LinkedIn tie-in, you ask? Where’s Marc going with this, you wonder? OK, I’ll tell you:
Your career-trajectory-to-date, as you tell it on LinkedIn, is a cooperative effort of your former and present colleagues, teachers, mentors, friends, competitors, vendors, and everyone with you who has had their intellect and skills rub off on you. And vice versa.
You are a bi-product of the experience, influencers, and knowledge you have accumulated. You are never finished in your journey.
From a mere orbiting monkey around the earth to placing seemingly-inexhaustible robots roaming on Mars, to landing explosives via a drone on an asteroid and collecting the debris to return for earthly study, in my lifetime NASA continues to conjure new dreams, then plan, execute, and crush the mental boundaries.
So can you. You morph every day, just a little less dramatically than launching a rocket and having it return to a landing pad in the ocean.
You learn from errors and dare to dream further.
You cautiously step in new territory as you progress.
You collect data and experience so others associated with you can progress with and beyond you.
Be a dreamer and pursue your audacious goal. Tell us as you progress. Make one small step along the way to that giant leap. And be sure to show us how you launched through the wild ride, on LinkedIn.