On Sunday 11th July, the boys and I watched the live stream of Unity22 – Virgin Galactic’s first fully crewed spaceflight.

My children weren’t so impressed or interested when I started talking about having to watch this event. But somehow, the excitement as I waited for the launch caught up and they joined me.

My interest was 3-fold:

  • I was watching history in the making.
  • I’ve always loved space.
  • It’s always exciting seeing someone achieve a long-life dream. Going to space has been Richard Branson’s dream since he was a child. He achieved it with this flight.

The trip wasn’t that long as it lasted less than 2 hours. They reached a height of 86km (282,000 feet) above the earth’s surface and experienced weightlessness for 4 minutes.

But this article is not a science lesson. It’s about the achievement of long-held goals. It’s also about the power of focus and determination.

There’s always another mountain to scale

When the spacecraft landed back on earth, my son asked, “Mum, what will Richard Branson do now that he’s achieved his goals…all of them?

My response was that there’s always another mountain to scale. Reaching the top of a mountain is the beginning of coming down so that you start climbing another mountain. So to me, this trip and the achievement are the beginning of something bigger.

There are so many options that arise now that this goal has been achieved including:

  • Work on staying longer in space.
  • Make a bigger spacecraft to cater for the masses who want to go to space. The ticket costs $250,000 and as of today, over 600 people have paid deposits to book seats.
  • Create a spacecraft that can launch on its own from the ground just like a plane.

There are endless possibilities including improving this model, creating new models, or doing things a different way.

After the trip, Branson revealed his next goal which is really what he’s been saying all along. He wants to make space travel more accessible and affordable to everyone, not just to a few people.

By doing so, he wants to change the world because when someone sees the world from space, they come back as a changed person.

In his words on the Virgin Galactic website, “We are at the vanguard of a new industry determined to pioneer twenty-first-century spacecraft, which will open space to everybody — and change the world for good.”

This dream may sound vague at face value. Also, it probably may not be achieved in Branson’s lifetime. However, his mission hasn’t wavered, not even when disaster struck previous launches. He’s maintained focus, worked with a high powered team, recalibrated when necessary…and achieved a personal milestone along the way.

We can argue about his motive or the high price tag. We can argue about whether or not they actually reached space. There’s a lot to criticize if we want to and the critics are already at it! But we cannot ignore the fact that this is an achievement of a lifetime.

You’ve achieved your goals, now what?

Since watching this event, our dinnertime conversations are mainly focused on goal setting and achievement. Luckily, goals are not a new thing in my home.

For one, my childrens’ education system requires them to set daily, weekly and term goals. We also set annual and quarterly goals as a family and keep track monthly. We don’t always hit our goals, but there’s always movement forward.

My message to my children now is for them to dream big and stay true to their dreams.

I practically forced them to watch this event not just because it was history being made. I also wanted to help them realize that if you focus on your dreams long enough, you have a very high chance of achieving them.

Each time you achieve a goal or dream, it gives you the momentum to push for something bigger or better. But you have to get there first, and that requires commitment, consistency and action.

[Tweet “Each time you achieve a goal or dream, it gives you the momentum to push for something bigger or better.”]

Some AHAs after watching this event

Here are some of the key highlights and AHA’s we’ve had:

  1. Your dreams are valid.
  2. If you focus on your dreams long enough, you have a high chance of achieving them.
  3. Even if you don’t achieve your dreams, the journey to the dream is more than worthwhile.
  4. Parents play a big role in helping their children dream big.
  5. Mothers don’t have to lose themselves and their dreams just because they are mothers and/or wives. Richard Branson’s mother played a big role in creating a love for adventure in her children. She also taught them to go for their dreams full blast.
  6. There’s always another mountain to climb. Just be sure you’re climbing the right mountain.
  7. You also need to pause in between scaling mountains so as to rest, relax, reflect and rejuvenate before planning about your next mountain.
  8. The education system needs to change to match the world. Social studies, science, physics, and biology should not be written in books. There should be online curriculums because life is changing very fast and what’s in the books becomes obsolete quickly. We need a system that gets updated in real-time.
  9. On the other hand, it’s important to recognize that goal achievement has both positive and negative aspects. We don’t get to see the negative aspects because they are personal to the achiever. That’s why it’s important to pause and reflect before starting off on your next mountain.

The discussions about goals and dreams are still going on. Hopefully, there’ll be an accompanying blog post another day.

[Tweet “Mothers don’t have to lose themselves and their dreams just because they are mothers and/or wives.”]

What’s your next step?

While this trip was a test flight, Richard Branson did achieve his lifelong goal of going to space. It’s now time for him to scale his next mountain or frontier.

We may not all have the focus, determination, mindset and resources that he has. But we all have dreams. We all have goals. All goals and dreams are valid.

Your goals and dreams don’t have to be big and audacious. But they have to mean something to you. After all, there’s no need to work long and hard on something that you’re not emotionally invested in, is there?

In a previous post, I asked the question, “Have you given your dreams your all?” When you look back at the goals you’ve set for the year or the dreams you’ve had for many years, have you done your level best to achieve them?

If you have achieved your most desired goals and dreams, have you taken time to pause and reflect before starting to scale the next mountain?

And if you are already scaling your next mountain, how can you get to the top faster and in a more effective way than before?

[Tweet “We all have dreams. We all have goals. All goals and dreams are valid.”]

We may not have control over life. But we do have control of what we do each day, week, month and year that we are alive. Make the most of your time. Go for your dreams and give them your all. And who knows, you may just find yourself travelling to space too if that is one of your dreams!

(Image credit: Virgin Galactic)



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