In one of the books written by Malcom Gladwell – Outliers, it embodies the story of success. He goes on to narrate the tale of a man called Pierport Langley who was an academic and went on to work at Smithsonian as a lecture at Harvard. He had a financial backing of about $50 000 dollars which he was funded to push the idea of creating the first airplane. In the the book Soar by TD Jakes he narrates the tale of the Wright brothers who were on a mission with that of Langley although they did not have the academic background nor the financial backing. Furthermore, they did have a team of academics and specialists to assist them in this journey of creating the first airplane. Langley on the other hand had support from various organizations including the New York times follow documenting every stride in his embark to achieve what was then by far the impossible – it was not the American dream but the human specie dream. However, like the story of David and Goliath , it was the Wright brothers who achieved the mandate of creating the first aircraft.
“I have seen him elevate paupers into philantropists, cashiers into CEO’s, actors into activists, and daydreamers into designers”.
When the Wright brothers completed the mission, Langley threw in the towel and stopped his pursuit. The morale of the tale of this Century is that the motive ought to be bigger than self benefit. For Langley it was about the money, the fame and the ego to be called ‘first to ever do it’. The Wright brothers with no formal education and financial backing but passion and burning desire to see their vision manifest. They went out daily, relying on money they saved up from their side hustle to fulfill a mission which had never been achieved before. Each time they left to go and test their machinery they took with at least 5 parts, for they knew that crashing was inevitable, but through persistence they would eventually get there, ‘their passionate pursuit of innovation transformed inspiration and perspiration into aviation’.
The name of the book is straight forward, Soar! It tackles the challenges and fundamental aspects that are related to flight, from moving from one point to another. Jakes narrates the tale of his father in business, where at one point he had a variety of odd jobs along with his side hustle and simultaneously working on his business up until he shifted from working multiple jobs. From being jack of all trades, to now working full time on his business, which is one of the important things we capture from this – is that at times we will need to work multiple odd jobs before we can be full time on our dreams, so we can fund and finance the main dream.
In order to give a relatable way of soaring, he uses the process of flight for planes from ground, elevation, and soaring. Getting from solid ground is one of the hardest challenge we all are faced with, or have faced at one point in our lives. It could be getting that relationship off the ground, getting that business of the ground, venturing into something different, there is a certain amount of both courage and craziness required. Having managed to move from being Jack of all trades to now working on his business, his mindset had not changed much, they often say attitude has a relationship with altitude and magnitude. As much as his father’s business had grown, it could not break the low level of altitude because the attitude was limited, so was the altitude as a result. He was still spending most of his time working in the business, not on the business, and due to spending much of the time working in the business, he could never see the business full – its potential on where it can ultimately go if steered in the right direction.
What the father does continually, chances are, the son will also learn to do, and the young Jake from a tender age understood thoroughly what hard-work was, he had grown in an entrepreneurial family, and although with the determination and drive his father had, there were other things that were missing. A vision to see the future, skills on leadership and administration. So, what we ought to heed is that passion alone is not enough to take flight. Talented individuals need supplements such as creating disciple for the daily trivial/ frivolous tasks that make their entire productivity to work. Similarly, with passion, skills need to be developed, systems need to be put in place to ensure everything is moving in the right direction.
In this day and age of instant everything with a touch of a button and within a blink of an eye you have a access to food – transportation. At the tip of our fingers within blink of an eye we have the world at our disposal. Many of us have become accustomed to having and getting everything just like that! We start a business today and want to reach a million dollars in turn over at the end of the year, we start a relationship today and expect to get married 3 months down the line. Undoubtedly, we carrying big visions of how we want our lives to unfold. However, we tend to forget that we have to start small, take baby steps as a child would do. Eventually by doing the daily essential tasks we get better and see progress. Lest we loath humble beginnings such as preaching to 5 people first – we want to start with the multitudes.
Some of the fundamental question we need to ask ourselves as we gear for soaring is; What? Who? Why? How? Where? And When? In each and every one of us lies a seed, but it is entirely up to us to decide on what will happen to that seed. Its ability to grow – its demise, absolutely lies within us. We decide if we want to see it grow, and how big do we want it to grow – or whether we will leave it to die with the potential it has. Motivational speaker Les Brown asks a pressing question, “if you die now, what dreams, what goals will dies with you?”
With the skills we have, the passions we possess and the innate abilities – much must still be done to ensure that those skills have a huge impact in society. We need to enhance them so we can be able to soar the high heavens like Eagles who are envied by many. Let us reach the summit of our dreams and say, ‘I took all the blows, through blood, sweat and tears, I prevailed”.
Blog post by Tokelo Hlagala, Editor: Howard Zondo