John F. Kennedy literally shot for the moon.
And it changed the world.
Getting a guy on our rocky buddy in the sky is obviously an incredible achievement. It was a beautifully poetic endeavour of genuine heroism and technological innovation that redefined the boundaries of human capability. I mean like, holy shit. You know that massive glowing rock in the night sky? We actually managed to put somebody on that.
And that’s not even the really impressive bit. When Kennedy pledged to land a man on the moon he wasn’t actually sure how he could pull it off. But he promised it anyway. His casual disregard for the inherent issues of launching a tin can through the stratosphere and landing it on a massive moving mass where the laws of physics are different was truly pioneering. His fuck it attitude set the world on fire.
So if that was possible, then what isn’t?
Take a second and have a look around you. You’re reading this on the internet. Maybe through your smartphone. You might even save it to your cloud storage system to read later because my pallid and discursive narrative style is sending you to sleep on the bus to work. But all of those things are moonshots. Disruptive, ground-breaking technological advances that addressed massive problems with radical solutions that at the time of their proposal had little chance of material success. Now they’re a part of everyday life.
And we should all aim for the moon, too.
Because why not?
There is absolutely no reason we can’t do something amazing.
The only thing that’s stopping us from achieving greatness is a lack of self-belief, imagination and the courage to try. Our ambitions are a glass ceiling of what we can accomplish. Guys like JFK and Steve Jobs were visionaries driven by a noble cause and an intense curiosity to grapple with the world’s big questions. Their driving ambition was to change the world and our perceptions of what the grit of human endeavour can achieve. Their purpose defined their actions. To make the world it’s most possible.
And we can all learn from that. Shooting for the moon can help us create a sense of purpose, which is a craft in itself, and in it's highest form an art. It can teach us things about ourselves we were too frightened to learn. It can conjure aspects of experience too subtle to exist in any other form. It can make our lives really mean something.
The U.S.A flags the Apollo 11 team planted in that dusty orb in the sky are still there. A marker for what perseverance, diligence and uninhibited ambition can achieve. When do you plan on plating yours?