Posted & filed under Culture.

During WWI, Amelia Earhart was a first-aid nurse in Toronto. She spent much of her free time watching the Royal Flying Corps train in the local airfield. Her interest of being a pilot was sparked and the seed of a dream was planted. After the war, while taking pre-med classes at Columbia University, she went on her first airplane ride. Her dream of flying became so big, she had to make it a reality. One year later, she began taking flight lessons, and soon after, purchased her first airplane.

Word of her passion and capability spread. One day, she received a call that, although quite offensive, was filled with great opportunity. The man on the other line said something like this:

We have an investor who is willing to cover the cost of the first female transatlantic flight. The woman we really want won’t do it, so we are calling you. You won’t be able to fly the plane. You will be assisted by two men. We are going to pay them a ton of money but will pay you nothing, and there is a big chance that you will die. 

She had every reason to be offended. She deserved more. She was just as good as her male counterparts! She also had every reason to be terrified. The trip was filled with risk. Regardless, she said YES! It seems like Amelia understood that you cannot wait for perfect conditions to start the path to your dreams. She knew that momentum is powerful, and that you have to begin where you are and with what you have. She was known to say, “The most effective way to do it, is to do it.” She took the flight, and it was a success.

Less than 5 years later, she was the first woman and second person ever to fly solo—nonstop–across the Atlantic. She became one of the most famous people in the world. Not only did she shatter the glass ceiling for millions of women, she showed everyone that the impossible was possible. None of this would have happened had she not taken that first leap of faith.

Amelia was referred to as fearless, but I can’t believe that was true. I’m sure she dealt with tons of fear– she just didn’t let it stop her. It’s probably safe to say that every person who has achieved something great has first overcome overwhelming emotions of anxiety, doubt, and insecurity. Those feelings are normal, and we all feel them. But the truth is, we don’t have to ask our emotions for permission to get the things we want.

As the new year passes us, we get the chance to reflect on our future. What do you want? Where do you want to be this time next year? What are your goals? Once you figure that out, move. The first step is almost always the hardest… but take it. Make it happen. Even if you’re scared; even if things aren’t perfect; even if it seems impossible. Amelia taught us that possibility is hidden in the willingness of people who try.