What’s SpaceX got to do with it?
I stole most of this blog.
First off, I want to thank my partner, Mike Kula, because most of this live, truly almost word for word, was taken from him, with permission. That’s why I give his full name, which I have never done before, so I can give him credit.
Earlier this summer, Mike became obsessed with SpaceX, Elon Musk’s revolutionary space transportation system. He says “captivated,” but then again, he is not a mental health professional. He wrote what follows as a letter to his sales team because he was so grateful for their efforts and successes as they adapted to this new Covid world and because he wanted to challenge himself and the rest of his team moving forward, into continued unknown. I think we can all use these words to challenge our own beliefs about ourselves, our partners and everyone we interact with.
After Mike thanked his team for everything they had done so far, he reminded them that, for the rest of 2020 and beyond, one thing is certain; (and now I will start using his words) the way we approach, interact and service our clients and each other will continue to present challenges that are different than what we have experienced in the past.
“This, then, begs the question, ‘How do we prepare to face emerging challenges?’”
To help answer this question, I want to share a story. I have been captivated by the recent developments made by SpaceX. SpaceX was formed in 2002 by Elon Musk, having the sole purpose of revolutionizing space transportation with the ultimate goal of making life multi-planetary. That is a pretty lofty goal and I have to admit I did not pay a ton of attention to it until recently.
Less than two weeks ago, SpaceX completed a certification mission for NASA. The mission sent two astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) using SpaceX’s rocket and space capsule – Dragon. Dragon launched from US soil, which is a first since our Space Shuttle program ended in 2011.
Returning this capability to our country was an extraordinary achievement. However, the true game changer, for me, is the way SpaceX delivered on the solution. Everything about it seems innovative. SpaceX used a reusable rocket to launch Dragon into orbit. The Dragon capsule is reusable. The Astronaut helmets were made using 3D printing technology. And on and on. Basically, this is not your father’s space mission.
I will spare you from further details of this tremendous accomplishment (there are many). I have invested countless hours watching the live feeds and reading news articles during the 60 plus day mission (thank you Connie for putting up with it). I’ll be honest, I just kept that part in because it mentions me, positively.
What does this have to do with me?
As I anticipate the next mission scheduled for September, I begin to wonder about how I can apply the achievements of Elon Musk and SpaceX in my life. Here is a guy who began a startup space travel company with no prior space travel experience, then, brought to fruition an unprecedented solution that leaped frogged over anything that had been done for decades. And, he did it for about eight times less than the cost of previous space shuttle missions!
It was while reading a 2019 article by Nic Kocher that was published in Entrepreneur’s Handbook, titled; “Use Elon Musk’s 12 Principles to Knock Out Your Biggest Creative Projects” that I had my “aha” moment (again Connie – thanks for indulging me). Starship is a prototype that is targeted to take 100 people to the moon and eventually to Mars. During this interview, Elon mentioned three key words – “Question your constraints”. The original design of Starship used carbon fiber. However, the molds needed to form the carbon fiber ship would take years to build and perfect. That was a constraint that Musk was unwilling to accept – he moved to stainless steel and, in the end, stainless steel proved a much better overall solution for a variety of reasons. He questioned his constraints and came up with a better solution.
I began to think about how these three simple words are extremely relevant to us in our current pandemic situation. Since Covid19, we have all endured constraints on our movement, how we interact with our family members, how we shop in the grocery store, how we work, learn, socialize…the list goes on. It seems lately that all we have are constraints.
It made me (now I am back to being Connie) think about all of my clients, how they already have been embracing this challenge, being innovative and doing things differently. And it has been a challenge.
It’s all about mindset.
But what I would really like you to do is to question your own constraints moving forward. Just because things have “always been” a certain way, doesn’t mean that have to remain that way. I help people change their relationships and lives every day and I can tell you, the only way to be successful is to focus on what you want. The future of your dreams, the relationship of your dreams, starts when you stop focusing on the breaks you didn’t get, stop focusing on what a jerk your partner is, when you stop saying, “if only…” and start focusing on what could be. This is when a different future starts.
Absolutely, life can be hard, undoubtedly, much harder for some. But I challenge you, instead of focusing on your constraints, start questioning them. Start looking towards what you want; in yourself, in your relationships, and in the world around us. Believe me, when I tell you, it’s not only the fastest way to get there, it’s the only way.