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Zip Zoom to the Moon !!!
For those of us that are on in age … those words from Ralph Kramden and the old
Honeymooners were an absolute side splitting laugh. Jackie’ Gleason’s character from the
1950s constantly found himself in trouble. Get rich schemes … new hobbies … the drama of
working as a New York City bus driver … mischief at the Lodge with his sidekick Norton (played
by Art Carney). These escapades provided more than enough laughs and set backs to
entertain a generation. His kind, loving, and supportive wife … Alice (played by Audrey
Meadows) … was all too willing to point out the reality of his mis-steps. Ralph and Alice often
engaged in hilarious banter, filled with her sound observations, to which Ralph would often
Zip Zoom to the Moon, Alice !!!
One of the reasons for the popularity of the show was that so many people
could relate to Ralph Kramden’s mis-steps.
Anyone who has lived past 40 knows the setbacks of career … or a bad
investment … or how troublesome friendships can be.
Being a worker in the space business … and being a “fan” ever since
President Kennedy pointed us to the moon … a little bit of space history
can provide a real life opportunity to not be like Ralph Kramden … but
rather, enjoy the benefits of success … the benefits of one of America’s
greatest success stories … how we really did go …
Zip, Zoom to the Moon …
1. Specific Goals – a young President Kennedy captured the imagination of a generation
with his challenge to reach the moon within the decade. In his must read, inspiring speech at
Rice University in September of 1962, he answered one of life’s basic questions … Why have
goals? “Because (they) serve to organize and measure the best we have to offer” Set specific
goals … modest and daily … or more ambitious and long range … they keep you healthy
mentally, spiritually, and physically! They will organize and measure the best you have to
2 Commit in a big way – Kennedy’s challenge was genius. It brought together political hard
liners and peaceniks to agree on building rockets for peaceful purposes. Quite a creative goal
for the Cold War. This allowed politicians to fund the space program at prolific levels (over 4%
of national budget). With such a big commitment … of course we landed on the moon! Look
at any of our personal successes … when we focus our spirit, mind, talent, time, and resources
(financial or other) … we tend to obtain those goals. Look more deeply at our mis-adventures
… they often involve mixed commitments.
3. Break it into pieces. How did Neil Armstrong get to the point of putting his foot on the
moon on July 20, 1969. That giant leap for the US and mankind came about through many
small steps. With the Mercury Program, the US first went into space and returned safely, then
demonstrated the ability to orbit the earth. The Gemini Program brought us space walks, as
well as docking of two spacecrafts. The early Apollo Program propelled us to lunar orbit with
new vehicles. With each thought out step, we came closer to our national goal. Do we use
that same smart incremental approach to our personal goals?
4. Benefits – our space program has brought so many benefits to our country and mankind.
Achieving that goal was an important part of showing the world the goodness of an open,
democratic society when many began to accept the evil of communism. From the space
program came countless benefits … computers … new materials such as titanium … medical
advances such as dialysis and pacemakers … solar energy … a new generation of engineers
… and countless more. The message … when we set and try to achieve specific goals …
many other tangible benefits come along. Volunteering for a new project is an opportunity to
learn new skills and meet new people, as well as tackling the goal in front of you.
When we set specific goals … commit … break things down into pieces … and take in the
many benefits these activities offer … we can minimize our Kramden-like mis-adventures …
and take giant leaps to achieve out of this world results. We can be powered by this truth! We
Zip, Zoom to the Moon!