Day 9: Commit

They have gone down in history as the pioneers of the aviation industry.

Wilbur and Orville Wright were the first people to make a heavier-than-air, powered flight.

In 1901 they were anything but the Wright brothers – they were very much the Wrong brothers.

Wilbur and Orville had just concluded a season of experiments at Kitty Hawk. This had been their second year experimenting with gliders. Whereas in their first season they had met with reasonable success. This one was disappointing.

They had been testing a new grand ideas design. But this you-beaut, bigger, better, improved version of their glider flew like a barn door.

They returned home from Kitty Hawk disillusioned. Quite frankly, they were beaten.

Wilbur was particularly despondent. He remarked that he could see no way out of the “present muddled state of affairs”.

He was empathic that “not within a 1000 years would a man fly”.

He reported to his friends that:

“when we left Kitty Hawk at the end of 1901 we doubted that we would ever resume our experiments, when we looked at the time and money we had expended and considered the progress made and the distance yet to go we considered our experiments a failure”.

It was no wonder Wilbur was depressed.

The brothers were trying to achieve too much, too soon.

By constantly measuring how much money they had spent, how little progress they had made, how far they still had to go, the Wright Brothers put themselves into a tailspin.

They were concentrating on the wrong things. They were quickly becoming the Wrong Brothers. And the Wrong Brothers were never going to fly.

It was Octave Chanute, a friend and avid fan of the Wrights, who brought the boys out of their tailspin. When he saw their despondency, he knew he had to act.

He convinced Wilbur to present their results, from their two seasons of experimenting at Kitty Hawk, to a meeting of the Western Society of Engineers.

Wilbur and Orville’s ideas, however, ran contrary to the accepted ideas on aerodynamics.

When Wilbur accepted the offer to speak, the brothers threw themselves into extensive research to prove their theories correct.

Armed with spokes, sprockets and other bits and pieces out of their bike shop they created a wind tunnel to measure how lift off was best achieved.

They took their focus off the costs and their apparent lack of progress. They got back to what they were good at – solving problems.

The more research they did the more excited they became. They could see how heavier-than-air flight could be achieved.

What brought the brothers out of their tailspin?

What changed their focus from “it will never happen” to “yes, we can do it”?


They agreed to give a talk on their work.

Their gliders  would never get off the ground because they were weighed down by gravity.

Similarly their thinking had been weighed down by negative thoughts.

They got out of their tailspin by agreeing to give a talk about their work.


Want to overcome the gravity holding your project back?  Commit yourself to going public with it. Scary as that may seem it will get you out of the gridlock you now find yourself in.


For months now I’ve been in my own gridlock, knowing I should be selling my books on a commercial basis.

I have been preparing this story for the blog over a few of days. While doing this a remarkable thing happened. I received an email from a Speaking Bureau. The email sat there, unopened for a couple of days.

Normally I would have deleted an email like this immediately I received it without opening it.

For no particular reason I just left it sitting there.

Like the Wright brothers I am being offered a way out of the gridlock. Here is an opportunity to commit myself. Guess what I did?

©  2019 well imagine that pty/ltd




One thought on “Day 9: Commit

Leave a Reply