The “Moon Man” – Robert Goddard and Thoughts on Leadership

“It is difficult to say what is impossible, for the dream of yesterday is the hope of today and the reality of tomorrow.”  Dr. Robert H. Goddard

The other day, my wife was working through some writing exercises with our home schooled son when she ran across a sentence that intrigued her.  “In 1914, Robert Goddard, called the “moon man,” was ridiculed by newspapers because he proposed that man could travel to the moon. ”  Hmmm…

To quote best-selling author and CEO of LIFE Leadership, Chris Brady, “There’s a story behind this.”

That one sentence propelled us to look into the “moon man.”  It seems that goddard rocketRobert Goddard (1882-1945) is now recognized, after his death, as the American founding father of modern rocket propulsion.  He was an American professor, physicist, and inventor who is credited for creating, building, testing and launching the world’s 1st liquid-fueled rocket.  In essence, he was integral in ushering in the Space Age but didn’t live to see the age of space flight.  It seems he was a man with a vision before his time.

As a little boy in 1899, climbing an old cherry tree, Goddard imagined how wonderful it would be to make a device to travel to Mars.  He later wrote in his autobiography, “After I descended the tree from when I ascended, for existence at last seemed very purposive.”  On that day, Goddard found his purpose in life and meaning for his existence.  In 1907, while a student at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Goddard experimented on a rocket powered by gunpowder and thus began his lifetime of dedicated work in rocketry.

Goddard was awarded  two U.S. patents by 1914 and by 1916 Goddard published his classic document, “A Method of Reaching Extreme Altitudes,” where he detailed his development of the mathematical theories of rocket propulsion.  Running low on funding, Goddard resorted to sponsored research and the Smithsonian granted him $5000 in 1917 and modest contributions from the Gugenheim foundation.

By 1920, Goddard’s discoveries were virtually ignored by the U.S. government and he received very little public support for his research.  The press and public ridiculed, mocked and insulted him, pushing him into a life of secluded research, only sharing his findings and ideas with private groups. Yet, he held firm to his convictions of what he knew to be true.

“Every vision is a joke until the first man accomplishes it; once realized, it becomes commonplace.”  – Robert Goddard in response to questions from reporters.

In March 1926, contrary to the stinging criticisms, Goddard successfully launched the world’s first liquid-fuelled rocket which ushered in the “Space Age” which would forever change our world.

On July 17, 1969 (the day after the launch of Apollo 11), forty-nine years after its editorial mocking Goddard, apollo 11The New York Times published a short item under the headline “A Correction.” The three-paragraph statement summarized its 1920 editorial criticizing Goddard’s rocketry research, and concluded:

Further investigation and experimentation have confirmed the findings of Isaac Newton in the 17th Century and it is now definitely established that a rocket can function in a vacuum as well as in an atmosphere. The Times regrets the error.

Years after his death (August 10, 1945), at the beginning of the race to the moon, Goddard was recognized as the founding father of modern rocketry.

Goddard held 214 patents, and over 100+ of these were awarded post-mortem. He now has the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD, a high school, a postal stamp and a street named after him, commemorating his vision and his legacy.

goodard image quote

Leadership Lessons

What an incredible story of personal leadership, a man with a dream, and what it takes to bring a vision to reality.  I can’t help but believe that if we could only teach these leadership lessons in the general public today we would see countless new discoveries and personal dreams realized.  There are 5 distinct leadership principles that I believe we can study from Robert Goddard’s life:

1) To live a fulfilled life, one must discover his purpose.  Without Goddard’s “cherry tree dream,” who knows where our world would be today.  What is your “cherry tree dream?”

2) Any great idea will take time to develop and often times will require us to dedicate significant “un-busyness” to fully develop that dream.  Goddard used “leaves of absence” from Worcester Polytechnic Institute to focus on his research.  Find ways to lessen your daily busyness so you can focus on developing your life purpose.

3) Criticism, ridicule and mockery will happen, especially when your idea challenges the status quo.  However, if you have discovered and developed your purpose, use the negative push back as a way to strengthen your resolve to follow through on your ideas to the end.

4) Be very selective who you share your dreams with as they may become your biggest critics.  Once the goal or dream is publicly expressed, the enemies of that idea will be revealed.  The Bible says not to cast our pearls before swine. Unfortunately, we don’t always know who will become our judges, critics and naysayers  so use caution!

5) Your efforts may not be fully realized or recognized until after you’re dead.  Do it anyway!  The ripple effect of your dreams and leadership will be part of your legacy.

LIFE leadership is one path to teach common men and women of today how to walk through a leadership journey.  We are all called to leadership yet many of us are not trained how to lead and how to push through the challenges.  Via the LIFE Leadership business, the idea that leadership principles can be brought to the masses is on the table.  We are taking the criticisms and ridicule, yet there are masses of people around the globe that are catching on to the vision.  Men and women are identifying and discovering their purpose, rolling up their shirt sleeves and getting to work to develop their dreams and dedicate their lives to move their vision and goals forward.  Join the LIFE Leadership movement!  God speed on your journey!

 

Advertisements
Posted in Family, Following, Freedom, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

They won, we lost….. Not Anymore!

Freedom series

I just listened to an excellent CD from the November 2013 LIFE Leadership Freedom Series titled “Three Bubbles” by Chris Brady.  Brady describes three bubbles that are effecting our daily freedoms:  money, commodities, and housing.

The money bubble:  With all the printing of money, currently known as quantitative easing, or QE, our dollars aren’t worth as much.  In other words, it takes significantly more money to buy the same things.  For further information on this topic, listen to the LIFE Leadership audios titled “Camel in the Tent” and “Good as Gold” by Chris Brady.  I’ve also embedded below an excellent video describing the problem by Mike Maloney.  An interesting fact is Facebook has banned this video, labeling it “aggressive content.”   The only thing “aggressive” in my opinion is that truth can be bittersweet to the ears and the manipulation from a few, very large banks has been exposed and “they” don’t like it.   So far, they won, we lost.

The commodities bubble:  Commodities are things we need for everyday living like oil, corn, wheat, beef etc.  In a five-year period, 2003-2008, the average prices of these everyday things rose over 200%.  What’s interesting is how Brady exposes that prices didn’t just inflate naturally, but happened out of design through secret, special deals for a few investment banks.  Instead, we were led to believe that price increases were entirely our fault (a nation of gluttons driving oil-guzzling SUV s).  Again, they won, we lost.

The housing bubble:  Bank failures and government bail-outs of those banks in 2008 led to home values decreasing yet mortgage payments stayed the same.  Because the American public had less money left over each month because of the first two bubbles, they defaulted more on their home loans. They won, we lost.

This post isn’t to throw a pity party for the American public.  Many Americans have spent well above their means, prioritizing entertainment over real priorities. The root of the problem comes down to our thinking lays in our ignorance.

We are lead to believe the problem is Republican vs Democrat, red vs blue, elephant vs donkey.    The winds of truth our lifting the smoke screen and exposing the lies that have clouded our thinking for over a century.  Our political system is broken and we are waking up to the fact we are just a cog in someone else’s wheel.  We are at the mercy of a small group of people who purposefully create these scenarios which has ultimately eroded much of our freedom.  

It is surprising how free we can be when we chose to live by principles and not opinions.  How free we will become when truth and justice are anchored again by a biblical foundation and not moral relativism.

There are great men and women starting to stand-up for truth and the LIFE Leadership organization has become the beacon for many to identify as the leading place to find that truth.   Godspeed on your journey to truth.  Matt

Posted in Family, Finances, Following, Freedom, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Beauty Is Only Skin Deep

One thing I have appreciated over the years about LIFE Leadership is the culture of acceptance and encouragement while pushing individuals to reach their created potential.  Michelle and I had a unique experience the other night I wanted to share with you.

Do not let your adorning be external – the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear – but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.  1 Peter 3:3-4

Her name is Lily and I met her for the first time while sitting in the bleachers at a high school talent contest.  As the emcee introduced her to the stage, I couldn’t help but recognize the unusual explosion of applause from the student body.  What was so special about Lily?  She didn’t look any different from the other girls.  She sang “The Call” by Regina Spektor and mesmerized us with her beautiful voice.  I could tell the song had meaning to her as she sang from her heart.  Interestingly, when she finished, almost her entire class erupted with a standing ovation!  When the contest was over, Lily won the talent show competition by a landslide against other amazing performances.

I learned later that Lily transferred from another high school for “social” reasons.  Probably bullying or insensitive comments or…you know, the typical immature behaviors that come from boys and girls going through pubescent hormone changes and awful social programming from current influences like gaming, Internet, TV, etc..

What brought a tear to my eye was the massive encouragement that came from the student body.  It reminded me of the power of being around a group of encouraging and uplifting people.  Lily is wonderfully and beautifully made as a creation from God.  On that stage, Lily and her vocal talent was lifted to the heavens by her peers and friends.  It was a memory I’m sure she’ll cherish forever and one that I hope not to soon forget.

Ninety percent of the world’s woe comes from people not knowing themselves, their abilities, their frailties, and even their real virtues.  Most of us go almost all the way through life as complete strangers to ourselves – so how can we know anyone else?–   Sidney J. Harris – from Confidence of a Champion by Tim Marks

It made me ponder why there is so much depression and social isolation today, not just among adolescents but adults as well.  Could it be partly because of the lack of this type of empowering environment?  Could it be partly because of the current technology that can create altered senses of reality?  Gaming has created worlds of make-believe where players can re-create their body and personality.  We can “Photoshop” pictures and watch “reality” programs that aren’t even close to being real.  Our real beauty lies somewhere beneath all of this superficial stuff.

Watch this video!

How can anyone compete with that?!

What I love about LIFE leadership is we are forming adult communities all over the world that continue to provide the kind of encouragement that I witnessed last night with Lily.  Just like those highschoolers, we are learning how to accept and love people unconditionally, ignore social labels, and empower and celebrate people as they develop the gifts that the Creator has given them.  It is a new “third space” concept, a community where the “successful” and “unsuccessful” come together on equal terms.  It is a place where nobodies can become some bodies, not because of how they look, act, or sing, but because a group of people reminds them of how God uniquely created them to love, live, learn and lead.

It’s time for a true transformation in your life.   Join LIFE Leadership!  Think of it as the best dermabrasion to discover and reveal the real you!

God speed on your journey!

Matt

Posted in Faith, Family, Following, Friends | Tagged , , , , | 12 Comments

Forgiveness

“I think forgiveness is a great idea until you have someone to forgive.” Ed Dobson

I watched an incredible video on forgiveness today and I want to share it with you.  Ed Dobson was the pastor of a large church for many years before he was diagnosed with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or “Lou Gehrig’s disease”).

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed.

When Ed stepped down from pastoring his church, he discovered the emptiness of life caused by unreconciled relationships.

How many of us have relationships that require forgiveness?   I know I have too many to count!

Enjoy the 10 minute video and I pray that someday we all can say, “The list is done” as we look for opportunities to forgive and to ask for forgiveness. ~Matt

“When I die, I don’t want people to be silent.”  Ed Dobson

_____________________________________________________

Click on the link below the picture, then click on the play button (you won’t have to pay to watch the video).

Ed dobson

http://www.worshiphousemedia.com/small-groups/36060/Eds-Story-5-Ask-Forgiveness

Posted in Faith, Family, Following, Freedom | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

LeaderShift interview wtih Orrin Woodward

What an important week in the history of America as Orrin Woodward and Oliver DeMille’s new book launched on April 16th.  Being a part of the LeaderShift book launch and knowing that the LIFE community is writing history is very special indeed.

Take a few minutes to listen to an interview with Orrin Woodward:

http://www.dralvinjones.com/content/01%20Orrin%20Woodward.wma

Matt

Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Charlie’s Angel – not all she’s cracked up to be!

You, my 3 readers, have the distinct privilege of reading an excellent article from my most awesomeness wife.  I have seen first hand how a woman can lead a fulfilling role in the home as a mother, wife, and home-maker.  Enjoy the article. Matt

_______________________________________________________

I recently finished a book study on biblical womanhood and it was fascinating, to say the least!  A group of girlfriends, including one of my personal friends and mentors Lisa Hawkins, read the book True Woman 101: Divine Designtrue woman divine designComing from a background of gender competition (I can be the primary bread-winner in our family – and was for a time), it was refreshing to read how God uniquely designed women.  It was a wake-up call to me (again) that there needs not be competition between the sexes.  The book study was a great reminder to continue to strive to live my life as a woman of God, rather than as a woman of today’s modern culture.

I grew up during the 1970’s and the feminist movement had already left the station.  The movement was a rebellion against the traditional ideas about womanhood, marriage, motherhood and morality.  Would I have been a passenger on that train had I been of age? Possibly, but even though I was too young to realize it, I was already being carried along in a culture that was embracing new ideas about women.  As a child of the ‘70’s I yielded my Charlie’scharlies angels1 Angels lunchbox (I wanted to be talented, tough and attractive too!) and sang songs of gender neutrality and individuality from “Free to Be You and Me.”

Feminist ideals paved the way for my right to vote, the encouragement of a father who instilled in me the belief that I could grow up to be a female doctor in a primarily male-dominated profession, and a culture that normalized my desire to succeed, no matter what my gender.

I was inundated with messages that taught me to pursue my rights, my career and my independence as a woman.  As I grew up, the role of wife and mother never seemed attractive as I watched even my own parents “swap” gender duties.  You see, when I grew up, both of my parents worked outside the home.  Yet, my father had a more flexible schedule, so it was my Dad who greeted me after school, sitting at the kitchen table and asking how my school day was as I ate my snack.

Needless to say, I was confused about womanhood.

During the time of my medical training, female physicians were still relatively uncommon.   I remember trying to seek out female physicians to learn how they “balanced” work and home. I somehow sensed that I was still going to need to manage both and that advocating my domestic responsibilities to my husband or daycare provider wasn’t going to get me completely off the hook.

Sadly, I was so career-oriented at that time that getting married during medical school and starting to have children during residency was almost a distraction to my ultimate goal:  to become a pediatrician. Today, I think it’s embarrassing that Matt’s first gift to me (ever) was a cookbook, recognizing that I hadn’t learned that all-important domestic skill!  And I think it’s somewhat ironic that I chose a profession (pediatrics) where I could “practice” being a mom, just not to my own children.  I didn’t get too far away from my inner desire (even if unrecognized at the time) to nurture children!

I found an article from Kathleen Parker, columnist for The Washington Post, published in The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on 2/14/13, that was relevant to my recent book study.  Her article looks at the consequences of Betty Friedan’s “The Feminine Mystique”, written as a manifesto of the women’s liberation movement.  Parker writes that, despite marinating in the mainstream ideas of feminism, women of these last 50 years have experienced a paradigm shift away from feminism that Friedan and many other leaders of the feminist movement may not have predicted.

Parker writes:  “(We) were becoming unwitting hostages to myths that few were brave enough to challenge.  My own skepticism came to full fruition the moment I became a mother.

pink handcuffs“Unlike (Betty) Friedan, I wasn’t tethered to home but to a job.  Rather than resenting the prospect of staying home with a baby, I was stricken by the realization that I couldn’t.  The ‘strange stirring, a sense of dissatisfaction, a yearning,’ words Friedan used to describe thwarted ambition, was for me the sense of having abandoned my son.”

That’s exactly how I felt as the desire to be home with my own 3 children grew to volcanic proportions in me.  I was struggling to balance work and home as my heart was being pulled more toward my own kids, longing to raise them myself.

In October 2009, Time magazine pointed out that, ironically, as women have gained more education, more economic independence, more power, and more freedom, they have become less and less happy.

That was me!  After trying to work 60+ hours a week as a part-time pediatrician and struggling to find time at home with my husband and 3 kids, I had had enough.  I realized that the common myth that life would be more satisfying in the workplace than in my own home was false.

As Kathleen Parker writes, “And while women have the same need as men to lead meaningful lives, the feminist mystique’s great failing was in advancing the notion that caring for children posed an obstacle to self-realization.”

My recent book study has helped me realize that there is no obstacle to fulfillment and true freedom when I follow God’s divine design for women.

I highly recommend the book! And I highly recommend finding a group of friends and mentors like those in the LIFE community to show you the hope and joy that comes with following your divine design to be a wife and mother!

Michelle

Posted in Family, Following, Freedom, Friends | Tagged , , , , , | 44 Comments

American Freedoms & LeaderShift

“We waged wars on poverty not poor people…”

Below is a copy of the most recent blog post by Orrin Woodward.   The LIFE business recognizes there is a problem,  but what is so refreshing is the solution that we present.  Enjoy the videos with discernment as the language is not child-friendly.  It’s time for a LeaderShift in this country, who wants to be a part of the team to make sure it goes in the direction of a freedom shift and not a  force shift?

Matt Mielke

_______________________________________________________

Posted by Orrin Woodward on March 22, 2013

Jeff Daniels believes America is in decline. In fact, he believes this so emphatically that some of his language in this video is not children-friendly. I apologize in advance for some of the wording in this video. However, the points he makes and the discussion around it are so valuable that I decided to post it. Mr. Daniels has pinpointed the effects of the Five Laws of Decline upon American society. Nonetheless, identifying the effects and solving the issues are not one and the same thing. The Five Laws of Decline must be rooted out of our culture, ending the plunder of working citizens on both sides of the political aisle.

LeaderShift is Oliver DeMille and my proposal on how to do just that. I am posting Jeff Daniels video which states the challenge and then the trailer for LeaderShift which responds to the challenge. Yes, America, and the West, have much work to do, but what a great time to be alive and play a part in the LeaderShift!

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward

Posted in Following, Freedom | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments