Want to be able to fly?

In 1901, Wilbur Wright said this to the Western Society of Engineers

‘Men already know how to construct wings or aeroplanes which when driven through the air at sufficient speed will not only sustain the weight of the wings themselves but also that of the engine and of the engineer as well. Men also know how to build screws of sufficient lightness and power to drive these planes at sustaining speed  …  Inability to balance and steer still confronts students of the flying problem   …  When this one feature has been worked out, the age of flying machines will have arrived, for all other difficulties are of minor importance.’

Much work had already been done in the field of aviation. The nuts and bolts were literally ready. There were no doubt many other issues to resolve but the big problem remained the ability to balance and steer the aircraft. Wright knew that solving this would make aviation a reality rather than just a dream.

A client of mine – let’s call her Gemma – told me that she was in the midst of a project that had at its core one fundamental issue. ‘The problem is, it’s just such a big deal and it seems so hard that we distract ourselves with other smaller, more easily resolved stuff. Then we find we’ve run out of time.’

Of minor importance

A few days later, I read the Wilbur Wright quote on Seth Godin’s blog and sent her the link. She emailed me straight back –

‘Brilliant, I’m going use this to keep us on track. We’re going to tackle the big issue and not got distracted until it’s sorted. We’re going to list all the other bits and pieces on a sheet called ‘Of minor importance’ and we’ll deal with those later.’

Today’s pebble for you to consider: are you using up your resources on the real issue or being distracted by difficulties of minor importance?

What do you think?


Turning over pebbles is the blog of Thinking Space Coaching. 

If you’d like to take action and create positive change in your work and life, why not email me to see how we could work together?

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