The other week I was in need of some inspiration. I couldn’t pinpoint what was keeping me from zooming ahead. Maybe it was the pollen in the air clouding my judgment and slowing me down. Whatever it was, I was struggling.
Then I looked to space — specifically to astronaut Leland Melvin, who was speaking to a group of scholar athletes being honored at the Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholars awards luncheon.
Within a few short paragraphs, I was ready to soar. He opened with “whatever you do, you can always reinvent yourself if you are a life-long learner.”
He talked about pulling from those things that inspire you. For him it was books such as “Curious George” and “The Little Engine That Could.” Later it was tennis, a chemistry set and even an old bread truck that he and his father converted to a camper.
From those inspirations, Leland became the only person drafted into the National Football League to have flown in space. He served as a mission specialist operating the robotic arm on two space shuttle missions to the International Space Station: STS-122 in 2008 and STS-129 in 2009.
These all became part of his story and journey. He shared, “Life is not about the destination, but about the journey.” While on the journey, he said it’s important to also help others find their way.
In the end, he urged the audience to “Keep rising.”
I may not serve on a mission to space, but I’m inspired to meet my deadlines!