At 11.05am today Tim flies to the International Space Station – covered by the world’s media. You can catch this live on BBC One, with a StarGazing Live being aired tonight at 7pm as he docks.
For me and my brother, Keith, this is a completely surreal time. You see, Tim has been one of my brother’s two oldest and closest friends since they were 11. Our family photo albums have a fair smattering of photos of Tim and Keith taken over the years. There’s a great photo of them playing subutteo (remember that game?!) on our living room floor at aged 12 or so, grinning inanly into the camera. A while back I came across photos from Keith’s 18th where two puny small boys had turned into 6 foot plus teenagers drinking Fosters (let’s not mention the photographic evidence of the perm I’d had done in the same set of photos!!)!
These are personal family photos, so apologies that I’m not putting them in here for all to see. It’s very strange to have someone you’ve known for so long to suddenly become public property, but we shall look forward to seeing him next year when he returns to Earth and hopefully give him, Rebecca and the boys some time away from the media spotlight.
What I have observed over the years (decades) is how Tim has grown as a person. From a young boy wanting to fly fighter jets to then helicopters (via a spell as a Commander with the British Army having trained at Sandhurst).
Sitting with him over dinner at Keith’s wedding, Tim and I had a long conversation about flying Chinooks. Not something I personally have any experience of, but by that point he was training others in flying helicopters, and promised me a flight in one one day (which, I might add, is a promise he still owes me). At that point he’d reached the pinnacle of his dreams, and you’d think that flying fast planes and helicopters was quite enough for most.
But, no, obviously not. The next thing we’d heard was that he’d been accepted (well, after many tests and trials!) as Britain’s first Astronaut. As a family I can remember us saying – “What??! Who?? Tim??? OUR Tim????” – somewhat incredulously!
And so today, he’s fulfilling this new dream and will no doubt be on the news channels for quite some time to come.
What is interesting for us as business owners though, are two things.
Firstly his ongoing focus for one dream at that time.
Fly jets. Check.
Fly helicopters. Check.
Fly a rocket. Check (by the end of today anyway).
For each mountain he climbed, he focused on getting to the top of one before he decided upon and focused on the next one.
The second thing is that he has never changed who he is. He has always been a kind, lovely, humble and genuine person. From a young boy, to being a teenager, to being my darts partner one evening in a dodgy South London pub in our twenties (we lost – mainly down to my lack of dart playing ability), to well into adult hood. He has always been true to himself and who he is.
And it’s this combination that I think we can all take inspiration from. Remain true to yourself with your feet planted firmly on the ground, whilst you stay focused on climbing one mountain at a time. And through doing this, who knows where you could be heading – it doesn’t all necessarily need to be mapped out today.
For today, for now, just focus on your one main goal. When you’ve achieved that, then you’ll be able to see where to go next.
Enjoy each stage as it comes along and tick your own list off over time.
Meanwhile take inspiration from, and enjoy, the TV coverage today.
Dedicated to your Success
*Pic courtesy of The Telegraph