Dare mighty things is a phrase from Theodore Roosevelt’s speech from 1899. A compelling story that stands a fabulous example of ‘dare mighty things’ unfurled recently. It held me in so much awe that I had to share it with you.
When the Perseverance Rover landed on Mars and started back images I had goose bumps. Imagine, Mars! Look up the actual landing if you haven’t already. I have appended it as a link below. Mind Blowing. To say the least!
Years of dedicated work and research took a machine the size of a Sports Utility Vehicle and landed it on another planet. The conditions were not easy. The 70.5 foot supersonic parachute had to survive inflating in winds speeds that could well be twice the speed of sound!
Years of testing and hi-tech fabric and other elements went into making of the largest ever parachute sent to Mars. The parachute was three times stronger the one sent earlier and some of the material that went into its making was a product of 15 years of research!
And this was just the parachute.
As if this weren’t enough, Allen Chen, the engineer who anchored the press conference for NASA said something in his matter of fact monotone. ““Sometimes we leave messages in our work for others to find for that purpose”. “So we invite you all to give it a shot and show your work.”
Dare Mighty Things
After that news conference, the internet got to work on the puzzle in a matter of hours, the puzzle was solved.
Here’s the backstory.
Ian Clarke, an engineer in the project has a fancy for puzzles. He solves the New York Times crossword everyday. Not only he, so does his mother. That fancy puzzle took flight and landed on Mars!
Clarke and other engineers figured that there was merit in creating a pattern on the parachute. It would help them figure out its orientation after it opens and point to damage if any. That insight provided a window to tuck in a puzzle and send it to Mars for Earthlings to solve!
A father son duo got the answer and put it out on twitter. It went like this.
And then NASA acknowledged! “Dare mighty things” is perpetually etched in my mind now.
The Spark In Our Lives
To land a big self driven SUV loaded with equipment that will benefit humankind immensely, is an achievement that is in a different orbit! This comes with many nuances. It is riddled with known and unknown constraints and backed by years of research. Just getting this done is a job to walk tall on. For anyone who gave a few years of their life in this pursuit, would consider it a life well lived!
Going further adding a puzzle to the parachute, points to an ignited spark in the folks at NASA. When the parachute unfurled itself, only six people at NASA knew that it contained a puzzle too!
What might each one of us accomplish if we kept the spark in us alive and went beyond our routines? So much so, that we live up to ‘dare mighty things’ on a daily basis? Many of our sparks lie on dry wicks, waiting to be lit, while we are busy with empty lives and dry routines.
The mighty dare depends on our contexts. It may be taking two steps for a person who is bedridden. Perhaps it is setting sights on what seems like an improbable target with health or wealth. Maybe an invention. Or a relationship. We know the edges of our horizons and thus know where our mighty dares can be too.
To dare mighty things is to light the spark within us. That invitation presents itself to us every day. May we choose to dare mighty things. And if you are already at it, may I invite you to consider daring ever mightier things!
The OWL Despatch
This is edition 78 of The OWL Despatch! It’s a labour of love with a short essay and five links for readers. It goes out every other Tuesday. As always, here are five pieces that I read over the last two weeks that could kick start some thinking in you.
- This is the video of the Mars landing. Super exciting!
- The Top Idea In You Mind – Paul Graham
- What 150 Top CHROs Are Saying About Productivity After 2020
- The seven types of rest every person needs. Why sleep alone is never enough
- The ultimate guide to lies and liars : Everyone falls into these four types
Image Credits : Deepak Arora