A year later, and I’m revisiting the story and the goal achievement lessons it brings. Sally Ride died on July 23rd 2012 at the age of 61, after a fight with pancreatic cancer.
2013 sees the 30th anniversary of her historic landmark, when she became the first American woman to go into space.
She applied to join NASA’s astronaut programme after the shuttle’s development led to NASA wanting astronauts with a scientific background to go along the military pilots they had always used.
Having been accepted in 1978, and after 5 years of training, she finally took off aboard the Challenger shuttle in 1983. She flew on it again, and was scheduled for a third, but that flight was shelved after the Challenger exploded on take off in 1986.
When the commission was set up to investigate what happened, there was one woman on the panel – Sally Ride. Her experience as an astronaut and her tenacity led her to playing a key role in getting to the bottom of what had happened, and being far more critical of NASA than NASA had intended.
She then worked on developing ideas for the future direction of NASA, and it was after leaving NASA that she left a legacy that some see as even more important than her space flight.
After being a physics professor, she launched her company, Sally Ride Science, focused on encouraging young people, particularly girls, that they could and should develop a career in science instead of leaving it behind them in school.
So, if you’re reading this in 2013, think back one year to the passing of Sally Ride. Think back 30 years to the moment when she did what no American woman had done before.
Think of your own goal – is it something that no-one has ever done before? Will you need to forge new territory like Sally did, or can you follow the trails set by others, by people like Sally.
Sally’s company provided tools and encouragement for young girls to follow their dreams. The tools will be out there for your goal, the education will be there to soak up, and the encouragement will definitely be there!
Yes, there will be obstacles and setbacks along the way, and people who won’t want you to succeed. Don’t worry about them though, focus on the positives and you can end up riding high, riding like Sally Ride!
In researching this article, I discovered that President Obama will in 2013 award Sally a posthumous Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest honour for a civilian, recognising contribution to society. Well deserved too.
Ok, do let me know what you think – feel free to leave a comment below,
‘Til Next Time,
Health & happiness,
P.S. You’ll also enjoy this article: Goal Achievement – Are You Neil Armstrong?
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