The Secret To Achieving Your Dreams And Goals Revealed Throughout History

Here at Unleashed Possibilities (UP) we asked ourselves the age-old question:

 

“Why is it that some people find a way to achieve their dreams and goals in life and others don’t?” 

 

To find the answer, we took a trip back in time to understand why and what we discovered was truly fascinating.

 

This blog will share with you what we discovered.

 

Now let me be clear, many smart, intelligent, successful and renowned people have attempted to answer this question and make no mistake, their answers have helped millions of people successfully achieve what they once thought was impossible. At the same time, there are many who would say that these answers did not help them achieve their dreams and goals.  

 

This blog is not about disputing these seemingly contradictory statements because these two facts can both exist as truths at the same time.  Instead, it is about sharing what we discovered after examining the lives of many of the people, who throughout the course of history, left their imprint on the world we know todayWhether it be through their inventions, discoveries, social activism and so on, they all did this one thing that helped them to overcome extraordinary challenges and go on to achieve their dreams – in many cases changing the world during their lifetime while shaping the one we know today.

 

This one thing they did, is what I am going to share with you, but to understand it, I need to take you on a journey back in time.

 

I hope you are not afraid of time machines

 

We begin our journey in the present where the world is suffering the devastating effects of a pandemic (COVID 19).  As of August 2, 2020, the site worldometres.info reports that there have been 18, 671,869 million confirmed cases and 704,216 deaths.  The most effective tool to date – lock down – has been a double edged sword:  it has managed to slow down the spread of the virus while at the same time bringing the global economy to a grinding halt.  If I were to write a narrative describing this moment it would sound like this:

 

To slowdown the spread of COVID19 most of the world has gone under lockdown with an emphasis on social distancing. ZOOM, the technology teleconference platform, is being used by hundreds of millions to bridge the social divide. The importance of washing hands has never been so loudly encouraged in over a century and the N95 masks is considered the most effective tool used to protect medical providers during this global health crisis.  Nursing, always a respected field, has seen its importance increase on the spectrum of essential workers.  The silver linings, if you can call it that, in the midst of this pandemic are clear; they include ZOOM, washing hands, N95 masks and the field of Nursing.

 

If you are still wondering why I referred to these as silver linings, ask yourself the question, “What would the infected and death count be like now if we did not have the benefits of these inventions, discoveries or practices?”

 

 It would be far worse! 

 

The biggest assets humanity has to fight against our own demise is our thirst for knowledge and ingenuity 

 

Without the knowledge of the hygienic benefits of hand washing, the invention of the N95 mask and the field of Nursing, tens of millions more would have been infected by now.  Deaths would have already been in the millions.  Social distancing, without the ingenuity of the teleconference platform Zoom, would have led to an even greater increase in depression, suicides and other mental health related illnesses.  

 

Are you wondering who we have to credit for these inventions, discoveries and practices?  

 

If you are not, maybe it is time you do.

 

Why?

 

Well, in learning more about these people you may also learn a lot about you… and just maybe, discover answers to questions you may have about your ability to achieve your dreams and goals.  

 

I believe that by the time you finish reading this blog you will have a different perspective on your own life, dreams, goals and even purpose – a perspective where you have a greater appreciation of the potential locked within you and how it could transform your life, that of your love ones and those across the globe.   

Please let me know. 

In the meantime, I want you to step into this time machine (use your imagination) as we travel back to July 1, 1818 in Budda, Hungary now known as Buddapest.  

 

On that day, Ignaz Philipp Semmelweis was born to Teresia Muller and Josef Semmelweis – Jewish immigrants to Hungary from Germany.  Ignaz became a physician and scientist and while working in the Vienna General Hospital he discovered the incredible and lifesaving benefit of hand washing.  

 

He used this discovery to implement a policy of hand washing between autopsy work and examination of patients.  This led to a 90% decline in the number of deaths.   You would think that such a discovery would have been celebrated and welcomed by all, but it wasn’t.  In fact, some of the biggest critics of this discovery came from within his very own medical community.  The harassment and ridicule he experienced at the literal hands of his own medical community caused him to move back to Budapest but it didn’t stop him from speaking his mind.   

 

Ignaz knew he had discovered something that could save countless lives and was determined to share it. He wrote a book detailing his findings but as you might have guessed it was rejected by the medical community.  

 

Again, it didn’t stop him.

 

His belief in what he had discovered was so great that he wrote letters to his main critics where he openly called them “ignorant murderers”.   Yes, you read that correctly, “ignorant murderers”.  

As you can imagine this did not go over well and in 1865, he was tricked into visiting a mental asylum where he was never allowed to leave.  He died two week later from injuries he received.  

 

It is incredible to think that Ignaz’s discovery of the benefits of washing hands in 1847 is one of the biggest reasons why COVID19 has not infected and killed even more people today.  I wonder what he would think if he had the opportunity to read the Washington Post article praising him for his work… quite the opposite of what he experienced while alive.

 

Not everyone in the medical community of his time rejected his discovery.  

 

Florence Nightingale was born on May 12, 1820 in Florence, Italy. Her family was wealthy and well connected.  She was an academic and exceptionally skilled at collecting and analyzing data.  Florence believed that God had called her to devote her life to the service of others which did not go over well with her mother and sister.  Florence opposed the belief of the time that the role of a woman was to become a wife and a mother. Instead, she worked tirelessly to educate herself in the art of science and nursing despite the continued opposition that came from her family. 

 

Let’s pause here for a couple minutes because I need to make a point.  

 

Florence’s parents were classified as liberal in their thinking which probably explained why she was so well educated.  Her father taught her multiple languages as well as math.  Basically, she was educated as a man of that time. So, you would think that when she finally decided to share her desire to go off to be a nurse that her parents would have been supportive.  Well they were not; they were very upset.  They had always envisioned her following the path set out for a wealthy woman of that time: to become a wife and mother.

 

Is it just me that asked the question: how did Florence’s parents not see this coming?

 

I mean really!

 

They “overeducate” her for women of that time and then turn around and told her that she couldn’t use her education.  

 

It’s like giving a bird wings to fly and then expecting it not to fly.   

 

Well, like you probably guessed, that did not stop Florence. She knew what she wanted and went after it.  In fact, she went on to make what is considered her most impactful contribution during the Crimean War around 1854. One of the ways she did this was by, implementing handwashing and hygiene practices in the hospital she worked. Clearly, not everyone thought Ignaz’s discovery of the benefits of hand washing, was medically unsound.  She, like Ignaz, believed that poor hygiene conditions were the biggest reason why their patients died.  

 

Florence became known as the “Lady with the Lamp” because she would check on soldiers during the night with a small lantern in her hand.  In case you were wondering why she needed to use a lantern, the economically feasible carbon filament light bulb was only invented in 1879 by Thomas Edison.     

 

I often wonder what more would have been discovered if Ignaz and Florence were able to work together and with the benefit of light from electricity and not from a lamp.  I guess I will never know.  

 

It is without question that the contributions Florence Nightingale made to the development and improvement of the nursing field benefitted those not only during her time, but since her time including today as we battle COVD 19.  I can’t tell you how many times I have heard the statement, “Follow the data” while watching the news.  It was no different during Florence’s time where she armed herself with her own data.  She was considered the mother of nursing who contributed to epidemiology in being one of the first to collect and analyze data – a practice that has continued to this day.  

 

Okay, let’s step back into our time machine and go forward to the year 1902.  

 

A lawyer, doctor, butcher and two railroad executives come together… okay, I know this sounds like the beginning of a bad joke but hear me out.  

 

The five men decided to found a company, known at the time as Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company, in Two Harbours, Minnesota.   They were going to mind a mineral called Corundum. Geology.com states that this rock forming mineral is known for its hardness and is used in the making of abrasives and other industrial related products.  To get the money they needed they sold shares in their company which, to be clear, had not sold one product or delivered any service.   They were basically selling on future success which always sounds great in the present.  They managed to sell this hope of future success to some investors allowing them to raise money they needed.  This was supposed to be the beginning of a long successful venture. 

 

It wasn’t.  

 

Instead, what they thought was corundum turned out to be a mineral called anorthosite.  Its claim to fame was being another low-grade mineral. 

 

At this point you would think they would quit, pack up and return to their way of life never mentioning this absolute debacle.  They did not and instead, decided to stick it out.  

 

Fortunately, they were able to get someone to invest in their idea.  

 

After one year they had no sales and dwindling funds.  When they finally made their first sale over a year later, they made $20.  

 

It’s at this point, with so much disappointment and money spent, it would have been understandable if they decided to quit.

 

Please quit. 

 

For goodness sakes and for all the people reading this painful, cringe worthy story, please quit!

 

They didn’t quit.

 

This trail of disappointment, that many people saw as ineptitude, did not stop them and I am sure glad it didn’t.  This company that was built on a mistake changed gears to focus on the abrasive business and after a series of missteps it went on to create Scotch tape, Post-it-Notes and… the N95 mask.

 

That is correct.  

 

In 1972, 3 M developed the first N95 respirator which became a healthcare standard of the time and an important form of protection used by medical providers today to protect them from the COVID 19 virus.  Imagine where we would be today if these masks were never invented and medical providers today had to battle with the COVID 19 pandemic.  

 

Finally, let’s talk about ZOOM.  To do this, yes you guessed it, get back into the time machine. To the left of the dash board you will see a button labelled “1990s” and a button next to that button labelled “Mid 2090s”, press the mid 1990s button.  

 

Here we are.

 

It is around the 1990s and we have landed on a train.  

 

Look to the very right of you.  The young man you see is Eric Yuan.  Yes, the one that looks exhausted and is falling asleep standing. He is the founder of Zoom communications, but he doesn’t know it yet.  He is on his way to meet his girlfriend who lives 10 hours away. He travels this far because he wants to see her but detests the length of the trip.  

 

How do I know this?

 

We are from the future. Remember?

 

I can also tell you that he spends a lot of time on these train rides imagining a better way of staying connected.  He wishes he could simply press a button where he can see and communicate with his wife on a screen.   

 

What’s that?

 

You thought I said he was travelling to see his girlfriend so why did I refer to her as his wife now?  Remember we are from the future, so I can also tell you that he goes on to marry her.  

 

On a side note, if you are someone who thinks long distance relationships can’t work then think again. 

 

Okay, it’s time to fast forward to 1997 by pressing the button.  Again, remember, don’t press the mid 2097 button. Trust me we are not ready to go there yet… and what happens in 2097 is in another blog.  

 

Here we are in 1997 and the person across from us with all those smiles is Eric Yuan… a little older but still very young. He is about 27 years and is celebrating finally being granted a US visa… on his 9th attempt.  It took two years and a whole lot of rejection.   What he doesn’t know is that in 2007 he is going to accept a job with Cisco.  In fact, he will go on to become Cisco’s corporate VP of engineering earning a very high six figure salary.  In 2011, he will pitch his idea of having video conferencing on smartphones to the management as Cisco.  After his idea is rejected, he will leave Cisco to go form his own company.  He will be determined to make the video conferencing idea he imagined while traveling those long hours by train to meet his girlfriend, a reality.  

 

This may seem like a no brainer but remember imagining or having a dream is easy. Taking action is an entirely different story. 

 

He has a lot to lose because he will leave a comfortable executive job earning six figures to take on a risky venture with a lot of other people’s money on the line. It will be a huge gamble with a lot of upside but just as much downside. 

 

Step back into the time machine and press the 2012 button.  

 

Here we are in 2012, and yes, you guessed right. The man standing celebrating among all those people is Eric Yuan.  He just launched the video conferencing application called Zoom after leaving Cisco.  

 

It’s no longer a dream he had on a train ride approximately 20 years ago.

 

Instead, it is now a reality.  One he created.



Okay, Climb Back into the Time Machine. It’s Time for Me to Take You Back to the Present So I Can Share with You Why It Is That Some People Achieve Their Dreams and Goals While Others Don’t.  

 

Imagine, if at this moment in time we didn’t know the benefit of hand washing, Nursing best practices, N95 Masks or Zoom.

 

I am serious, take a minute and imagine.  Ask yourself how much worse the impact of this pandemic would be on the world.

 

Have a Vision of What You Want to Achieve Even If It Looks Impossible

 

Four people walk into a room and decide to start a business of which they knew nothing about and was the joke of that time… but it was only for a moment in time.  Despite the initial terrible results, they didn’t give up.  They were determined to make their vision of success a reality.  It’s a good thing they did because almost 100 years later, their N95 mask invention is saving hundreds of thousands of lives daily during this COVID19 pandemic.  

 

What about the “Lady with the Lamp”, Florence Nightingale, who despite all the pressures of society and push back from her family on her decision to become a nurse, soldiered on towards her dream of helping others?  Despite the limited vision her family and society of that time had for her, she never allowed it to get in her way. She had a big vision for what she wanted to do with her life and in the lives of others.

 

Be Courageous Even When All You Want to Do Is Run and Hide

 

Imagine if Ignaz Philipp allowed intimidation and fear prevent him from sharing his discovery and writing his book.  Would we even have discovered the benefits of washing hands at that time?  Sure, odds are that someone else would have come along later and discovered it, but this might have taken place many years later.  Think of the number of people who were saved during this period. Sadly, it cost him his life but because of his bold actions, lives are being saved today during this COVID 19 pandemic… and all because he was courageous enough to fight for what he believed.

 

Don’t Have Regrets: Choose Action Over In-Action

 

Eric Yuan shared with his wife, that leaving his six-figure paying executive job to pursue his dream would be a long and hard journey, but if he didn’t try it, he would regret it. So, after making a promise to his wife he acted on his dream!  It’s a very good thing he did because Zoom is now being used by tens of millions of people daily to communicate during this pandemic.

 

Pursuing a Dream Could be Very Scary.  Do You Know What is Even More Scary? 

 

Is there a dream or goal you always wanted to achieve but decided not to pursue or was unsuccessful in trying?

 

Do you regret it?

 

Why Is It That Some People Achieve Their Dreams and Goals While Others Don’t?

 

“Imagine if these individuals decided not to pursue their dreams and goals or to give up when it seemed like the “right” thing to do?  

 

In fact, many people from the beginning of time to now, including those mentioned in this blog, all experienced moments where they had to contend with obstacles, failure, fear, lack of support and so on.  However, what differentiated Ignaz Philipp, Florence Nightingale, the 3M partners and Eric Yuan were their willingness and determination to Think BIG, Be BOLD and ACT NOW about pursuing and achieving their dreams and goals.  

 

I am sure glad they did. 



Question

 

Can you think of a time in your life when you were able to achieve something that meant a lot to you because you were willing to Think BIG, Be BOLD and ACT NOW?

 

If you have, I would love to hear how you did it.  

 

I would also love to hear what you thought about this blog.  

 

To do this, please visit our FACEBOOK page.  Before I tell you more about UP’s mission, I want to share with you the title of our next blog (3/12).  It is called:

 

Unleashed Possibilities: Think BIG. Be BOLD. ACT NOW!



Call to Action: Give Your Dream a Chance 

Get off the sidelines of procrastination and self-doubt and get in the game!

 

Come join and help Unleashed Possibilities (UP) build a global community whose goal it is to bring the world together by inspiring, motivating and encouraging 8 million people globally to Think BIG, Be BOLD and ACT NOW towards pursuing and achieving their dreams and goals.

 

Yes, I know it sounds crazy especially the part about bringing the world together, but before you allow yourself to think this is all pie in the sky, let me ask you one question:

 

What is the commonality among the following?

 

  • Horse & buggy, car, train, plane
  • Radio, television, satellite 
  • Internet, Facebook, Google, Twitter
  • Mother Teresa, Gandhi, Nelson Mandela

 

If you guessed they all in some way brought the world closer together, you would be correct. 

 

In some way, each one of the inventors and activists allowed us to reach out to millions of people through their inventions, discoveries, social activism and so on.  In other words, they brought the world closer together.  So why can’t you and in your own way?

 

Okay, Unleashed Possibilities, I am going to give my dream a chance; how do I get started with your challenge to Think BIG, Be BOLD, ACT NOW towards pursuing at least one of my dreams and goals?

 

Congratulations!!  Imagine where all this can lead!  


To get started and register for this challenge, visit our Facebook page...Think BIG. Be BOLD. ACT NOW!

Here’s your call to action: Give Your Dream a Chance 

Get off the sidelines of procrastination and self-doubt and get in the game!

Come join and help Unleashed Possibilities (UP) build a global community whose goal it is to bring the world together by inspiring, motivating and encouraging 8 million people globally to Think BIG, Be BOLD and ACT NOW towards pursuing and achieving their dreams and goals.

Yes, I know it sounds crazy especially the part about bringing the world together, but before you allow yourself to think this is all pie in the sky, let me ask you one question:

 

What is the commonality among the following?

  • Horse & buggy, car, train, plane
  • Radio, television, satellite 
  • Internet, Facebook, Google, Twitter
  • Mother Teresa, Gandhi, Nelson Mandela

If you guessed they all in some way brought the world closer together, you would be correct. 

In some way, each one of the inventors and activists allowed us to reach out to millions of people through their inventions, discoveries, social activism and so on.  In other words, they brought the world closer together.  So why can’t you and in your own way?

Okay, Unleashed Possibilities, I am going to give my dream a chance; how do I get started with your challenge to Think BIG, Be BOLD, ACT NOW towards pursuing at least one of my dreams and goals?

Congratulations!!  Imagine where all this can lead!  

To get started and register for this challenge, visit our Facebook page…Think BIG. Be BOLDACT NOW

 “Do what you can with what you have wherever you are” 

Theodore Roosevelt

Sources

  1. Shaikh, Safiya. Caudle, Daniella Caudle. “Ignaz Philipp Semmelweis.” The Embryo Project Encyclopedia. Accessed August 2, 2020. Ignaz Philipp Semmelweis (1818-1865) | The Embryo Project Encyclopedia (asu.edu)
  2. Trueman, C.N. “Ignaz Semmelweis.” The History Learning Site. Accessed August 2, 2020. Ignaz Semmelweis – History Learning Site
  3. Shiller, Joy.  “The true Florence: Exploring the Italian birthplace of Florence Nightingale.” Countryjoe.com. Accessed August 2, 2020. Florence Nightingale: Her Birthplace (countryjoe.com)
  4. Small, Hugh, Florence Nightingale: Avenging Angel, (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1998), 1–19
  5. Gill, Christopher J.; Gill, Gillian C. “Nightingale in Scutari: Her Legacy Reexamined.” Clinical Infectious Diseases. Accessed August 2, 2020. Nightingale in Scutari: Her Legacy Reexamined | Clinical Infectious Diseases | Oxford Academic (oup.com)
  6. Canadian Journal of Diabetes Editor” The Year of the Nurse, Florence Nightingale and COVID-19: Reflections.” Canadian Journal of Diabetes. Accessed August 2, 2020. The Year of the Nurse, Florence Nightingale and COVID-19: Reflections From Social Isolation (canadianjournalofdiabetes.com)
  7. Lukas, Paul. Overfelt, Maggie. “3M A Mining Company Built on a Mistake.” CNN Money. Accessed August 2, 2020. 3M A MINING COMPANY BUILT ON A MISTAKE STUCK IT OUT UNTIL A YOUNG MAN CAME ALONG WITH IDEAS ABOUT HOW TO TAPE THOSE BLUNDERS TOGETHER AS INNOVATIONS–LEADING TO DECADES OF GROWTH. – April 1, 2003 (cnn.com)
  8. Fallon, N. July 2017. How My Long-Distance Romance Inspired a Video Communications Company. Businessnewsdaily.com. Retrieved from How My Long-Distance Romance Inspired a Video Communications Company – businessnewsdaily.com
  9. Chakravarti, A. March 2020. US refused visa to Zoom founder Eric Yuan 8 times, now his app is running the world and he is a billionaire. Indiatoday.com. Retrieved from US refused visa to Zoom founder Eric Yuan 8 times, now his app is running the world and he is a billionaire – Technology News (indiatoday.in)

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