Like many, I’ve been watching more movies at home since most entertainment is still closed, at least here in Arizona. I enjoy discovering movies I have never seen, and then I like to re-watch those I found interesting, touching, or informative. I recently saw Amelia starring Hilary Swank as Amelia Earhart again as it had been years.
The movie is an account of her life and leads up to that tragic day when she goes missing, never to be seen again. Obviously, we don’t know all the details as she didn’t make it home to share what happened. In the movie, there’s a scene where she is speaking with her husband, and for the first time, she is scared. As a viewer, you see it on her face, but her husband heard it in her voice. He probed and asked questions, and he wanted her to come home. It is here where I believe she made her biggest mistake: she didn’t know when to call it.
Something in her gut was telling her things were off. The weather was crappy, and Fred (her navigator) was drinking again, from all accounts and records. I also sensed that the thrill of the quest was losing its luster as she finally reconciled with her husband, George Putnam. Yet, her ego wouldn’t allow her to quit. As tears flowed down her face, it was more difficult for her to abort the mission than it was to move forward, even though the danger was too great. She ultimately paid the greatest price.
Compare that to a new movie I found called Harriet. Ironically enough, it is also about a brave, pioneering woman doing things no woman had ever done before. In this case, she escaped slavery to become one of the greatest leaders in freeing other slaves – over 750 in her lifetime. How did Harriot Tubman do it? She would stop frequently and listen to what God had to say. God would direct, guide and protect her from harm. In her own words, she learned how to see and hear God like most people learn to read and write.
By checking in with God and her gut, she learned the important skill of knowing when to call it. We can have great aspirations, huge goals, and incredible determination, but if we don’t know when to call it, it could kill us (financially, physically, emotionally or spiritually). As someone who is very goal oriented, I am grateful I got into sports and outdoor activities young. Hiking Mt. Whitney (the highest peak in the US other than Alaska), cemented the principle that it isn’t just about conquering the mountain – it is about having enough energy and strength to get back down the mountain so you can live to tell the tale.
When hiking, sometimes the mountain or Mother Nature wins. You have to call it and try again another day. This requires the ability to put your ego – the very thing that helps you drive toward the goal – aside and use instinct, gut, faith and emotional intelligence. Most deaths on Mt. Everest are due to the inability to know when to call it. They feel they are so close and ignore all the signs. Whether it is outdoor quests or life goals, I encourage you to be more like Harriet and less like Amelia. They both accomplished amazing things, but one lived into her 90s while the other died at the age of 41.
Looking for someone to help you along your journey? As a professional coach, I can come along side of you, ask the right questions, and provide some insights into your behavior style, emotional intelligence and motivators that get you further faster. How about we start today? Give me a call.