On May 15th in 1961 something special happened. My generation remembers this moment.
John F. Kennedy stood in front of Congress and declared, “I believe that in the next decade our nation should commit itself to landing a man to the moon and returning him safely back to earth.”
It was an audacious goal, and our president was determined to see it realized!
One year later, President Kennedy was visiting NASA to personally witness some of the progress being made.
As he toured the facility he came across a janitor who was carrying a broom. The president stopped and asked him what his job was at NASA. He replied, “Mr. President, I’m helping put a man on the moon!”
That janitor understood his purpose. No matter how insignificant his tasks might seem to others, he knew his contribution was helping to put a man on the moon.
Last week I had the honor to present “The Power of Fun” to 350 service women and men at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Great Falls Montana.
I was invited by base leadership including, Colonel Barry Little the base commander.
Malmstrom’s mission is one of special trust and responsibility.
For over 60 years it has stood as a powerful deterrent keeping the heartbeat of our freedom safe.
People supporting Malmstrom’s mission today, involving the world’s most powerful weapons, require the highest level of readiness and training.
It is hard to fathom the weight of that daily responsibility.
During my mission brief, Colonel Little, described the importance of defending America with a combat ready ICMB force and then shared one of his biggest challenges.
To make sure everyone on base understands the important role each of them play no matter what the task.
Whether it is base pest control, meal prep or Missileers standing ready at their consoles, every one of them is vital to mission success.
The NASA janitor was focused on his “why” and not the specifics of his daily work.
He was focused on helping put a man on the moon and not sweeping the floors.
At Malmstrom I had the privilege to meet and convene with a security strike force. These are warriors. Their objectives are clear.
But I also remember meeting an Airman who was in charge of pest control and explained that his work might not impress others, but he always thinks of it as a link to defending America’s freedom.
Are you searching for your purpose? It is a question as old as time. What’s my purpose?
It is much the same as searching for happiness. Wasted time and energy!
You don’t “search for purpose or happiness.” You won’t find it!
Those are skill sets you need to sharpen each day and help those around you to do the same.
You create your purpose with intentional focus and work. Connecting the dots from you daily effort, mundane or not, to the greater good.
Who are you helping? How does it help your family, community, or the world!
You build sustainable happiness by sharping the skill set of daily intentional activities designed to boost your mood.
Great leaders know that their mission is to help everyone around them create purpose and build well-being.
Once done, leadership will create unbreakable bonds that have been ignited by care.
Start today and lead with the effort that is totally up to you. Look in the mirror and see who you are accountable for.
Good luck! I’ve got your back and hey, you’re looking great to me!