As we continue in our Black History Month theme, we are going to continue our focus on successful blacks throughout American history. Today, we are going to shift into the field of science and talk about Dr. Mae Jemison. In 1992, she was the first African American female astronaut to fly into space. If you are thinking that wasn’t that long ago, you are correct. I often must remind myself that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. would have been alive if he wasn’t assassinated.
When you see black and white pictures and images on the television, it gives the appearance that something was a long time ago. In reality, a limited color television was invested in 1953 and the television networks shifted to color in mid-1960.
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Setting Mae Jemison up for success
Mae was born in Decatur, Alabama but moved to Chicago at the age of 3. Her parents moved for educational purposes because they wanted to provide more opportunities for their children. Mae had a love for science and her parents wanted to encourage her to grow that love. As she learned more about science, she found her passion was astronomy. Even though it was a time when the jobs a black could secure in the field of astronomy were slim, Mae’s parents never talked her out it.
Parents play a big role
You may have noticed the pattern that children have either shown a love or early interest in the field they ended up excelling in. It is up to the parents to foster an environment where their kids can discover ways to grow their passion. Are there any interests or things that came easy to you when you were a child? These are usually a great place to start your search for your inner drum beat of happiness. Within your inner drum beat, you will find your gift you want to share with the world.
Mae Jemison graduated from high school with honors and went on to get her bachelor degree in Chemical Engineering from Stanford University. After completing the program at Standard, Dr. Mae Jemison entered medical school at Cornell University Medical College. She graduated in 1981 and spent two and a half years working in the Peace Corps as a medical officer for Sierra Leone and Liberia.
When success isn’t enough
While Dr. Mae Jemison was a success by most standards, she knew that she had other interests to pursue. She remembered how much she loved space and astronomy as a kid and decided to return to America and apply to become an astronaut at NASA. Dr. Mae Jemison applied in October of 1985, but because of the Challenger explosion, all future applicants were delayed. You would think Mae Jemison would have seen this as sign she should forget about her dream to become an astronaut. After all, she was already a very successful doctor and has touched hundreds of lives. Yet, Mae recognized her passion involved her becoming an astronaut. So she reapplied the following January and out of approximately 2,000 applicants, NASA only accepted 15 applicants. She would become an astronaut and fly her first mission in 1992. Before she retired, she had accumulated a total of 190 hours in space.
Never limit yourself because of others’ limited imagination; never limit others because of your own limited imagination.Dr. Mae Jemison
Believe in yourself and your dreams
Dr. Mae Jemison speaks a lot about imagination and the importance of protecting it. Society will have you believe your dream can never become reality. It is important for you to protect your dreams, but it is also important you don’t deter someone else’s. Anything is possible to those who execute and make adjustments.
Your vision may seem to be too difficult, time consuming, or expensive to achieve. Yet, there may be a better way to accomplish your goal. The mistake of not believing your dream is possible is you do not allow your mind the opportunity to create a solution. When you believe something cannot be done, your mind is not going to offer any solutions.
Have a clear vision
Mae had a vision of becoming an astronaut and she did everything she could to succeed. She graduated from an Ivey League institution and she was a medical doctor. She served overseas and educated those less fortunate on matters of health and safety. Dr. Mae Jemison knew that it would be difficult for a black woman to be selected, but she knew if she won by knockout, the judges had no choice but to recognize her greatness. She had the education and the experience. Most people are going to have one or the other, but Mae Jemison was exceptional.
As they say in boxing, don’t leave the match to the decision of the judge. Judges have allowed their own biases and personal interests to cause them to choose the person who lost as the winner.
Path to happiness
The first step is to believe it is possible to achieve your goal. If you believe it is possible, you are going to think of creative ways to accomplish your goal. Next, you must understand what is required to achieve your goal. Do you need a certain amount of experience, finances, or to live in a particular area? These are all things you are going to want to sort out to make sure are ready. After you have your base of understanding, you can create a blueprint to follow. As long as you adhere to your blueprint, you will catch greatness while chasing happiness.
Today, Mae Jemison teaches and spends her time helping developing countries advance their technologies. She has accumulated a net worth of over $2M and achieved a level of happiness that most people can only dream about. To accomplish this, Mae Jemison prioritized her two life goals: (1) become an astronaut and (2) help people in developing countries. She couldn’t pursue them both at the same time, but she made sure to achieve them both at the right time. You will have an opportunity to achieve two or three life goals. However, you must focus your short term and medium term goals in a way they help you accomplish your life goals. If you do this, you too will enjoy life while you are chasing happiness.
More articles you may enjoy:
- Chasing Happiness by Rising to the Challenge
- How Chasing Happiness Will Help You Catch Greatness
- Taking Risks Is An Essential Part Chasing Happiness
- Four Steps to Create Happiness in Times of Adversity
Until next time,
Dre “Better Self ,Better Wealth” Griggs
Sources: Mae Jemison quotes: https://www.inspiringquotes.us/author/9349-mae-jemison Mae Jemison Net Worth: https://www.celebritynetworth.com/richest-celebrities/authors/mae-jemison-net-worth/ American is finally pulling the plug on black-and-white television sets: www.latimes.com› archives › la-xpm-1992-09-06-mn-251-story