1. Believe in yourself.
100 years, 100 lessons: What we can learn from the Wright Brothers
2. Yes, it is possible for siblings to accomplish something together.
3. Most skills are transferable.
4. Dare to dream.
5. Dare to pursue your dreams.
6. It helps to have a day job while you’re doing that.
7. Use your imagination.
8. There will be failures along the way.
9. You have to keep trying.
10. People may tell you that you’re attempting the impossible.
11. Keep trying anyway.
12. It helps to have a head start.
13. You’re never a hit in your home town: not until you’ve been a hit somewhere else.
14. Sometimes you have to travel quite a ways to achieve your dream.
15. Pay attention to the surrounding terrain.
16. Use that terrain to your advantage.
17. Start small.
18. Keep on believing in yourself, even when nobody believes in you.
19. If you want it done Wright, you’ve got to do it yourself.
20. You don’t need a lot of room to change the world: the first flight was only 120 feet (36 meters).
21. You don’t need a lot of time to change the world: the first flight lasted 12 seconds.
22. If you fail, keep trying.
23. If you succeed, keep trying.
24. Sometimes you have to build it in one place and ship it to another.
25. You can’t always, or even usually, wait for optimal conditions.
26. If you run into a problem that seems insoluble, keep at it, even if it takes years.
27. Take a break now and then.
28. Sometimes you just have to look at it from another angle.
29. It helps to have a witness to your achievement.
30. When you call the local newspaper to announce what you’ve done, and they respond, “That’s impossible!” call the Associated Press and let them pick up the story from there.
31. If the Associated Press gets it wrong, bug them until they publish a correction.
32. When everything you’ve worked so hard to build falls apart in an instant, pick up the pieces and build it better next time.
33. When a storm blows away your hangar, rebuild it.
34. When attempting an unprecedented, dangerous feat, it helps to have the Life Saving Squad standing by.
35. Once you get your act together, take it on the road.
36. Sometimes a child’s toy can be the inspiration for an entire industry.
37. If someone tells you to go fly a kite, do it.
38. It always helps to have additional job skills.
39. You pretty much have to handle your own publicity and promotion, because nobody cares about it as much as you do.
40. Make friends; form alliances. Some of those friends and allies may grow up to be famous, too.
41. Sometimes it helps to attend trade shows and exhibitions.
42. It’s OK to excel in more than one thing.
43. It’s OK to invent more than one thing.
44. If you sell bicycles, promote bicycle riding.
45. If you want to fly, study how the birds do it.
46. Looking for a perfect place for your experiment? Check with the National Weather Service.
47. Sometimes the wind – even a headwind – can be more of a help than a hindrance.
48. Read what’s already been written about whatever you’re trying to figure out.
49. Contact the author directly if necessary.
50. Everything works better if you put together a good team.
51. Everybody needs room to make some mistakes.
52. If you’re not sure how, or if, it will work, try it out in a wind tunnel.
53. If you don’t have a wind tunnel, build one.
54. Some surfaces should be straight.
55. Some surfaces should be curved.
56. Some parts should be fixed.
57. Some parts should be movable.
58. Getting it to fly is one thing, but getting it to fly under its own power is the real trick.
59. When you invent something, patent it.
60. When you patent it, get a patent attorney.
61. Don’t forget the foreign patents.
62. Break records.
63. Set new records.
64. Break your own records.
65. Once you get the thing flying, you’ve got to work on controlling it.
66. Give interviews whenever you get the chance.
67. Publish your own articles.
68. Accept awards graciously.
69. Enter contests.
70. Be a mentor.
71. Practice. Even when you already know how, keep practicing.
72. One wrong move and everything can come crashing down, with you in it.
73. Alliances with your French counterparts can be especially advantageous.
74. Diplomas can help, but they’re not absolutely necessary.
75. Even people without high school diplomas can receive honorary doctorates for their achievements.
76. Fight against infringements of your patents.
77. As soon as there’s a license for what you do (in their case, flying), get one.
78. When the dictionary people are trying to establish new words to describe the new things you invented, offer to serve as their technical advisor.
79. When someone like Alexander Graham Bell invites you to his place for lunch, take him up on it.
80. Share your success with your parents.
81. Even if you only live to be 45, as Wilbur did, you can accomplish more than most people do with twice the time.
82. No matter how much we miss those who are no longer with us, we have to keep moving forward, just as Orville did.
83. No matter how well your invention works, keep tinkering. Add stabilizers, rudders, wheels.
84. Once you’ve improved your invention with all that tinkering, show off by flying seven successive turns with no hands.
85. Joining the Rotary Club can be a good idea, even if you’re a celebrity and don’t need to network.
86. Donate your old junk to museums.
87. When you’re really old, if you’re lucky enough to live that long, do what Orville Wright and Richard Nixon reportedly did, and give out Halloween treats to the kids who are brave enough to ring your doorbell.
88. It’s possible to be a genius and just a regular person at the same time.
89. Contribute to your community.
90. Inspire others, especially the next generation.
91. Encourage others, especially the next generation.
92. Empower others, especially the next generation.
93. Honor your colleagues' achievements as they honor yours.
94. Save your papers, and donate them to a university or museum.
95. When someone uses the word “impossible,” suggest substituting a more correct term, such as “improbable” or “unlikely.”
96. Celebrate the anniversaries of your achievements.
97. What goes up must come down: your job is to keep it up as long as necessary, and bring it down safely.
98. Once you do become a hit in your home town, they’ll name a gazillion things and places and days after you.
99. Nobody remembers which brother was in the air, and which was on the ground, for that first flight.
100. A century after your historic accomplishment, a lot of people with a lot more money and information than you had may try to duplicate it, and fail, thus proving in a whole other way just what an amazing feat it was.
posted by Janet Dagley Dagley @5:13 PM