Work Ethic from the Wright Brothers

In our ever-connected world unplugging is hard. It seems like we are trained to amuse ourselves every waking hour. We have lost the ability to be bored and let our minds wonder.

The Wright brothers, who pioneered flight, at the turn of the century have an inspirational story. When they started dreaming about flying they weren’t the only ones. One of their competitors had government funding and resources available that the brothers couldn’t compete with.

In today’s time, it would be a bootstrapper against a VC backed company. A huge underdog. This didn’t deter the brothers and they kept true to their goals throughout the whole process and didn’t pay any attention to what this other company was doing.

One area of their story that stood out to me is their work ethic. Throughout their whole career, they never worked on Sunday. Always using it as a day of rest and rejuvenation.

Another example is during a showing in France the flyer arrived all torn up from shipping and it had to be rebuilt. A wealthy man allowed the brother to use a big room in his business as a workshop and even gave him men to help with the rebuild. These men could barely understand English and was more of a hindrance, yet, Mr. Wright kept the same work schedule as the other workers. When the lunch whistle blew he took lunch. When the end of day whistle blew he went home. Neither brother ever worked on Sunday and it seemed like they knew all the pieces would come together at the right time.

If the Wright brothers facing the monumental task of being the first to fly can take a break, don’t you think we should too?

These stories adapted from The Wright Brothers by David McCullough.

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