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Beating the Odds

What John Glenn Can Teach Us All

Fifty years later, we have learned how dangerous John Glenn’s space flight really was.

One expert says there was a one in six chance that Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth, would die in the attempt. Glenn made it, but not before enduring a tense re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere.

“There were flaming chunks of the retro-pack burning off and coming back by the window,” Glenn said. “I didn’t know for sure whether it was the retro-pack or the heat shield, but there wasn’t anything I could do about it either way, except just keep trying to work and keep the spacecraft on its actual best attitude coming back in.”

In other words, Glenn did what we all should do: control what we can control and ignore the rest. This advice holds true whether you’re in space, in sports, school or business.

It’s a waste of time, energy and focus to worry about things beyond your control.

Great performers use their time, energy and focus just as Glenn did. He kept his mind on the task and did what he could to make the situation better.

You can do the same.

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