Amy Shira Teitel is a space flight historian, author, YouTuber, public speaker and occasional TV personality. Her book is Fighting For Space.
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ZAK: Today's advice comes in the form of the life-story of a woman born in 1905 in the Florida panhandle. Bessie Pitman grew up poor. She became a teenage mom. And she lost her son in a house fire when he was just 5 years old. AMY: And didn't get along with the rest of her family. And when she was 23, she up and moved to New York City. She was a beautician by training at this point, took on a new name and just completely reinvented herself.
ZAK: Bessie Pittman became Jackie Cochrane. Her goal early on was to create her own line of cosmetics and sell it around the country. She learned she could cover a lot more ground as a traveling saleswoman if she learned to fly. She earned her pilot's license in 3 short weeks. She fell in love with flying and abandoned her cosmetics career for a life in the air. AMY: As a pilot she wanted to be the best and the fastest and her goal was the Bendix Race which was the preeminent race in the country at the time and she did it in 1938. So then what was next? Well she ended up leading the Woman's Air-force Service Pilots or the WASPS in the Second World War, leading the first all-female flying squadron and after the war learned to fly a jet, became the first woman to really train as a test pilot and and the first woman to break the sound barrier in 1953.
ZAK: Cochrane continued to create new goals for herself and push herself toward them. AMY: The kind of takeaway there is if you hit a goal, don't get complacent and stay on that plateau, just you know, oh I did it! So what's the next step and continually pushing...she kept pushing herself to the next one. That's just a level of inspiration, I think, you can apply to anything is, if you hit a goal, find the next goal. I 'm Amy Shira Teitel. I am a space flight historian, author, YouTuber, public speaker and occasional TV personality.
ZAK: Amy's book is called Fighting For Space. It chronicles Jackie Cochran'e story as well as that of Jerrie Cobb. It's available wherever you get books. You can find a picture of Jackie Cochrane on The Best Advice Show Instagram page. And if you know some advice that comes out of someone's adversity that you've read about or maybe your own, I would love to hear about it. Give me a call on the hotline at 844-935-BEST.