I’m not sure I’d be too far off the mark if I suggested that men of great character who are equally great role-models, are a little hard to come by in the 21st century – and especially hard to find with those who are in the public eye!
However, if you take a quick look back in history, you’ll find a number of remarkable men worth aspiring to – and one of my favourites, is the great explorer, Ernest Shackleton.
For those who don’t know the story that made him famous, in August 1914, Shackleton set out on his expedition with the goal of being the first man to traverse the Antarctic continent on foot. Aboard his ship, named Endurance, he and 27 men set sail for the South Pole.
But along the way, the ship became trapped in ice, setting off a series of events that would become one of exploration’s greatest stories of survival.
While he didn’t complete the journey he’d hoped for, he brought back all 27 of his men alive – an amazing feat of leadership that’s without parallel.
For nearly two years, Shackleton and his men were stranded off the coast of Antarctica. His rescue attempts are fraught with danger and seem almost Hollywood-like, they’re that surreal!
His is a story of hope … progress … then crushing setback. Hope … progress and once again … crushing setback. This was Shackleton’s reality for nearly two years and such a string of endless disappointments would’ve made most men, want to curl up and die. But he refused to let his spirit be defeated.
Ernest Shackleton as a role-model? Now that’s a man worth aspiring to!
NOTE: If you want to learn about more of this fascinating story, check out his book 'South!'