Race to the south pole: Robert Scott wanted to be the first man to reach the South Pole. For 77 days, his team struggled against harsh winds, freezing temperatures, and heavy blizzards. On 17 January 1912, they reached the South Pole. But sadly he had been beaten. Roald Amundsen had reached the pole almost a month earlier. He left a tent and a letter addressed to the King of Norway with a request for Scott to deliver it.
Scott wrote in his diary: “The Pole….Great God! This is an awful place and terrible enough for us to have labored to it without the reward of [winning]. Well, it is something to have got here, … Now for the run home and a desperate struggle. I wonder if we can do it.” Scott was right to harbor doubts. The team had struggled to reach the pole. And they would struggle on the way back. Tragically, none of them made it back.
How did Amundsen, a college-dropout, beat Scott, an officer in the British Royal Navy?
It’s a secret all smart moms know: they plan ahead. Like when they are taking the little one out. They pack some snacks, take a change of clothes, diapers, small toys, wipes… Here are just three things that the two explorers did differently:
1. Over preparing: Amundsen stored three tons of supplies for five men. Scott stored just one ton.
3. Using the right equipment: Amundsen used sled dogs to haul heavy loads. Scott used motor sleds and ponies that were unsuitable for the south pole.
3. Sweating the details: Amundsen’s team wore Inuit style clothing, made entirely out of furs; and wore them loose to allow for the loss of sweat during exertion. Scott’s men wore woolen underwear with windproof outer layers. With no ventilation, their sweat froze in the clothes.
Amundsen had thought through – and planned for – the challenges of the journey.
How to plan for your child’s future?
Smart moms plan, not just for the baby’s day out, but also for the days far in the future. With a baby, there are some large expenses ahead: education (from enrolling them in international schools) and wedding being the largest.
Have you planned for them? Is your plan right?
Join me for a webinar (details below) on how to go about planning for your child’s future financial needs. I will share with you some simple ideas: on how to think about planning; on what to avoid and what to do. And I promise no jargon and just a tiny bit of arithmetic. After all, we are talking about money.
PS: The Amundsen–Scott is a sad tale but here is a happy note. The USA has constructed a research station on the south pole and named it the Amundsen–Scott South Pole Station. And here is what it looks like:
Failing to plan is planning to fail:
In my next blog post, I’ll talk about the five mistakes people make when they fail to plan for their child’s future.
An initiative of AutoFi, in association with Motilal Oswal Asset Management Company.