Perseverance is a quality that is often overlooked in our fast-paced world. We are often taught to strive for success and to reach our goals as quickly as possible. But what happens when we are faced with challenges and obstacles? How do we maintain our pace and perspective when the going gets tough? 


The story of Ernest Shackleton and his crew’s survival in the face of adversity is a testament to the art of perseverance. Their remarkable journey serves as a powerful reminder of the strength and resilience of the human spirit, and teaches us valuable lessons on how to keep moving forward when all seems lost.


The Story of Shackleton Endurance Survival: A Synopsis

The story of Shackleton and his crew’s survival is a tale of incredible courage, resilience, and determination. In 1914, Shackleton set out on an expedition to cross the Antarctic continent. 

Endurance left South Georgia for Antarctica on December 5, 1914, carrying 27 men (plus one stowaway, who became the ship’s steward), 69 dogs, and a tomcat named Mrs. Chippy. The expedition’s leader, Shackleton had a goal to try to reach the South Pole and to establish a base on Antarctica’s Weddell Sea Coast (this was his third attempt). However, only two days after leaving South Georgia, Endurance entered the pack ice—the barrier of thick sea ice that stands guard around the Antarctic continent. 


For several weeks, the ship poked and prodded its way through holes in the ice, slowly making its way south, but on January 18, a northerly gale pressed the pack hard against the land and pushed the floes tight against each other. 


They realized there was no way forward or back. Endurance was beset—in the words of one of the crew, Thomas Orde-Lees, “frozen like an almond in the middle of a chocolate bar.” The drift of the ice was slowly pushing them farther away with each passing day and there was nothing to do but wait out the winter. They abandoned Endurance and salvaged as many provisions on board as they could including their books, bibles, clothing and tools. 


Frank Worsley, one winter night said, “The ship can’t live in this, Skipper … It may be a few months, and it may be only a question of weeks or even days … but what the ice gets, the ice keeps.”


The men tried to march across the ice towards land, but managed only seven and a half miles in seven days. They decided to camp once more and patiently wait for the ice to drift. On April 7, 1916, they spotted the peaks of Clarence and Elephant Islands and were filled with hope!

On April 9, Shackleton gave the order to break camp and launch the boats, however the ocean brought more challenges. They battled seasickness, sleep deprivation and freezing temperatures, and after six days at sea it appeared that Clarence and Elephant Islands were just 30 miles away. 

They finally reached the Elephant Islands on April 15th, 497 days since departing South Georgia. Once they reached land, they hiked over mountains and slid down glaciers, desperate to get to the whaling station at Stromness. It was nothing short of a miracle that these men reached the whaling station and the manager stood astonished! He could not believe that “…three strangers could possibly appear from nowhere at the whaling station, and certainly not from the direction of the mountains.”

From there the attention turned to rescuing the 22 men remaining on Elephant Island. And this final task in many ways proved to be the most trying and difficult. 

The first ship set out ran dangerously low on fuel while trying to navigate the pack ice, and was forced to turn back to the Falkland Islands. The government of Uruguay then provided a vessel that came within 100 miles of Elephant Island, but was beaten back by the ice.

Shackleton then procured a third ship, the Yelcho, from Chile and finally, on August 30, 1916, the Endurance crew was rescued. “The men on the island were settling down to a lunch of boiled seal’s backbone when they spied the Yelcho just off the coast.” 

Twenty months after setting out for the Antarctic, every one of the Endurance crew was finally safe and each person alive. Their story is a testament to the invincible human spirit and is an inspiration for us all.


What Made Shackleton and His Crew Survive

When analyzing the characteristics that allowed Shackleton and his crew to survive their grueling journey, several key qualities stand out. Firstly, their unwavering determination and resilience played a pivotal role. Despite facing unimaginable hardships, they never gave up hope and continued to push forward. Secondly, their ability to adapt and think creatively in the face of adversity was crucial. They found innovative solutions to their challenges, such as using sled dogs and building makeshift shelters. Lastly, their exceptional teamwork and camaraderie kept them united and motivated throughout the ordeal. Together, these characteristics enabled Shackleton and his crew to overcome the impossible and serve as an inspiration to us all.


Embracing Shackleton’s Resilience: How To Maintain Pace In Tough Times

In the face of tough times, it can be easy to lose sight of your goals and lose momentum. However, we can learn a great deal from the resilience of Ernest Shackleton and his crew. One key lesson is to embrace their unwavering determination. Despite the immense challenges they faced, they never gave up. They continued to push forward, adapting to their circumstances and finding innovative solutions. 


Another important lesson is to maintain perspective. Shackleton and his crew knew that the journey would not be easy, but they focused on the ultimate goal and never lost sight of it.


It’s amazing the hope, resilience, determination and unwavering commitment each team member must have had to survive what they did! They faced constant danger, uncertainty and harsh conditions, but they never lost sight of their ultimate goal. They also demonstrated teamwork and camaraderie, which we know that if we embrace, can transform our own experiences into opportunities for thriving and growth. 


How to Prepare for a Crisis Within Your Business

Whether you’re thinking about starting a business, launching one, running one, working a 9-5 job, or in the process of changing careers, at some point in life a crisis will hit. The best thing you can do now is to learn resilience and set up a crisis management team. Identify your key risks, and be prepared to have to adjust to the unknowns. Consider building a strategy that includes the following: 

    • Staying resilient and accepting vulnerability. To overcome a crisis, leaders need to be flexible and learn resilience. This might mean making decisions with limited information and being prepared to make quick decisions. Be vulnerable and remember that not all decisions will lead you to your desired outcome, and that’s ok. Embrace the growth along the way.
    • Ask yourself, “What if…” and acknowledge your risks. Preparation is key. Ask yourself “what would happen if…” about areas of your business and/or role and when challenges arise, acknowledge and remember the team of people around you. People matter most. 
    • Adapt to new times. Crisis management affects everyone in the company so when you’re developing a strategy, understand the people you serve. Your strategy can’t be the same as it was 20 years ago because business personalities and companies change. 
  • Form a crisis management team. A crisis management team can be made up of stakeholders from various departments and locations. It should be comprised of different people with different skills such as advertising, communications, IT, client relations, etc. Brainstorm potential crises with your team and create a group plan.


Learn more about 14 ways to build a solid crisis management strategy


Working with Coaches at 3 Steps to Startup and WVCAP During Challenging Times

Starting a business guarantees there will be ups and downs, challenges and successes, obstacles and achievements. But our coaches and resources at 3 Steps to Startup and WVCAP are here to help you navigate through those times and to help invest in entrepreneurs, fund development, grow companies and create jobs–even in the toughest of circumstances. 


Our 3 Step Program includes: 


Step 1. Education: This step aims to educate entrepreneurs. It helps you pick up new skills, build your toolkit, and inspire you with people who have “been there and done that.” Resources include master classes in key entrepreneurial subject areas ranging from corporate structure and branding, to intellectual property, sales strategies, and more. 


Step 2: Technical Assistance: we will provide you and link you with all the services you need including: Legal Services, Accounting Services, & Financial Advisory Services.


Step 3: Funding: we will help you get the funding you need through West Virginia Capital Access Program (WVCAP). WVCAP is designed to assist credit-worthy companies that may not fit traditional lending models.


Your dreams today can become your reality tomorrow with the help of our team! Check out an inspiring story about Coe’s Country Store which is expanding and growing– hoping to double the number of employees while providing groceries and hot meals to residents of French Creek and tourists as well.

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