**Spoilers Warning** There are some spoilers in these notes. So for those who haven't read the book, you have been warned.
Ernest Shackleton, the ship's captain, was a leader and a good one too. Through all the crazy things they had to endure, he successfully kept everyone alive throughout this entire perilous expedition.
I feel like his success could be attributed to several factors:
Throughout the expedition, there had been countless times when they encountered dangerous situations. Shackleton always chose the plan that would be safest for the whole team. Rushing was never an option.
Shackleton was extremely thorough when it came to planning an expedition. Still, when it came to looking and finding members for the journey, he would ask very shallow questions and even decide based on appearance and demeanor. He even selected people with hardly any experience in a particular field he was assigning them to for the expedition.
Relying heavily on these crew members, choosing them so flippantly seems like pretty odd behavior. Still, the book mentions that historically, he had great success with choosing people this way.
Maybe our initial impressions of people are more robust than we know.
There were quite a few times in the book where it mentions positivity and optimism. The expedition team could have quickly fallen into misery and despair for their icy situation, but many of them choose to see the positives.
Even without the hope of rescue, the crew members' journal entries revealed that they adjusted well to the harsh terrain and were "quite sincerely happy." Macklin, one of the expedition members, in his diary, wrote: "I read somewhere that all a man needs to be happy is a full stomach and warmth, and I begin to think it is really true..." From the diary of Mr. Greenstreet, while deserted on a giant iceberg, "One of the finest days we have ever had...a pleasure to be alive."
Their past life at parts had become "pleasant reminiscences rather than longings." Shackleton also kept a powerful optimistic mood that gave his team confidence and strength.
This positive mindset reminds me of the notes from Victor Frankl's observations in his book, "Man's Search for Meaning," and how positivity and optimism significantly impacted a person's health and well-being.
Ernest Shackleton felt entirely responsible for the situation he got his team in. He knew the importance of morale when conditions were rough, so he actively made sure that the people who had disagreements with one another had them settled quickly. There was no time to hold grudges. He would even spend time with team members he didn't like to mend disputes and bad feelings.
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