“If you can walk away from a landing, it’s a good landing. If you use the airplane the next day, it’s an outstanding landing.” – Chuck Yeager
I remember my dad introducing me to flight simulators in the mid 90’s. It was a shared passion of ours. As the years went on I became less and less interested but my dad’s interest just kept building. It was still great to hear him talk about airplane facts and he also developed an interest for birds along the way. If it flies, he eyes!
So when he turned 65 I decided to buy him a flying lesson. To see the sheer joy when he got the gift was priceless.
The reason I shared this story is because often when we think of the word “letdown” we think about it in negative terms like being disappointed.
However, in the world of aviation it’s got a completely different meaning. It’s the decent to the point where the landing approach begins.
We want to soar high most of the time. Give it all we got. Because, you know, YOLO? We just need to accept that we can’t be there all of the time.
We may reach a breaking point where we push and push and push thinking that we’re about to break through any moment. Instead, we end up just breaking down. While the spirit is willing, the flesh is weak.
We need to build up our knowledge and have patience with things. Sometimes we need to take it down a notch and refuel.
Remember that there’s no point of pride in pushing yourself so hard that you crack. The road back could take longer than if you slow down, take breather and ask yourself: “Is this REALLY worth it? Could I pace myself?”.
It’s about realizing that we need to grow along with the things we choose to take on. Seldom if ever are we fully prepared for everything that comes our way.
Recently I saw James Cameron’s “Deepsea Challenge”. There were some great insights into how you should approach projects whether they’re to the bottom of the Mariana Trench or to create a piece of art, technology, music or writing a book. If you can, go and see it in 3D or rent it. If you can’t, some regions allow for the viewing of the video below!
We need to keep an eye out for when we’re pushing too hard and accept that we might need to rest up. Remember, we’re in it for the long haul!
I’ll leave you today with some more quotes from Chuck Yeager, the first man to break the sound barrier.
“You do what you can for as long as you can, and when you finally can’t, you do the next best thing. You back up but you don’t give up.”
“I was always afraid of dying. Always. It was my fear that made me learn everything I could about my airplane and my emergency equipment, and kept me flying respectful of my machine and always alert in the cockpit.”
“Later, I realized that the mission had to end in a letdown because the real barrier wasn’t in the sky but in our knowledge and experience of supersonic flight.”
“If you want to grow old as a pilot, you’ve got to know when to push it, and when to back off.”
Carol Dweck – The Power of Believing That You Can Improve