What if what you’re struggling with right now could actually be what helps you reach your goal! (And how a principle in aviation convinced me this is true)
I first wrote about this idea that “lift” or using headwinds to climb back in 2013. Here’s a link to that post: I thought I would take a fresh look at this idea and see how the last four years have further defined this concept. This episode is what I came up with…
Do you want to dig deeper into today’s topic of lift and resistance? I’ve created a beautiful gift just for you over at unsabotage.com/tryit.
It’s full of space for you to write and includes a powerful exercise to go back through and actually SEE your thoughts in a whole new way.
And for your convenience, here’s today’s transcript:
Hey, Gorgeous! Ginny Townsend here, founder of UnSabotage and welcome to another week of our Facebook Live show. So, if you had a chance to read the tease of the video, you’re probably wondering what on earth is Ginny talking about? So, especially if you watched last week’s video about the Hurricane Harvey relief effort, or if you know me, if you’ve ever had a conversation with me you probably know that my husband is a pilot. There is something about a community of pilots. It’s in their blood, it’s in their DNA, it’s deeper than them to a career or a hobby, it’s just it’s such a part of them.
And so, I stepped into the aviation culture almost 13 years ago now and it’s been an amazing adventure ever since. Since then, I have learned a ton about flying, a ton about like the principles of aviation, the history of aviation, and ALL kinds of aircraft… You have no idea how many different kinds of aircraft I know random things about, but there is one principle that has held my attention over this last decade that has influenced my life and I’m bringing it up today because I hope it influences yours as well.
It’s this idea, this concept of “LIFT.” So what is lift? And I reached out to… well, I Googled an organization called NASA, you may have heard of it, for their definition and I’m going to read the technical definition to you.
“Lift is the force that directly opposes the weight of an airplane and holds the airplane in the air. Lift is a mechanical aerodynamic force produced by the motion of the airplane through the air.” Okay, cool thank you, NASA!
That is the technical definition and what, more practically speaking, draws me to this concept is have you ever been to an airport and paid attention to the direction of the runways and how they usually criss-cross? That is the case because it’s based on the wind patterns of the area where the airport is built, and when an airplane takes off it heads into the wind. Air traffic control looks for headwinds and that’s the direction in which they tell all the planes to take off. They don’t point them towards the tailwinds. If a plane was trying to take off with a tailwind it would just push them down the runway. They would never take off. I can’t think of a private plane, a commercial plane or a military plane where that would ever be the goal! So, in the concept of lift we point ourselves towards the headwinds and actually use those winds like a stair step to climb.
Isn’t that cool?
And the other concept … or part of the concept that you may have caught in that NASA’s definition is it’s a force that is applied to the plane when it is in motion. So, whether it’s on the runway getting ready to take off or whether it is climbing, whether it is cruising, descending, whatever, the plane has to be moving for lift to work. It can’t be sitting still. A plane sitting still will never take off. It will never ever take off. So I think that that is also really an interesting concept.
But hear me, I don’t want you to think that I’m saying, “Oh, we need to go after the hardest part. We need to, you know, suffer a lot of pain. We need to kill ourselves trying to get into the air.” That is not what I’m saying. I don’t subscribe to that. I absolutely believe in a good work ethic, but I do not think that we need to kill ourselves or become weary of mind and soul to be able to take off. I think there’s a smarter way and it’s actually using the tool of resistance to climb.
So on the other hand, there’s this camp that’s like, “Okay. I need to go for the hardest part. The hardest part is where success is,” and sometimes that is the case but that’s for every stage of the flight, that’s not always the case. But then there’s this other side of the thought continuum on this topic and that is when we face even our first, second, whatever gust of resistance wind, we start thinking, “Oh, maybe this just wasn’t meant to be.” And sometimes, things aren’t meant to be. There is a place for making that statement, for having that thought but it’s not usually on the runway before we’ve taken off or when we’ve hit our first gust of headwind. That’s not usually where we need to really pay much attention to that thought of, “Was this really meant to be?”
I think sometimes when we ask that question early on in a “flight” or in a journey, I think we should give ourselves the grace to say, “Okay, is this something I really want?” Because if it’s not something you really want, you’re probably going to look for a way out or like an “ejection” to keep with the analogy, throughout the remainder of the flight, and it’s going to be much harder work than you need. It’s probably not what you’re meant to be doing if you’re looking for an escape that early on.
But then there’s another name for these first resistant winds that some people will say, “Oh, maybe this isn’t meant to be.” I say we look at it totally different. I say these winds, especially the first few gusts, are the “How much do you want this?” wind. That is the name that I have lovingly given them, because when we start a project or a new career or a new business or a new anything, it’s exciting and it’s fun and the future is limitless. (I still believe that the future is limitless, by the way) but when we hit our first gust of wind, gust of a headwind, that’s usually when we start saying, “Oh.”
We divide into two paths. We either say, “Oh maybe this isn’t meant to be,” and kind of look for a way out or we say, “Okay. This gust is probably the first of the ‘How much do you want this?’ wind.” It is when we can then use the resistance of the headwind to climb, that’s when we can prove to ourselves and to the world how much we really want this. Isn’t that amazing? Absolutely amazing.
So I hope that I have convinced you that lift is a really amazing principle that we can continue to draw in and draw on and I kind of toyed with “Do I take this analogy even deeper?”
And I thought, “No, not on this video.”
I wanted to introduce the concept to you and I will come back to this with more kind of like topical videos on the concept of lift and really the field of aviation. But, like I said, I hope you have found that the idea of lift is really cool, but practically speaking you may be saying, “Cool Ginny, how do I bring it into my everyday life?”
And I am so glad you asked, because I have three tips for you on how to bring this into your world and like move it from the theoretical to the actual.
1. The first one is, especially if you’re on the runway or if you’re just at the beginning part of the flights, it is so easy to think and obsess about the entire flight. We can think about all that needs to be done, like all the battles that need to be fought, the resistance we need to overcome, all the things we need to do, all the people we need to hire, blah blah blah. It can become overwhelming and then we just kind of spin using our energy, or fuel to keep with the analogy, kind of circling not really going anywhere. So it doesn’t serve you well to think about the whole flight. I just want you to think about what is that next gust of wind that you need to use as a stepping stone to climb.
What is coming at you? What is the resistance that you need to solve? Maybe it’s a tech issue, that you’re like, “Ugh.” Maybe that would normally take you down. You’re like, “Okay, no. I can figure this out. This is a ‘how much do I want this’ wind that I can overcome.” So think about just that first, that next step, that next gust that you need to pay attention to, that you need to climb to move forward. Okay? Cool.
2. So the second one is, well first of all if that first exercise didn’t work, maybe just go ahead and ask yourself, “Do I even want this?” Because there may be something that you should be pointing all that energy, all that momentum, all of that climbing the resistance headwind effort towards that you’re not right now. Maybe you know this isn’t … like maybe it is kind of a safe option and you’re like, “Ugh.” Or maybe it’s just, it’s not maybe even in the field that you want to be focusing on. Whatever it is, whatever the reason is, ask yourself, give yourself the grace to say, “Hey, do I even want this?” Because like I said earlier, you’re probably going to be looking for an ejection like a parachute, a way off the plane throughout the whole flight, if it’s not something that you want. Okay, so that is two.
3. Then the third one is, do you remember that show Who Wants to be a Millionaire? If you haven’t seen it, it was a game show a number of years ago where the point of the game was a contestant was asked more and more difficult questions and if they got all of them right, at the end of the game they would win a million dollars. But, on the progressively harder and harder questions, the host gives the contestant a few Lifelines and one of the lifelines was called “Phone-a-Friend.” I love it when things like game shows are much more deep and meaningful than I’m sure they ever intended to be. But I love this idea of phoning a friend and to be honest, it is this area … it is the suggestion of these three that I am working hard on most right now. It’s not something that I honestly find comes natural to me. My natural tendency is to be like, “Alright Ginny. Figure it out. You can do this.” So I am working on this, this third tip or trick of phoning a friend. Because often times it’s that outside perspective that can make all the difference. You’re sitting in the plane, right? You can’t see all the way around. You can’t see the entire situation, so an outside perspective can make all the difference in bringing what you want to life. Cool, makes sense?
So like I said, I hope I have convinced you that the aeronautical principle of lift is actually really cool. So, what do you think about it? What do you think about the idea that headwinds can actually help you take off? That they can actually, what you might have normally thought like resistance coming at you like, “Oh this could take me down,” it can actually be what helps you climb. I hope that you find it like simply profound. Let me know what you think in the comments below and did you like today’s video? If so, I would be so honored if you share it. So, until next week I hope that if you face any resistance, any headwinds, that you recognize them … you remember this video, you recognize them what they are and smile, because you can actually use them to climb. It can be your secretly best friend. So I can’t wait to talk with you next Tuesday morning at 11 am Pacific. Until then, have an amazing week and soar.