“When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.”
I came across the quote above from Henry Ford earlier this week. And what struck me as odd was that an airplane takes off AGAINST the wind, not with it, as Ford also points out. How can that be? Why is that? And, more importantly, how does it relate to our lives and pursuing our dreams? (yes, you knew I was going there….)
A LITTLE LESSON IN PHYSICS: The most apt metaphor for the physics involved in a plane’s takeoff is the recoil of a gun after it fires a shot. According to Snorri Gudmundsson, assistant professor of aerospace engineering at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, “The gun springs back on reaction to the force of the bullet accelerating in the other direction.” This recoil is an example of Newtown’s Third Law (every action generates an equal and opposite reaction). As it relates to the plane, the fast air bearing down on the plane generates an upward force on the wings (like the gun’s recoil) which helps to lift the aircraft. Even more, the headwinds enable a plane to achieve “wings up” faster. Impressive right?
We all have days, maybe even weeks, where we feel as though we are walking into the wind. Where we feel as though all the odds are stacked up against us. Where we feel that the challenges we are faced with are insurmountable. Especially when we are on a path to “MORE”–more happiness, love, financial abundance, better health, weight loss, personal freedom–we will have many instances of walking against the wind. The path to our dreams, the things we want, the “more” of life, is the path of opposition. It’s a path filled with challenges and at times we will be walking into the wind and it will be hard. But let’s not confuse hard with impossible. It’s seems impossible that a plane can take off against the wind and yet it does. It may also seem impossible for you to walk into your wind-path, confront your challenges head-on…but you know what? You can. It’s not impossible. Remember that even the word “impossible” spells I’M POSSIBLE.
We don’t receive anything by vision alone. This month we are daring to dream, but dreaming itself isn’t enough. We must dare to believe, to have faith in the “more” we desire. We must dare to take a risk, take inspired action toward what we want. We must do the hard work. Walk into the wind. Use that wind to lift us up even higher so that we can be set free and fly.
What is ONE thing you can do TODAY that brings you joy? Do that. Even if just for five minutes. The key to getting the “more” we desire starts by knowing what “more” feels like. What does joy feel like? What does it feel to be happy and at peace or to feel accomplished? Today, start small. Today, do something for YOU.