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Ditch The Runway, It’s Time To Fly

By | Advice, Entrepreneurship
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Ditch The Runway, It’s Time To Fly

There’s time we should all be spending on the runway of life: accumulating knowledge, wisdom, practice and repetition. This is where we put our preparation in: the pre-flight checklist, the security measures, the analysis of weather patterns.

And then we start to accelerate. This is where momentum grows, and we’re gathering all the tools we’ll need along our path.

But at some point, if we don’t take off —we will either be forced to abort our dreams or be involved in a fiery crash of epic proportions.

Neither is enticing, and yet how often do we spend our entire lives on the tarmac and runway of our dreams:

Chasing the next certification.
Chasing someone else’s permission.
Chasing a ‘someday’ moment in the future.
Chasing society’s approval to give us the nod to fly.

We’ve all been there, and it never seems to be enough. Once we cross off one checkpoint, we add another.

There has to be a better way —or else our dreams will stay grounded forever.

The Best Time To Start Was Yesterday

We’re on the runway, gaining speed, about to take off —and then we stop. We tell ourselves things like:

“I need more time to research.”
“I need another degree, or certification.”
“I’ll do it when life slows down and I have space.”

And so we start to believe these narratives —and we convince ourselves that one day we’ll make it happen.

Except we won’t, because one day and someday are illusions cut from the cloth of fear and procrastination.

And if we aren’t careful, we’ll live our entire lives on the runway.

We’ll watch other planes with more courage and tenacity take off on their dreams, while we stay safely cradled on the ground as the days, months and years pass by.

So the best time for you to start was yesterday.

Regardless of your current skill level —everything we set out to do will require more work, persistence and overcoming obstacles.

So you might as well start now.

Or else, you’ll get stuck in paralysis by analysis much like I did when picking up a new sport recently.

I Wanted All The Gear Before I Started

Recently, I moved into a new home in Arizona, gloriously tucked away in the mountains with unlimited access to some of the best trails around.

So I chose to pick up Mountain Biking —not really a big think in New York or CT, so I was completely new.

And yet, I found myself on the runway: finding a (used) bike, getting all the gear and spending countless hours studying how to get started.

But I wasn’t actually getting started.

Because I can read all the reviews on the latest gear, but everything will pale in comparison to getting out on the trail and having a split second near-collision with a cactus as I fall in a blaze of glory.

This is what most of us do with our dreams: we waste all our time and energy on preparation —when nothing could prepare us for being in the game.

And then we simply miss out on what really matters:

Experiencing the thrill and gift of life that only comes when we’re flying high above the clouds on our unique voyage:

We’re chasing our dreams, living our truths and taking the call to adventure we all deeply crave.

Not for anyone else, but for the Man or Woman in the mirror.

This unquenchable thrill for life can’t be found in blueprints, spreadsheets and P&L statements.

It happens when we take off, and never look back.

What Are You Waiting For?

Is there a time to harness skills, experience life and gain a level of competency?

Of course.

But way too often this becomes a crutch, a convenient excuse to keep our dreams grounded.

(And a brilliant one at that, because we don’t have face the raw and vulnerable feeling of putting ourselves out there.)

So, what are you waiting for?

Because I know one thing to be true:

Regret will gnaw at our spirits, until one day it has consumed every part of our lives.

You won’t regret giving it a shot.
You won’t regret taking a chance.
You won’t regret betting on you.

But you will regret staying grounded, living a life for other people who don’t have to pay the price of your decisions.

It’s time to pull that throttle back.

It’s time to fly.

Because on the other side of lifting off is a life you can’t imagine.

(NOTE: This metaphor is not my own, I simply expanded on it —thank you to the incredible Liz Gilbert.)

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Written by Tommy Baker.
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