Pushing Forward When You Want to Pull Back

Have you ever flown or ridden on a helicopter? I think you would agree that they’re pretty amazing machines if you think about what they are capable of. They’re basically a bubble shaped body with two to seven blades on top, rotating at thousands of rpms per minute, that lift, direct and even hold the body at a stall in the air. They’re pretty incredible machines if you think about it. Another thing, even if you’ve only seen helicopters on tv, is that they’re pretty loud.

But this isn’t about the function and design of helicopters. The helicopter is just the tool used for the story. Because when you here the story I’m about to tell, you’ll understand.

Mayday Mayday Mayday

I was at a seminar several years back and Robert Kiyosaki was one of the guest speakers. You may be familiar with his book, Rich Dad Poor Dad. If you’re not, I highly suggest you go grab a copy. Before Robert Kiyosaki became a successful businessman, he served in the United States Military. I believe he was a Marine.

Thank you for your service Robert.

When he was in the military, he was a helicopter pilot. And during his talk, he told us about an event that no one ever wants to experience. Even a tough United States Marine. They were hovering in the helicopter when suddenly the engine died.

It quit running.


And silence isn’t something you want when you’re in a helicopter.

Robert went on to tell us that after he announced “mayday, mayday, mayday,” in his best high school girl voice, that he pushed the control stick forward… because that’s what he was trained to do. He said your instinct is to pull back on the stick but that’s the last thing you want to do. It will cause an uncontrolled fall and end worse than your other option. So, he pushed the control stick forward and pointed the nose towards the water below. And right before he hit the water, he pulled back and landed as softly as possible.

Don’t ask me how the mechanics work of a helicopter. Especially one with no working engine. I just know this is how Robert told the story and I believe him.

Start Pushing Forward

So how does this relate to you?

Robert and his co-pilot were sitting there in their comfort zone hovering above the water and enjoying the view when things suddenly went wrong.

Very wrong.

But he did what he was trained to do, he pushed forward and they survived.

Now is the time of year when lots of people are making resolutions to change their lives. They tell themselves that they’re going to make career changes(something I need to do), or lose weight, or get more fit, or make more money, or move to another home, or find ‘the one’ for them. And they come out of the gate with a lot of enthusiasm and momentum. But then they realize that changing jobs is kind of scary. Or that exercising every day is tiring and makes you sore. And to make more money requires working more hours, another job or working smarter.

All these things are great goals to have. And people start off with the best intentions. But unfortunately, when they hit that first wall, they throw in the towel and quit. They don’t push through and they convince themselves that their job is ok. People tell themselves things like, “at least I have a job.” Or when it comes to fitness, “I’m not that fat and out of shape, at least I can still tie my shoes.” Sadly, they don’t realize that by not pushing themselves forward they’re actually pulling themselves backwards. Because nothing stays the same. You’re either improving your life or worsening it. Complacency is no way to live. When you give up, you tend to beat yourself up. And you don’t need to do that because there are plenty of people out there willing to do that for you.

Decide what area or areas of life you want to improve and start improving them. Just realize it’s not going to be easy. But when you push yourself to that next level you’re going to feel incredibly satisfied and proud of yourself. And believe me, there’s going to be many times that you’re going to have to push through to get the result(s) you’re after.

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