The shaky cockpit

You might embrace resolutions for a new year, or you might resist them. I’m somewhere in between. Either way, it’s almost impossible to get through January without wondering — either dreamily and happily or begrudgingly — what will the year hold? How might we best evolve and grow? What patterns will repeat that we already know block us from our best, and how will we respond to those patterns in 2019?

Resolution: a decision or determination made.

‘Resolutions’ can feel like choosing one door and all the others close. You may feel like you’re banking on certainty, employing a pass/fail yardstick, and needing 100% commitment regardless of external factors (which change constantly). But what if, in 2019, you filled that fresh page with intentions rather than pass/fail must-dos?

Intention: the purpose or attitude towards the effect of one’s actions.

No boxes, and no must-dos. Just a shift. I say ‘just’, but a shift is a big deal! Shifts have the capacity to break us into truly new territory. We don’t get there by performing lots of ‘doing’. We get there by rethinking our purpose, attitude, and actions.

In 2019, how might you reassess your effect? What edges need softening? What needs sharpening? Without pinning you down, what would you like to intend this year?

In this first month of 2019, I’m in that space between letting go of the old but not having gotten to the new yet. The in-between is a scary place whether personal, professional, or creative. Perhaps you’ve made some brave choices, and set some new intentions. Perhaps you’ve identified problems like opening Pandora’s box, and now, the air around you is filled up with all the discord of what was inside. Yikes!

“Just before you break through the sound barrier, the cockpit shakes the most.”

— Chuck Yeager, former United States Air Force officer, flying ace, and record-setting test pilot. In 1947, he became the first pilot confirmed to have exceeded the speed of sound in level flight.

When it feels shaky this year, try continuing to say YES. Stay the course. A big idea, ambition, or change isn’t supposed to be smooth, graceful, or easy. All of it requires rootlessness. Humility. Fluidity. And a heck of a shake.

In 2019, try differently. Show up differently. Practice a spatial awareness for how (and when) your own unique batch of habitual narratives, hesitations, assumptions, and projections want to emerge. Notice it and pause. Let that moment pass over you and choose to conduct yourself in a new way. It could be as simple as not speaking, reacting, or making up your mind in that moment. Wait and see what new things might unfold, when you don’t fill the space the way you always do. You might be surprised, and surprise is priceless. Just hold on and keep flying.

In the gap between an opening for positive impact and the measuring of positive impact — no matter how shaky it feels or what comes of it all — the trying is always worth it.

Happy new year, friends and like-minded pilots. Onward!