“The only thing standing between you and your goal is the bullshit story you keep telling yourself as to why you can’t achieve it” (Felix Baumgartner)
Felix Baumgartner, a simple man, just like you and me. Nothing innately great about him, he wasn’t born with lightning speed like Usain Bolt, a voice like Frank Sinatra or the ability to dance like, ahem, myself. He was just a regular Joe with the dream of jumping from out of a space. He set himself a goal, albeit a mental one, but he set one nonetheless and he got it done. We can all learn a lot from the Australian daredevil, I could think of a few more but here are 5 lessons we can learn from everybody’s new hero:
1. Shoot for the stars. No one ever blamed anyone for trying. If Felix had failed in his attempt, maybe some last minute nerves would have caused him to rethink his plan and drop the height a little. Nobody would have thought any less of him or called him a wuss and he still would have achieved a lot more than 99% of the population. So aim high and if you have to adjust along the way you still might achieve something pretty special. 2. Enjoy the ride. Falling at over 1000kmph from the outer stratosphere I’m not sure how much thinking and contemplating Felix would have been doing but I’m sure as he was falling he was loving every second of it. Often we move through life at a similar speed and forget to enjoy the journey. Stop, look around for a second and smile once in a while, you’ll feel a hell of a lot better. Maybe it’s calling an old friend or a little retail therapy, whatever it is take the time to have a little fun and enjoy yourself once in a while.
3. Face your fears. Unless it’s fighting a bear or going toe to toe with George St Pierre attack your fears head on. Oftentimes we miss out on incredible opportunities because we are too scared. Sometimes we make the right choice but sometimes, just sometimes, we can miss out on something potentially life altering because our fears caused us to shy away.
4. Step out of your comfort zone. Been doing the same workout for the past 10 years? Working the same job your whole career? I can appreciate someone that works hard and progresses in their career but when was the last time you made progress in the gym? Are you continuing to get stronger and fitter? If the answer is no, it may be because your staying within your comfort zone and sticking with the exercises you like and do well. Challenge yourself with something new, maybe you need to increase the weight, progress the exercise or turn the level up on the elliptical (or step off and lift something). Whatever it is, if you are no longer challenging yourself either at work or in the gym your progress will eventually stall. Step out of your comfort zone, Felix did and look what he achieved.
5. Find your inner Felix. For Felix, falling from space was his ultimate goal. You don’t have to jump from space, or even a plane for that matter, but find the thing that challenges you, scares you and makes you better. Whatever it is, find it and get after it.