I am a creature of the night, waking at the deeply dark, wee hours of the morning to head to the tv station where I prognosticate about all things traffic, weather and news. The alarm sounds at 3:30am these days, which is a nice break from the previous 2:30 honking that woke me from my delicious flying dreams at previous times. Eyes flutter open, muscles come alive and more often than not, a smile slips across my lips, knowing today is the best day in history.
Hair and makeup, dresses and heels, espresso (raspberry and vanilla these days) and I am out the door with a quick kiss blown to my faithful little pup, Nubbin. When I get in the car, I have approximately 14 minutes to set my mood just right.
The freeway is a runway leading straight toward whatever day I want to have.
What I noticed today, as I drove in for a Sunday morning weather shift at 9News, was how clear and deep the night sky seemed as I pressed the gas pedal and roared onto I-25. Through the windshield, the stars gleamed, constellations crisp and obvious to the North, inviting my stare to linger longer than usual. I was alone, baring the rare opposite direction freeway companion. It was the color of the sky that really got to me this morning. It was a bluish black, with no end in sight. There was no promise of impending light, no hint of a day ahead. Pure, calm, silky black eternity.
What would it be like to fly in this night sky? On a Sunday morning at 4am? Sure, I’ve had night flight time, as pilot, as passenger, as sleepy shoulder sleeper, but this, this would be different. My mind immediately went to the pinnacle of my flight goals, an eventual flight around the world. There will be hours upon hours spent flying at night and inevitably, there will be a 4am adventure across the night sky. I get chills thinking of what it will be like to look back on even just the writing of this blog post, wondering what and where and how and oh my goodness it is all so possible!
The first Amelia saw what I am imagining, craving, working toward, first hand, and summed it up in such a succinct way… “The stars seemed near enough to touch and never before have I seen so many. I always believed the lure of flying is the lure of beauty, but I was sure of it that night.”
There is a reason that I am so focused and amped up toward diving into that night sky, especially as of late. A personal recommitment has been made, a show of respect toward the big goals and what they stand for and it has all come from a new sense of understanding exactly what we are all individually capable of. It comes down to deciding what you want to be and committing 100%.
Here’s where I realized I have failed in the past: Previously, a 99% commitment felt like a path toward success. If I was 99% there, 1% couldn’t, wouldn’t, shouldn’t matter, right?
That 1% is a powerful little beast. Take for example, a thought on exceptions to the “rule”. If you commit to working toward a goal 99% of the time, you will constantly use the excuse that today is the day to slack off, procrastinate, put it off, and let the work pile up. Is today the 1% exception? Sure, why not? I am 99% committed to my cause, my goal, my idea. This one time wont hurt. Two times is a fluke, everyone get’s a few free passes, three times starts to look like a pattern and then, before you know it, a 99% commitment looks like a 50% maybe I’ll get it done when I have the energy, when I lose ten pounds, when the kids graduate, when work slows down. Familiar? I’ve been there and I don’t want to go back. No way, José.
That one little time turns to habit and you are back where you were when your goal was just a lofty idea without legs. When a 100% commitment is made, there are no exceptions, either you are or you aren’t. Do or do not. Be or don’t be. Progress can be slow, but commitment with intention and defined terms of success and hard work is sexy. Just make the first step, invite yourself to take the next, the third will feel good and then you are on a roll.
I’ll take it one step further… If you accomplished 99% of your goal, would you be happy? If out of 100 job candidates you were one away from the top, would you be stoked? In my case, if I flew 99% of the way around the world, I would certainly disappointed. You get out what you put in. Lately, my input has been learning, growing, soak up the amazing details of how awesome flight can be. When I talk about the goal, I show 100% on my face. You’ve got one life to give it all while you’re here. I don’t want to die with a bunch of unfulfilled ideas.
Am I sounding like some sort of crazy tyrant? I am not saying you’ve gotta be all work and no play… that would be a terrible way to live. What I am saying, is decide what you want and pour your whole heart into it. You are completely capable of doing whatever it is you can imagine. It feels damn amazing to accomplish goals, right? Do it more often. I can’t believe I am quoting John Mayer, but here goes: “If you had started doing anything two weeks ago, by today you would have been two weeks better at it.”
Back to night flight… lately, when I have a hard time studying, or going to a lesson after waking up at 3:30am, or taking the time to understand my craft, I go back to what it will feel like to slip into the sky and fly East towards the horizon. It kicks me in the ass, it lifts my heart, it rumbles my soul. It is like the aircraft engine starting… it feels like the beginning of something big.
Almost there is ok, but hitting your mark feels realllllllly good.