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Are you ready for take off?
There are four main principles in flying and those same principles apply to people, places and things in our lives. To fly a plane you must have Lift, Thrust, Weight and Drag.
These are terms we use in our everyday language. “Mary really lifts my spirits every time I see her”, “Peter weighs me down with his dramas”, “Paul’s support really propelled me to another level” or “Susan is such a drag on my energy and emotions”.
I have a list completed for each of these areas and it is up on my office board so I don’t forget to do the things I enjoy (usually simple things in life) and I can catch myself if I fall into the habit and pattern of the things that weigh me down. It’s an easy exercise but just like training for a marathon you’ll need to exercise these new muscles everyday 🙂
Lift – these are people / places / things that you find uplifting, that brighten your day with possibilities and encourage you every step of the way to accomplish your dreams.
Thrust – these are people / places / things who motivate, push and challenge you to move forward and achieve your goals.
Weight – these are people / places / things who pull you down. They embody discouragement and negativity and focus primarily on what’s not working in life. It might include things that weigh you down, obligations, heavy burdens, impossible deadlines, guilt, resentments etc…
Drag – these are people / places / things who always have a sad story. They are always in the pits and expect you to cheer them up or fix their problems. If you are not careful, you can end up in the pit with them. Can also include things that hold you back or impede your progress, frustrate you, annoy you, bore you etc…
Start with yourself
Be honest and ask yourself which category do YOU fall into in your life – a lifter, a thruster, a weight or a drag. Yes, we’re not pointing the fingers at others or blaming anyone or anything for our life – we are bringing more awareness to the role we play in our own life. This exercise is not about beating yourself up but getting to understand yourself a little more. Maybe even go deeper and ask in what situations & with whom do you play each of these roles? What pay-off do you get from being the weight / drag? Do you find it easier to be the lifter & thruster with other people than yourself? What category would you like to strengthen in yourself? How can you do that? What do you need in order to do that?
Take it step by step. Each subtle change can create a shift in the role you play in your life.
Now lets look at our outside world
Now that you are beginning to see if you lift / thrust / weigh / drag yourself or others. Let’s do an audit of the people, places, things and even your mindset/attitudes/beliefs to see where they can be strengthen or maybe where you need to create a little space.
People – this can include family, friends, work colleagues, community, people you admire but don’t know, writers/talkers who inspire you (e.g. mother, brother, father, sister, Wayne Dyer, Elizabeth Gilbert, boss, neighbour, teacher) etc.. who are the people who drag you back, weigh you down, lift you up and thrust you forward?
Places – this can be places that you’ve been to, that inspire you, that you wish to go to (e.g. the park, a certain corner in your house, a foreign country, an ancient site) etc…where are the places which drag you back, weigh you down, lift you up and thrust you forward?
Things – this could include things you do for fun, things you keep saying you will do when you get time, things that some part of you wants to do but you don’t know why (e.g. yoga, walking, writing, being beside the sea, reading books, painting, cooking for fun, playing with your kids, visiting relatives, knitting, travel, exploring, camping) etc.. what are the things that drag you back, weigh you down, lift you up and thrust you forward?
Beliefs / Attitudes / Mindset – this could include the thoughts, beliefs, emotions that support you and those that hinder you (e.g. I’m not good enough, I don’t know enough, I can’t, what if). Only you know them – they usually live in your head taking up space! What are the beliefs/attitudes and mindset that drag you back, weigh you down, lift you up and thrust you forward?
This is an opportunity to really take control of how you let outside people / places / things influence you. Don’t feel bad if you put people you love on the drag / weight list – it’s ok – it’s not a blaming session once it is your truth. Having them on the weight/drag list doesn’t mean you have to cut them out of your life. You can however allow yourself to decide how you want to interact with them going forward. You are in the driving seat after all!
Now looking back at what you have written, do you think that if you life was a plane would it be ready for take off and would you get on it confidently?
For perfect flight, you need a balance of all four. The same is true for a successful life. Which part of your life isn’t balanced? Is it the weight / dragging down / lift up / thrust forward? What are the options available to you to change any of these areas? What one thing can you do to start bringing the balance back in? What one area would make the biggest difference if you were to start changing it?
Are you ready for take off? Take it bit by bit. Do one thing from the areas of Lift and Thrust which can help to raise you and propel you forward. Start cutting down (remove if you’re ready to go for it) from the areas of Weight and Drag, this will help with your “flight” as well. Then keep adjusting as you go further on your ‘flight’ so you can maintain the peaceful journey.