Defying Gravity

When the space shuttle takes off, it burns two-thirds of its fuel in the first 20 minutes. The remaining supply is ample for up to two weeks of continued flight. It takes tremendous force to bust through the gripping constraints of gravity.

When you embark on your own journey, gravity has the same impact. Launching a business, writing a book, completing medical school, or rebuilding broken communities can be daunting tasks. Unless your only dream is to get a tan and hit the mall, you’ll be faced with an intense gravitational pull designed to hold you back. It’s there to test your resolve and give you an opportunity to show how much you really want it.

So how can you slay this dragon? Having studied elite leaders in many disciplines, I’ve noticed some common threads. Here’s how the most successful people slingshot Newton’s law into the stratosphere, and what you can do to defy gravity:

1. Purpose – Start with “why.” Having a purpose that is consistent with your values and overall life-plan will become your North Star. It will help you persist in the darkest hours of your journey, and help you enlist the help of others when you share it freely.

2. Vision – Imagine trying to do a 1000 piece puzzle without looking at the box cover. Ouch. Having a clear picture in your mind of your desired outcome will enable you to manifest it efficiently.

3. Focus – An ancient Chinese proverb states, “Chase two rabbits and both will escape.” It’s easy to get distracted, but those who achieve the most are able to lock their sights with laser-beam accuracy on their vision and purpose.

4. Discipline – This isn’t the easy part and it’s what most often separates champions from also-rans. The bottom line: if you behave with relentless commitment, your odds of success increase geometrically. This means daily habits that crescendo into your big goal. Through grit and determination, your potential is nearly limitless.

5. Creativity – In today’s world of dizzying speed and exponential complexity, you’ll need to continuously adapt and refine your plan. Creativity will be your most powerful weapon in conquering adversity. You must constantly challenge conventional wisdom and remain obsessed with finding better ways to run your race.

The good news is that once you blast through life’s gravitation pull, your momentum will ease the struggle. After putting some early points on the board, you’ll build a reservoir of confidence that will boost your resolve when challenges emerge.

Human beings have figured out how to fly airplanes faster than the speed of sound, build 160-story skyscrapers, and land rovers on Mars. You have enormous opportunity to defy gravity and seize your own dreams, no matter how lofty they may be. It all begins with a single spark of gravity-defying effort.

Let the countdown begin.