Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Living Life Behind The Power Curve

I wrote this a while ago and shared it with friends. I think it's worth saving some place.

You are flying the final leg down to the runway and you realize you're too low. You add power and pull back, but you're still going down. Give it full power and you're barely holding altitude. What's going on? This is called flying behind the power curve. This phenomenon happens because there is so much drag on the airplane it can't climb no matter how much power is added. The trick is to push the nose down, get some speed, and gently begin the climb again.

How often do we do the same thing in our life? We are so focused on climbing and we give it everything we've got, but we still aren't climbing or worse, we're going down. This is living life behind the power curve. All we need to do is back off, get our mind and body into a healthier condition and we can climb almost without effort if we so choose, or glide along where we know our position is our choice, not our limitation. This all seems so simple until faced with a real situation. Imagine we are in the airplane again and in front of us is a row of trees, power lines, or buildings. It takes an awful lot of faith, training, or both to be willing to point the plane straight at disaster in the hopes of recovering later.

When will the plane begin to climb again? Could I make it if I keep doing what I'm doing? Looking back at our own lives, the trees become bills, power lines are credit card payments, and buildings represent a mortgage. Can we risk easing off in our attempts to climb with those looming threats?

We often know we cannot continue as we are, but are afraid of what happens if we stop. If I don't deliver this project on time, will I get passed over for a raise I badly need? Will I get fired or laid off? If I ease off now I know I will crash and I do seem to be climbing ever so slightly. So we continue like this and just barely miss the trees. We look out in front of us and are relieved to see there are no more immediate obstacles. Now is the time to nose down and get out of this situation, right? Of course not. We cleared the trees meaning this must obviously be working for us. In fact, things are going so well, I'm going to fly over to the other side of the mountains; and so we buy a new car or take a vacation on our credit cards or buy the latest new gotta have gadget or learn to fly.

1 comment:

  1. Yeah We human beings somehow lost the ability to take risks... all we want to do is play safe and save our noses in the society, do all the right things and take the paved paths and never ever tread one of our own...

    To slow down... seems soo easy to say... But You see NO TIME to Slow down :P we are falling.