I was raised by parents who told me I could do and be anything. I entered a professional field where I excelled. I started a successful company. I moved on to another professional field where I excelled. I raised two pretty amazing humans. I don’t say all this to brag. This week, someone made me feel less than. Not in relation to work. In relation to life. I won’t rehash the details here, but it sent me into a spiral (spin training would be really good right now).
And then it made me think about how to deal with that. My first inclination was to do something or say something to make her realize what she had done, how she had hurt. Then I recognized that there was nothing I was going to do to change her mind. So what does this have to do with building an airplane? I am glad you asked.
Sometimes we take on projects that are outlandish in their ambition. I think building an airplane is one of them. There are going to be people who will try to diminish us, so how do we react? We build an airplane. Or whatever your equivalent of that is. Will it change those people? Nope. But it will change us.
So why do we focus on the naysayers instead of the cheerleaders? Why can they take us so low but the cheerleaders don’t take us that high? I think there is something to be learned about developing a higher service ceiling. Did I let this person make me feel less than? You bet I did. But then it occurred to me that I can hop in my little airplane and fly away, and she cannot. Neither literally nor figuratively. Her life is not mine and I wouldn’t want it. It is limited. It is closed. And if she needs to make me feel small for some reason, so be it. She does not get to ride in my plane.
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