“Lift”…What It Is, What It Does and Why You Need It! (part 1)

When I was a young boy growing up, we moved all over the world. My dad was in the Air Force and stationed overseas in Taiwan and Norway for several tours, which meant a LOT of air travel . The most vivid memory I have of those times of extended travel…besides how JP4 (jet fuel) smells…is watching the large airliners gathering speed down the runway and then miraculously lifting into the air, going higher and higher until out of sight. It always amazed me and frankly, still does. How can something so big and heavy go so fast and so high so quickly? It seemed like magic back then, but as I later learned, it was due to the principle of “Lift”.

025 Plane

The aeronautical principle of Lift is observed when a fluid or air flowing past the surface of a body (ie. the wing of an aircraft) creates a force, or resistance. Air passes over the wing and exerts a perpendicular as well as parallel force. With proper shape, the former creates a Lift force which raises the plane in the air, and the latter a Drag force which can keep it grounded. How much lift is created depends both on the shape of the wing as well as the speed of the air passing over it. Same oncoming force, dramatically different effect depending on the shape of the wing.

025 Wing

As a young man, I would often look at successful people (in the truest sense the word) and be amazed. How could anyone attain such incredible heights of stature and personal and/or professional accomplishment? Some having done it in a very short period of time no less. I knew I wanted to grow and succeed, but at the time didn’t even know how to go about it. Over the years I’ve learned from my own experience as well as that of others is that to grow exponentially, you have to leverage “Lift”, although a different type.

In Life, the principle of “Lift” (or lack thereof) occurs as we constantly encounter forces and resistance in our day to day. We can’t always determine the type of force and resistance we encounter, but we CAN choose how we respond and adapt to it. Our response affects who we are and how we are shaped going forward, which in turn provides more (or less) lift. Fortunately, we do have the opportunity to selectively choose some of the forces we are exposed to so that we can intentionally shape ourselves into who we want to become: These forces are primarily the people and other influences we allow into our lives.

If we are selective with the people and influences we allow to pass over and impact us, we can experience Lift that takes us higher, farther and faster….much like wind passing over a wing; we gather airspeed and optimally shape ourselves to get maximum Lift in our lives and businesses. So much so that it can seem incomprehensible to others, much like it did to me so many years ago and often still does.

How do we get Lift and minimize drag in our life? By choosing our relationships wisely and intentionally. It has been said that at any given time the average of the top five people we spend the most time with (virtually or otherwise).

025 Lift Mentor

Who are these people in your life? have you intentionally chosen them to fill that role, and are they helping provide the Lift in your life so you can become who you want to be and get where you want to go? If so, make sure you provide them with Lift as well. If not, what needs to change?