January 2020 – the start of a new year, a new chapter, a new decade. This should be a time when we’re excited, driven and determined to head towards new achievements and the accomplishment of shots tee’d up in 2019. We’re far enough into January though for most people to have tested out their energy, realised how fleeting the December holidays were and how hot on the heels of 2019 this year actually is.
By now, for most people, there will be a realisation that anything you managed to put down for a brief respite over December is only waiting to continue and 2020 is looking quite daunting to many.
Now is a fabulous time to remember that one thing you DO have a choice over this year is your attitude and the management of your energy. If you’re going to win at 2020, it’s imperative to keep remembering this and making positive choices every day.
In the cockpit, we play with the words “Attitude determines Altitude”. In literal terms, the attitude of the aircraft (the position of the nose of the aircraft above or below the horizon, in simple terms) determines whether you climb or descend, thereby determining how much altitude you gain or lose.
In figurative terms, we know that our general success in life has much (if not everything) to do with our personal attitude and how we present ourselves, and that’s a choice.
In life, as in aviation, those who’ve retained the most amount of positive energy and made the most productive use of it by the end of the day will have won. There are three parts to ensuring this happens though:
Energy is renewable, or more accurately, it’s transferable. Energy moves from one form to another, constantly transferring itself around. We boil water by transferring heat energy from the kettle element to the water, changing the energy and state of that water. Once we pour that boiling water into another container, the heat transfers out of that water to the new container and the air around, cooling the water as it dissipates.
In the same way, we need to take charge of gathering our own energy. Each of us is personally responsible for making sure we gather the right energy and enough of it for us to transfer it into the actions we wish to take. Gathering energy means taking responsibility for making sure every part of us (mind, body, spirit…..attitude) are charged up regularly with the right kind of stuff, because for us to move forward, we must have a reserve of energy with which to do so. It must be the right kind of energy too – that’s where the main weight of responsibility lies. Be careful what you gather.
For all of us, even the most expert energy gatherers, this is possibly the MOST important element in the chain of success this year. Regardless of where you live, what your life circumstance and what you’re experiencing around you, the world seems to be in a heightened state and it’s human nature to take more notice of the negatives than the positives. It’s pure survival instinct to do so, because our Egos and our Cave Man Brain (reptilian brain) are asking whether we need protecting every minute of the day.
If all we focus on are the negatives, then we too will live life in a heightened state as our brains watch and process every possible threat. If we give our energy away to the many things we disagree with and that disturb us, and allow ourselves to wallow in a state of worry about things we can’t control, our energy is going to leak and dissipate very quickly and we won’t have anything left to climb 2020 with.
We need constant reminding that how we manage our energy is our CHOICE. It’s one of the few things we DO have a choice over every day. We can refuse to keep voluntarily giving our energy to negatives that sap us, take up our thought process, and ensure that the energy we re-gather isn’t great either. We can choose more carefully who and to what we gift our precious energy, and we can plug the holes where it leaks or where it’s sucked out from.
It IS possible. It’s a CHOICE in many regards. And choosing is a far more powerful position to act from than feeling like you’re out of control and life has the upper hand.
We give our large amounts of our energy to things we have no control over – like the economy, world politics, and other people. Take back control of your energy, and guard it. You need it for everything you want to accomplish and support this year.
Once you’ve gathered and guarded….you need to ensure your energy doesn’t just dissipate, but that you take active and intentional responsibly for the next step:
Once you’ve become practised at gathering and guarding your energy, the next step is to ensure you’re discerning and determined about where you direct that energy when you do release or transfer it. If you’ve done all the work to gather great energy and to guard it from leakage, then you want to make sure that it lands where it can do the most work and the most good.
If we allow ourselves to be side-tracked or worse, harnessed, by the negatives, then our energy with land in places where it adds to the negative build-up of others. When you feel yourself gathering negative energy, be very careful about directing that energy down a channel where it can be responsibly released – go for a walk, take a nap, work out.
Our mission is to gather the right kind of energy that feeds, inspires and strengthens our minds, bodies, spirits (and attitudes); and then direct that energy towards people and projects that require the transfer of that positive energy. It’s that simple.
Aviation, like every other sphere, is filled with fallible human beings. We feel the build-up and release of less desirable energy the same as everybody else. We all have days where it feels like you’re being dragged down by the goings-on around you and the things you can’t control. However, we know that our lives and those of the people we fly are on the line if we choose to carry that energy with us into our cockpits or share that energy with the crew we need to work strongly with. We need clear, focused and positive mind space to accomplish great flights. No one can choose that but us.
This year, make it your personal responsibility to practise gathering, guarding and directing your energy in ways that work well for you and allow you to gain altitude. Notice your attitude and correct it when necessary. At the beginning of every new day, make conscious choices about charging your energy, and review how you managed to retain and direct it at the end of every day. Make it a family or team challenge, and a family or team conversation. Get it out in the open and make it an ever present and ever reviewed aim for 2020. You have a responsibility to yourself first to do so. You have a responsibility to your family and your team to check in with and support each other.
Your attitude will determine your altitude – every time.
by Christen Killick
January 20th, 2020