Although you might want to quit, keep telling yourself “Things that move want to keep moving.” It’s a sure-fire way to stay out of mental vertigo! Early one morning, you drag out of bed. The kids have kept you up all night. The neighbor’s dog won’t shut up and you are behind on paying some of your bills. Now, you are supposed to jump up out of bed and say, “Today is going to be great!” right? Wrong! Simply put, sometimes life is not great. We still have to perform at our best to get our job done, even when we have all this excess mental baggage. But, what can we do to get on track mentally when things don’t go right? Recall sometime ago John F. Kennedy, Jr. died in a plane crash? The cause of the accident was basically from him experiencing what’s known as “mental vertigo”. Once you know how this affects pilots, you’ll see how it can also affect your ability to succeed. NULL
The word mental vertigo is well known to pilots. It simply means dizziness. When a pilot gets into mental vertigo, he will actually begin to fly by his feelings and not by the instruments in the airplane. This is not usually a problem, as long as the pilot can see the horizon outside the plane. But, if he should happen to fly through clouds, he no longer has a horizon to help him determine if he is flying straight and level. Studies show that if a pilot who is not qualified to fly by his instruments happens to get into the clouds, you are given only about three minutes to live! That’s right, only three minutes. Not too promising of a situation, is it? Before someone can qualify to get their “instrument rating”, they first must get their private pilot rating. That’s what John Kennedy had. After building their experience with their private pilot rating, they get additional training for the instrument rating. The instrument rating takes nearly as much training as the private pilot license, costs more, and is much more difficult. Hence, this is the reason why many pilots don’t get that rating.
So then, what’s the difference between the pilot who gets into bad weather and ends up crashing an airplane due to mental vertigo and one who doesn’t? One word: Experience!
An experienced instrument pilot knows not to obey or listen to his feelings. In fact, this pilot will have learned to ignore them completely. When a pilot is in instrument conditions (clouds, bad weather, etc.), he may literally feel that the airplane is climbing when, in reality, it’s really descending. Now picture this: You are flying an airplane that is diving toward earth. But, because of mental vertigo, you feel that it is climbing. If you feel that the airplane is climbing and you want to stop it from climbing, what do you do? You will push forward on the control column to try to level the plane. But remember, you actually are diving. So now you push the nose of the airplane forward, because that’s what you feel you should do. You have now made your condition worse! You push the nose of the plane forward to go down but you are already descending. You essentially now have less than three minutes to live. Say your prayers! But the experienced pilot says, “Hold on here. I feel that I am climbing; however, I am going to ignore that feeling because my instruments in the cockpit say that I am really diving. So, my training tells me to pull up to level off.” Now you might ask, “can’t the inexperienced pilot figure that out? Can’t they just look at their instruments and see that the plane is not doing the right thing?” The answer is really yes, but the desire to listen or fly by their feelings far overwhelms their desire to believe the instruments. This is due to the fact that they don’t have enough “experience”. Have you ever had a point in your life that you felt so sure about your success? It’s a good feeling to have, isn’t it? But let’s say while you are on your journey of success, something happens. You may not be able to put your finger on it, but that feeling of confidence you had just yesterday, or for that matter just five minutes ago, is no longer there. Have you had that feeling before? I think we have all experienced that at one time or another. If you could take that limited feeling and put it into a bottle, you could label it as mental vertigo.
Here is the difference between the person who gets a lot of results and few results: the person who can master mental vertigo and eliminate it from their thinking as quickly as possible will get the most results.
We’ve all heard it before: the higher the risk, the greater the reward. The more risk you take, the more susceptible to mental vertigo you are going to be. So it behooves us to learn to master mental vertigo. If we are easily controlled by it, we are not going to be able to take lots of risk. Remember, no risk, no reward. I think before we go deeper into understanding mental vertigo we first must lay down some ground rules. One of the biggest mistakes that I see people make is that they really don’t have a clear definition of success as it relates to their business or financial goals. Here is where the real danger lies. You need to hold on to your goals or definition of success if you get into mental vertigo. Vertigo causes lots of frustration. If we don’t clearly have a hold on our big picture, the frustration will fester like a cancer and eat us alive.
We will have a tendency to make things bigger and worse than they really are. Having a solid, clear definition of success helps us to look beyond the vertigo. Without it, we crash.
What are your instruments telling you? More importantly, are they properly calibrated? Your airplane can be full of instruments but if they are off just a few degrees it can take you hundreds of miles off course. Likewise, if your beliefs are off just a few degrees, you too will be off course. Here is another equation. You can have all the right instruments or beliefs, but if you don’t believe them, they will still do you no good. When I was sixteen years old I made it a point to associate with millionaires. I learned early in life that millionaires think differently than those who are not millionaires. Note the keyword “Think.” Yes, they think differently. I was able to appreciate that thinking controls our actions, what we perceive about ourselves, whether it be positive or negative and so much more. Allow me to share with you some of the thought processes that you might find affect you while on your journey to success. Years ago, when I learned to fly helicopters, I learned a law instructors teach so that you can understand how you can control and still fly a helicopter if the engine fails. This is not what most people believe. They think that if an engine fails in a helicopter, you’re dead. Not true. The law that is taught is the law of inertia. One of the laws of inertia states that “Things that move want to keep moving.” Think about that. What’s the opposite of this law? Things that stop, stay stopped. Notice too, that the law doesn’t state that you have to move fast, does it? It simply says you must move. Here is how I’ve adopted this thought process to assist me to keep going when things are not going well. One impression that I don’t want to give you is that life is great for me all the time. I have my rough days just like everyone else. How we handle them though, might be different. Haven’t you had times that you felt like just throwing in the towel and just giving up? You know that even though you feel like you can’t go on anymore, you must. It’s at this point that we must apply the law of inertia. Once again, what does it state?
“Things that move want to keep moving!” It doesn’t say they have to move fast, we just have to “move”.
So I tell myself this when I’m at wits end. But, at this point, that’s just positive thinking. Positive thinking is like spray paint on r
ust, it doesn’t last long. So then, the next time you’ve had enough and you are ready to leave the office early or you are sick and tired of being sick and tired, tell yourself that “Things that move want to keep moving.” Now, stay at the office for five more minutes instead of leaving right then. Force yourself to move forward and take action. Staying five more minutes in the office isn’t putting the world on fire. In fact, it’s just the opposite. It’s moving forward very slowly. So you may wonder, is it really effective? According to the law of inertia, it certainly is. Recall that the law doesn’t state we have to move fast. We just have to keep moving.
You know as well as I do when we keep moving forward, even though it may be slow, sooner or later the numbers game will take over and something positive is bound to take place. Now what will happen to our level of motivation? It will climb and you know the rest of the story!
Another thought to keep in mind is that frustration equals success. Stop and think about any of your successes, or even those of others. One thing that all successes have in common is that there is a tremendous amount of frustration attached to them. But it seems so hard to remember this little ‘rule’ when we are experiencing all the frustration. But, the more we can get ourselves to believe this, the more results we will also get. Results are a direct response to frustration. It is similar to the ‘higher the risk, the higher the reward’ statement. So when you become frustrated, what specifically goes through your mind? Unfortunately, most people feed on the negative or make things bigger and worse than they really are. They make it so big that they become totally consumed by the frustration. It is at this point that we really need to have a clear definition of success. Why? Because we don’t have a reason why we must effectively deal with and get through this frustration. You cannot allow frustration to take you to the next level of success if you don’t clearly know what the next level is. Continue to realize that frustration is a feeling, and feelings can be changed and controlled. By clearly knowing what your goals are, you will have a reason why you need to master the ability to deal with frustration. Understand too that success does not come without frustration. Frustration is really pain.
Build a higher tolerance to mental pain and you will not allow frustration to cause you to stop in the middle of your tracks. Charge that frustration with the tenacity of a bull. Accept it. Welcome it. And you will see more success!
So the next time while you are on your journey of success and things are not going your way, always remember that frustration equals success. Although you might want to quit, keep telling yourself “Things that move want to keep moving.” It’s a sure-fire way to stay out of mental vertigo!
- Discovering the Perfect YOU! by Gary Coxe - December 1, 2010
- Frustration Really Does Equal Success! by Gary Coxe - November 1, 2010