Much of the magic in life is just on the other side of your comfort zone – and in business, I’ve spent the past 14 years leaning just past my edge.
But once in a while, it’s time to do the same in my life – and recently, I visited a Croatian adventure park. I had an experience that is called ‘The Human Cannonball’ for a reason…
It’s basically a horizontal bungee jump. An elastic rope, about 4″ thick, is stretched for 40 feet – with you attached to it. And then you are shot into midair!!
Ever been in a fast elevator, where your stomach drops, as it accelerates up towards the 85th floor?
Well, that was exactly my experience, except I was shot out of a giant slingshot at 112 miles per hour, at a force of 4g. That’s four times the force of gravity.
If you watch this video, you’ll hear me scream! What’s interesting is that I don’t scream until the SECOND bounce. That’s not bravery. It’s that my brain couldn’t even compute what had happened, as my body was moving so fast. (What’s funny is that you hear my kids screaming way before I start!)
What’s crazy to contemplate is that Formula 1 drivers, on a Grand-Prix race, have to handle a vehicle at 3-5g throughout each race. And fighter pilots have to handle even higher levels of g-force.
To cope at that speed, breath control is crucial. You see, you can’t breathe freely above 3g because you risk passing out.
- Breathe in.
- Breathe out.
- Breathe slow.
- Breathe deep.
Taking even one long and deep breath is a simple yet powerful practice, any time you feel under pressure.
Two hundred miles an hour
A few years ago, I took 3 of my clients to a racing track. We drove Lamborghini Huracans. These cars cost $260,000. They can go from zero to 60 mph in 2.9 seconds, from zero to 124 mph in 9 seconds, and have a top speed of 200 mph.
Driving a supercar is different to driving a road car. Our instructor – an elite race car driver – taught us a counter-intuitive approach to reaching super fast speeds:
Go slow to go smooth. And go smooth to go fast.
To drive one of the fastest cars on the planet, you literally need to slow down, to speed up.
The Special Forces operatives I’ve coached have told me that their training was based on a similar philosophy: slow is smooth and smooth is fast.
I’ve coached quite a number of military veterans over the years. From British Special Forces operatives, to US Navy Seals and Army Rangers. I’ve coached a former sniper, a former bomb disposal expert, and the former Assistant Chief Scientist at the High Performance Wing of the Air Force.
I was coaching an army veteran the other day. He’d seen action in Bosnia during the 90’s and has since become a highly successful entrepreneur.
I mentioned that we have a growing community of veterans attending our Intensives. And I said that I was curious about why we were attracting so many former leaders from the Army, Navy, and Air Force.
He didn’t hesitate. He replied, “Rich, in the military we know what it takes to serve. We literally put our lives on the line to be in service. And we know what it means to be on mission.
We see you as a man who comes from service. And we see you as a man on mission.”
I was deeply touched.
Slow down to speed up
I’ve built my life and business around a number of simple but powerful heuristics (rules of thumb). I’ve shared some of them with you here, over the years. Such as:
- Meet fun and interesting people. [My one line business plan for 14 years].
- If you want to be successful, watch what everyone else is doing and do the opposite. [This one keeps me sane in a noisy, fast-paced world].
- Serve people so powerfully they never forget your conversation for the rest of their lives. [I wrote a book about this one!]
Slow down to speed up is a principle for elite racing car drivers, it’s a rule for elite military operatives – and it’s been one of the most important heuristics for my life.
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