I’ll never forget the first time I flew the F-16.
The tower controller cleared me for takeoff and from the back seat my instructor pilot, Captain “Deke” Slaton, called out over the intercom, “Push it up, Waldo!”
“Yes, Sir!” I replied.
I anxiously pushed up the throttle to full power and felt a kick in the seat unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. 30,000 pounds of pure thrust. The power was unreal and in seconds, I was airborne, accelerating to 350 knots.
It took a lot of hard work and sacrifice to make it to the cockpit that day. But it paled in comparison to how hard I would have to work to stay there. I had to push up my throttle every day to earn my wings and eventually become a mission ready fighter pilot.
I’ve embraced the phrase “Push it up!” in my personal and professional life and use it as a motivator to take massive action. I want you to use it as well because it symbolizes what it takes to succeed. It’s the thrust that can drive you forward and give you wings to fly.
Push it up means you:
It’s about personal leadership, and you’re the pilot in command.
Some people really believe in the adage that “attitude determines altitude.” I disagree. While attitude is a tremendous asset in in your life, by itself it won’t directly give you results. Here’s a better formula:
Attitude + Action determines Altitude.
The world doesn’t reward your attitude. It rewards your results.
Winners possess a positive attitude and are disciplined, passionate, and committed. But at the end of the day, they take action to make things happen. Winners push it up consistently and do the necessary work to win – even when obstacles come.
Most importantly, they avoid the greatest deterrent to success – complacency. They resist the temptation to ease up on their throttle of success once they’ve tasted the nectar of victory.
Remember – you don’t need to fly an F-16 or wear a flight suit to push it up. It’s a mindset that drives you out of bed every day ready to take action and break your barriers.
Maintaining a push it up state of mind isn’t easy. It takes hard work. But it’s what separates the mediocre from the “Mach-1.” Ask yourself each day “Am I pushing it up or pulling it back?”
Don’t let yourself become complacent. Stay committed. Get excited to strap into your cockpit. Be willing to earn your wings.
I guarantee you’ll fly.
Push It Up!