Watching airplanes take off and land at LAX is still an endless source of inspiration and excitement for me. My father traveled a lot when I was young and we frequently dropped him off and picked him up at the airport. To this day, my inner child thinks planes are cool. But more than just cool, they’re the perfect analogy for explaining the secret of achieving success in business, and in life.  
 
While modern airplanes are incredibly complex, the physics of flight are actually fairly simple. There are four physical forces at work with heavier-than-air aircraft: lift, thrust, weight/gravity, and drag. To achieve flight, an aircraft’s lift must balance its weight, and its thrust must exceed its drag. The wings give it lift and the engines provide thrust. Drag is the force pushing against the aircraft (or holding it back).
 
How is this like success in business, and in life? Success (flight), however you define it, requires that the things working for it exceed the forces working against it. And while this seems simple, there is a secret to it all: You have to be able to identify and reduce drag, in all of its forms. And it’s VERY likely you are experiencing drag right now that you aren’t even aware of.
 
MENTAL DRAG
 
Mental drag happens in many ways and can take many forms. Stress is one of them. The more stress you have in your life, the more inefficient you will be. Distraction is another. People may come into your office when you’re working diligently on a project with unrelated questions that you have to stop an answer. Your phone may go off with a text message. Or an email notification pops up on your screen. Anything that takes you out of flow, distracts you, and/or causes you increased stress is drag. And as much as I get push-back on this one, multitaskers have a TON of drag. (See my blog “Do Less And Achieve More.”)
 
EMOTIONAL DRAG
 
Problems in your relationships create a tremendous amount of emotional drag. They hinder focus, increase distraction, lower motivation, and generally keep you grounded.
 
PHYSICAL DRAG
 
Think about your garage or your closet. How many items are currently in those spaces that you don’t use, haven’t seen or used in months or years, or perhaps have even forgotten about? Every one of these items is creating drag in your life. They pull on your energy and create hemorrhage that you might not even be aware of. Even if you don’t know the item is in there, it is in your life and not being used in service to flight.
 
VIRTUAL DRAG
 
How many items on your task list have been there for more than a few days? What about unimportant emails in your inbox? How many “around-to-it’s” do you have in your life? These are all creating drag. They take attention, time, and energy away from your flight. They can be frustrating and create stress every time you look at or think about them.
 
Do you want proof? How did it feel the last time you took action to remove drag in your life? I’ll wager it felt good. Perhaps getting one thing done led to getting another done, and perhaps another. And maybe you even said, “It feels like a weight has been lifted.”
 
That’s because that is exactly what happened.
 
So here is your opportunity!
 
Take a moment to consider your mental, emotional, physical, and virtual worlds. Where are you experiencing drag? What is something you might be able to do to lighten the load? What action items, calendared meetings, or emails can you defer, delegate, or delete? What items can you sell, donate, or just leave out by the curb? Where can you make a self-honoring choice in a relationship? What can you do to relieve stress?
 
Consider making a commitment to decreasing drag in your business, and/or in your life and see how much easier it is to fly. Share your suggestions or comment on Facebook! And for inspirational messages (or random goofy stuff) follow me on Twitter and Instagram! And if you need suggestions, you know where to find me.
 
It’s your kingdom. Make it REIGN.


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About the Author -

Executive coach and motivational speaker Chris M. King facilitates the mind shift necessary for professionals and organizations to achieve authentic success and empowerment. Clients experience productivity increases of up to 40%, freedom from burnout and overwhelm, clarity in times of transition, dramatically improved work/life balance, answers to “what’s next,” creative solutions for innovation, and an overall increase in satisfaction in career and in life. And he does all of this without ever giving advice! Chris doesn’t show them THE way. He guides them in finding THEIR way.

An emerging thought leader in the men’s movement, Chris also works with professional men and women on accountability, vulnerability, and empowerment. He specifically addresses the issues associated with mid-life crises and Peter Pan Syndrome. He is a volunteer for ManKind Project International, a contributing author to The Good Men Project and Elephant Journal, and is honored to be working with Sam Morris as a contributor to Zen Warrior Training®, helping people achieve self-mastery. Chris is also a coach at Project Bully Buster, coaching teens as they navigate the challenges of adolescence. He is honored to work with and support organizations dedicated to the men’s movement, to women’s issues, and, as brother to a special needs sister, the US Special Olympics. Chris is currently working on his first book.

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