Keep An Open Mind

A while back, a friend sent me a YouTube link to a video of the most spectacular “powered” activity I’ve ever seen: a real life jetpack – and not just any jetpack, but a water jetpack. I was like a kid at Christmas time with excitement and immediately wanted to know: “Where can I fly one?”

Recently I had the opportunity to meet the inventor, Raymond Li, and take two flights on a JetLev R200 jetpack. The first flight was, ahem, more difficult than expected. But the thrill was over the top. With the pack, you’re literally flying – and you’re amazingly agile. Agile to the point of going from 15ft. straight up in the air to face-planting into the water in .08 seconds – all with the flick of a wrist. I felt a bit like a human hummingbird.

Of course I had to know the background of this invention. Turns out the idea began at a young age, when Raymond was inspired to create a jet pack after watching the infamous chase scene in the beginning of “Thunderball,” the fourth movie in the James Bond franchise. During the opening sequence, Bond uses a jetpack to escape his pursuers after completing a dangerous mission. In our youth, these kinds of influences tend to be the ones society squashes by “knocking some sense into you.”

Years later, Raymond still heard the calling of his childhood dream of flight, and decided it was high time to pursue it. A few more years and prototypes later, JetLev now exists.

The coolest part of hanging out with Raymond was that it reminded me of the struggles everyone with a dream faces. The harsh reality is: not everyone will support your dreams, even when they say they do. Comments like, “I just don’t want to see you get hurt,” are really dream killers, because they come from people who genuinely care about you – but here’s where subconscious psychology comes into play:

Where will THEY be if you’re driving towards your goals? They will be without you around. They will be watching you venture after your passions and into the scary waters of the unknown, waters they themselves are scared of – waters you “should be scared of too.”

One of the biggest obstacles I had to overcome in pursing my dreams was knowing WHEN and WHO to delete out of my life.

You might be thinking, “Huh? What’d he just say?” Yes, deleting. There’s only so much capacity in one’s life; only so much time in the day and space in the brain to hold thoughts and ideas. If you don’t make a concerted effort to delete the stuff that isn’t getting you towards your real goals (and keep it out!) – and let ONLY the stuff that is getting you closer to your goals into your life – you won’t ever achieve your dreams. The place to start is by deleting negative, self-deprecating thoughts.

The action plan for YOU, dear reader, is to count the number of times you catch yourself thinking negative thoughts tomorrow. Then look at them. Carefully. How can you delete them from your life? I challenge you to make a commitment to delete ALL of them in 2012. Look at them one at a time, and talk through them to identify your actual goal underlying the negative thought.

“I’m fat.” (Negative.)

“I want to be fit” (Goal.)

Every time you catch yourself thinking a negative thought, stop and say aloud to yourself: “No, I’m not fat. My goal is to be fit by March, and to do that, I will workout three times a week.” While this sounds completely trivial (and something your “friends” may call you crazy for if they catch you doing aloud), it’s the starting point for changing negative patterns – and the starting point toward achieving your goals.

Meeting other entrepreneurs who had the guts to forge ahead when their friends told them they were crazy – when their families abandoned them, and when it seemed they might even fail themselves – is the most inspiring thing in the world. It reinforces that anything IS possible. When someone who hasn’t committed to their dreams has a friend who doesn’t support them, they will give up the dream. But when someone has committed to their dreams and has a friend who doesn’t support them, they will realize it’s time to get new friends.

If a young boy from Hong Kong can say, “I want to build a jetpack!”, and then actually do it, what are you capable of? I suggest you dream big.

PS: As far as JetLev goes, it’s still so new that the only place to fly one right now is in Key West – unless you get a special group deal, which is how I got the opportunity. (Getting to see this new technology and talk with the inventor was part of a year-end summit for the Maverick Business Adventures group I’m part of.) However, people have been contacting them left and right, so expect JetLev R200 to be more available by this summer.

[Ed. Note: Mike Cline and the Tech Guys Who Get Marketing team help companies increase their technology efficiency – with a keen understanding of marketing. From building complex CRM systems to creating full sales funnels, the majority of “Tech Guys” clients gross over $1MM a year, but they’re also known to help the littler companies dream big… and all have a tendency to share glowing reviews. For smart (and often hilarious) free tech and marketing tips, check out some of the Tech Guys rants here.]