My mom’s 50th birthday forced me to face a fear. She wanted to go up in a hot air balloon to celebrate. Back then, I was afraid of heights and I was on medication for high blood pressure, but I am grateful for all she’s done for me so I did it anyway.
The balloon basket only came to my waist (I’m 6 feet, 4 inches tall). Every time they fired up the balloon, I thought my eyebrows might get singed. I was scared. As our group lifted off the ground I grew tense and worried. I wouldn’t let my mom see it. As we went higher, I expected to become more afraid but something else happened: all those negative feelings gradually were replaced with peace, joy, excitement, anticipation and freedom.
From so high up, I began to have a different perspective on my surroundings and I was able to enjoy the journey. Soon I found myself reflecting from a place I didn’t know was possible — all with my mother by my side.
Thank you, Mom.
It is true that when you reach certain heights, regardless of your fears and state of emotions, human depth perception changes and you enter into a place of freedom. I felt even bigger in the balloon. Everything else felt small. I felt like I could do anything.
One practical thing that helps me live life from an aerial perspective is intentional daily gratitude. If you can discipline yourself to give thanks, then you begin living out a perspective that is not of this world.
So here is a challenge (and, no, it’s not a balloon ride): Each day for the next 30 days write down five things for which you are thankful. For me, there is no better way to start each day than with this exercise.
It is important to have at least one person in your life that can hold you accountable to living this life of gratitude. So, what are you thankful for right now, and who is the person that you will ask to join with you in this life-changing challenge?
If you want to unpack this concept a bit more, it can be found in my new book, Lead the Way.
Robb Holman is author of the bestselling book, Lead the Way, taught after keynote speaker, and the Founder/CEO of Holman International, a global leadership consultancy revolutionizing the way business leaders operate.