Captain Joseph Charles Plumb, Jr, aka Charlie Plumb, is a former US Navy fighter pilot and Vietnam POW turned author. He flew 74 successful combat missions over Vietnam, and it wasn’t until his 75th flight that his aircraft was shot down. Plumb ejected and parachuted to the ground under fire. He was captured and spent 2103 days as a POW. Years later, he described how he was approached by a stranger in a Kansas City restaurant:
Captain Plumb’s story got me thinking about how many of us truly have someone packing our proverbial parachute? Someone who has our backs and looks out for us when we make the jump at those critical moments in our personal and professional life?
Unfortunately, recent studies would indicate that many of us don’t and that we are in fact living in an age of feeling unsupported. As Carolyn Gregoire wrote in the Huffington Post , “we are living in the age of isolation”.
There is no doubt that climbing the ladder of success can be a lonely task. According to the Harvard Business Review, half of the CEOs express feelings of loneliness and 61% believe loneliness hinders their job. The Australian Loneliness Report 2018 states that one in four Australian adults are lonely and one in two (50.5%) Australians feel lonely for at least one day in a week.
Whether you are just starting out, working non-stop in a corporate environment, or pursuing your own entrepreneurial enterprise, the journey requires grit, determination and perseverance. We all need help and support through this. There are days where we will experience frustration and disappointment, days when we have to face our fears, make tough decisions or calls, push past failures, recalibrate our reality and keep focused on opportunities that lie outside our comfort zone.
They may not share the spotlight with you, but they are absolutely riding shotgun alongside you. They go that extra mile, they look out for you mentally, physically and spiritually — because they care about you. They understand your dreams, goals and aspirations, and they encourage you to move forward while at the same time being very aware of where you are right now, what you have to focus on and deliver in the present.
So why not get curious and make sure you have a Parachute Packer in your world.
Until next time.