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Apr
04 2011

Do you have ‘air awareness’?

Syndicated from: The Essential Message

Do you have ‘Air Awareness’? Don’t ask me why, I simply enjoy extreme sports. (Probably for the same reason I enjoy keynote speaking — but that’s a different story.) So when my friend in Terrace, British Columbia offered to help me practice my snowboard jumps, I ‘jumped’ at the opportunity. We built a jump with just the right amount of kick, landing angle, and, of course, spectacular view. Then we hit it. Want to see what happened a second later? Click the image to run the video. When I recovered from my first attempt, it dawned on me that I couldn’t remember anything about how it felt when I was actually in the air. I could remember picking up speed as I rode downhill; I could remember aligning myself with the fall line of the slope; I could remember popping off the lip of the jump; I could even remember relaxing my shoulders down and bringing my knees up. But the only thing I could remember after that was crumpling into the snow. That’s when I fully understood what my friends at snowboardaddiction.com meant when they told me about ‘air awareness’. In snowboarding, ‘air awareness’ refers to your ability to maintain your presence of mind when you are hurtling your body into the air at some unnatural speed; in my case 34 kilometres per hour — approximately 30 feet per second. With any new direction you take or any big goal you take on,  it seems there’s always a point at which you put yourself in a situation where every fibre of your body screams panic, and the only thing your mind can focus on is, ‘get me out of here!’ It may be standing up for yourself in a difficult social situation. It may be delivering a workshop or keynote presentation. It may be a sales conversation with the biggest potential client you’ve ever had. It may be doing the one thing you really want to do no matter how much it scares you. There’s only one way to get air awareness — it’s by practicing, first in your mind and then for real. The more you practice it, the more time slows down and the better you are able to maintain your presence of mind in the middle of it. That’s why it’s such an important element of mastery. And that’s why I’m committed to getting it. Are you? Essentially yours, Michel Neray Chief Differentiation Officer The Essential Message

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