Recently a news article of human endeavor caught my eye and captured my thoughts for several days after reading it. Felix Baumgartner is planning to attempt from 120,000 feet in the air to return to earth sometime in October. You read that correctly, he will ascend into space via a weather balloon and once at the desired height, which is just about 23 miles in the air, he will jump off in his pressurized suit and descend to earth.
Now if you are reading this for the first time or think it sound like something made up, let me assure it is not. In fact, Felix has already performed this feat from 96,640 feet (about 18 miles up) and survived. Oh, and before I forget to mention it, he is not some 20 year old willing to risk it all just for the sheer joy of pushing the envelope of human possibility. Felix is 43 years young and has devoted the last 5 years of his life to preparing for this record-breaking effort.
To give a little perspective on what this height and impact will mean we need to relate this distance to how high your average jetliner flies above the earth. As you know, if you have done any flying, your pilot will often announce that your flight will be flying at around so many feet today. On average this is somewhere between 30,000 to 40,000 feet. What Baumgartner will attempt to do later this year will take him to a height that is three times as high as this level. In fact, even military jets and SSTs at their highest flight altitude only go up to around 85,000 feet or so. Felix has already descended from a height taller than this.
Beyond all of this, here is the part that I have been thinking about for days. Because of the speed of his descent from this new record height, Felix will literally break the sound barrier. That means that at some point in his descent he will be traveling at over 700 miles per hour. Yes, 700 miles per hour. That is three times the fastest road tested car in the world. Yes, there have been bullet cars that have broken the land speed record, but remember this is a man falling from space and other than his suit, only the earths gravity is going to make him break the sound barrier, in most cases around 760 miles per hour.
So why four paragraphs of an amazing man and his story to share some thoughts on breaking through barriers, because an example like this shows the tenacity, drive and ambition that any and all of us have within ourselves to push the boundaries of what might be to what will be.
As you look at your life today, I imagine there may be barriers that others and you may have placed on your potential. Certainly the challenges of competing equally as a woman, or someone culturally or ethnically different then the norm that has been established, or just being economically challenged in a system that requires money to survive are just a few of the barriers that I am sure many of you are having to deal with daily.
Here is the good news that I wish you to ponder and push forward with to overcome and circumvent those barriers
Others have already gone before you and have fought some of the battles that you dont need to. Learn from them. Read and study what they have done to get where they are. Contact them personally and ask them to advise you on your own next steps. For some of you this may be a barrier in itself, but remember they are human too and most people have an innate desire wired inside themselves to help others if only they are asked.
Make a plan starting today to take one step towards pushing back or pushing through that barrier. And then tomorrow take another step and another step forward, always moving forward. When someone tells you NO, you cant, ask them Why cant I? and when they stumble for an answer you will know that you are starting to break through. Have an answer and a plan ready for them, so you can break that barrier down.
Finally, as you make your own sonic boom breaking through your barrier, share your story with others like yourself who are trying to break through the very same type of barrier. Tell them how you did it. Inspire them to do the same and there will be resounding booms all around the world as more and more and more barriers are broken done and human endeavors and achievements are realized.
Here is to your great SUCCESS in taking one step today to break down the barriers that surround you!!! Now go make some noise!!!