Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The best worst idea I've ever had

In my last post, I explained why helicopter flight school scares the shit out of me. There are several more reasons why it's a horrible idea.

First, it's incredibly expensive. Scratch that, it's absurdly expensive. Any half-witted person would take the money and either invest it or buy something useful. I'm spending it on learning a skill that I won't ever use.

Which brings me to number two: It's a useless skill. Obtaining your private helicopter license is like graduating from elementary school; a lot more training (=time and money) is required for true competence.

Plus, in order to remain competent (and safe), you need to fly frequently. That requires either a job as a pilot or Harrison Ford's bank account. I don't want to be a professional pilot, and I don't see myself having heaps of money anytime in the (near?) future, which makes this whole endeavor, at some point, a dead end.

So, why am I doing it? Well, as I explained to my mother during our conversation, I think I'm learning to fly helicopters precisely because it's so scary and ridiculous. Let me explain.

I fundamentally believe that the only real limits we face in life are self-imposed, usually due to fear, and I like to share that belief with the hope that it will inspire others to move beyond their own self-imposed limits.

I realized: The benefit I get from engaging in an extravagant, terrifying experience with no apparent practical purpose is manifested through this blog.

In short, as I explained to my Mom, I want this blog to serve as an example. My intention is for it to be an emphatic exclamation: Anything is possible!! If it helps one person pursue a dream, no matter how scary or "ridiculous," then it's all worth it.

To which my Mom, an Episcopal priest with a penchant for speaking in the Christian equivalent of Zen koans, simultaneously puzzling and profound, said:

"You know, the best sermons I've ever heard have generally been those which the preacher, more than anyone else in the room, needed to hear."

Hm. Let me think about that for a bit.

1 comment:

Claire said...

Jake, check out this site http://2dobeforeidie.com/. This is one of the books I published when I was in the book industry, and they also have a really active website with 1sthand accounts of things people want to do and have done from their list of things to do before they die. The whole idea is to get people doing and living their dreams, from the mundane to the ridiculous.