Flaming Enthusiasm

Flaming enthusiasm, backed up by horse sense and persistence, is the quality that most frequently makes for success.” ~ Dale Carnegie

Swiss pilot Yves Rossy is making history as the first person to achieve sustained human flight using a jet-powered wing strapped to his back. While his accomplishments to date are impressive, three points in particular stand out to me as being worthy of personal consideration and application.

The first two were points Rossy made during a Fox News interview in 2008. Rossy jets along at an average of 125 mph, with no flight controls beyond subtle movements of his body, and he says that he must work hard to relax in the air because “if you put tension on your body, you start to swing around.” I’ve found this principle to be valuable on many levels. It works mentally, physically, emotionally and is the secret to unlocking genius, original thought and unmistakable self-possession.

The second is similarly instructive: “I’ve had many ‘whoops’ moments,” Rossy said. “My safety is altitude.” Altitude is almost always your friend in aviation. It buys you time to think, time to plan, time to act. The same is true in relation to every phase of living. Your attitude determines your altitude and altitude is your friend. When you are possessed by flaming enthusiasm, when your heart and mind are caught up unto the spirit of victory, you gain a cushion of air that helps you to keep you from crashing to the ground when the usual factors that provide lift in your life fail you.

The final point is Rossy’s brief mention in the TED video clip below of his translation of the principles learned at the controls of the airplanes he’s flown into practical application while he’s wearing the jet pack. Life is full of such synergies, and the more successfully you parlay the breakthroughs and victories in in part of your life into the other, the more likely it is that you will shorten the learning curve in your next endeavor.

I hope that you have a few minutes to enjoy this interview. The feeling might come up in you that Mr. Rossy is crazy and that his enthusiasm borders on madness; such is the fate of an aviation pioneer who is obsessed with defeating the “flying problem.” After all, the Wright brothers were viewed by the locals at Kitty Hawk as two crazy nuts who thought that they could fly.


5 thoughts on “Flaming Enthusiasm

    1. Brad

      My kids just watched this with me and we all want to give it try!
      Now they’re off flying around the backyard – wow, attitude can provide so many opportunities ~


  1. Lady Leo

    He doesn’t come across as crazy. There is obviously a company behind him I wonder if they see this as a future part of mainstream sports or personal recreation? I love flying but for now planes are a central part! Your thoughts on altitude are well taken. I’ll bet people looked at the Wright brothers and failed to see a future application.


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