The first time I flew, I was in middle school. My Egyptian parents had decided to take a family trip to Las Vegas. The commercials, billboards, and brochures of shiny lights and glass pyramids must have won them over.
Of course, when we arrived, we saw Las Vegas in all its glory.
However, nothing was more spectacular than the flight. I remember bouncing through the terminals, pointing at every corner of the airport as if I were on a movie set. I had to contain the odd combination of brewing fear and billowing excitement welling up in my chubby little body.
I waddled onto the airplane, took the window seat that my mother gladly offered, and strapped into my new cockpit.
Then the magic happened. We — became — airborne.
Everything that was once large and daunting became tiny and viewable. I could somehow see the airport and my neighborhood. As we rose, people became specks and cars became ants. Roads shrunk from miles to inches in length and buildings became two dimensional.
For the first time, I saw the world with fresh eyes, and that new perspective changed the way I thought about everything moving forward.
I’ve taken countless flights since then. In fact, I’m on a plane as I write the first draft of this blog post. The perspective has never become ordinary — seeing cities, mountains, neighborhoods, stadiums, and skyscrapers from this view always reminds me of how small we are, how beautiful the world we live in is, how much we’ve progressed, and how much further we have yet to go.
July’s Project: Perspective
I just finished June’s project with Sam Stubblefield and NBBJ. It was an incredible experience all around.
Now, after six months of spreading the word about The Leapyear Project’s challenge to take a leap and working towards my own project of creating an education around 12 experiences in 12 months — I’ve decided to use this month to gain some perspective.
For me, that mainly entails spending time with people who have been influential in my life and specifically with this project. I’ll share updates with mentors, supporters, and potential supporters.
It also will involve a portion of time alone. I have a lot of things to take care of “under the radar.” I need to find a new apartment, raise a bit more funding, and continue laying the groundwork for 2013. I’ll also take a couple of days away from all technology. Most of us know the value that comes with taking a ‘technology fast’ but rarely make time for it. It’s not a luxury–it’s a must.
My hope from all of this is to have a better perspective on the next six months of collecting stories, developing the plan to share them, and prep for 2013.
What are you trying to solve, change, or create?
If you’ve been working on a project for a long time, you might benefit from stepping back and looking at it in a new way. I know that taking time to change perspective doesn’t seem beneficial. Your mind will trick you into thinking that it’s a cop-out. But that’s just not true. Establish the best ways to gain that perspective, plan your time wisely, and include a few close friends.
You never know what you might see.
“Reflection becomes the rocket fuel for experimentation, the lifeblood of high-level innovation, the spark of deeper meaning, and the wellspring of enduring purpose.”