The Master Builders of Iowa held a socially distant and attendance-limited Winter Conference in February, the first event of its kind that I’ve attended in a year. Parts of it did not feel normal, yet some of it did.
One of the great moments this year and every year is the Masters Award Luncheon (and not just because we were awarded a Masters Award this year). While the projects and participants recognized as finalists are the main focus of the event, the keynote speaker, Major Dan Rooney, was tremendous. Major Rooney is a fighter pilot, a PGA Golf Professional, author, and founder of Folds of Honor. You can read more about him here. His keynote focused on some of the main points from his most recent book, FLY INTO THE WIND. I have not read his book yet, but it is up shortly on my reading list.
As some of you might know, airplanes typically take off into the direction of the wind, giving the plane additional lift and allowing it to takeoff more quickly. Major Rooney uses this principle of flight as an analogy to facing resistance and difficulty in life. Taking off with the wind at your back sounds easier, but it’s not. As a matter of fact, it makes takeoff much more difficult.
“Life is not meant to be easy. Life is meant to be great.” My wheels have been spinning since hearing Major Rooney utter that sentence. The greatness comes from the resistance. It helps us elevate and take flight in whatever we do – in work, family, faith and community. Don’t focus on the easy, focus on the great. It is why we are here.
I have now listened with a more attentive ear when I hear people say things are easy, or that they want them to be easy. I may complain about it at times, but I always choose a great outcome over an easy one. When it is too easy, there is likely opportunity for greatness left on the table that won’t be reclaimed.
Fly into the wind. Life is meant to be great!
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