“He’s living the big dream!” I heard crackle through the headset.
He could see the smile on my face 1,000 ft below.
I had scored my first cross-country helicopter flight, and with that, a giant stepping stone towards my dream.
Or, as Mark called it, “The Big Dream.”
We were making the radio call for final approach to our destination; the maintenance facility in Oklahoma, and I got to tag along (for free) on a flight training that I could in no way have afforded on my own.
As we landed, I could see that they all were excited for me.
“Well, how does it feel?” They asked as the blades spun down and I climbed out of the student seat.
I was the kid who had been hanging around the airport for the past 5 years, embarrassingly eager to talk with a pilot, catch a glimpse of the cockpit, and one day, maybe just one day, score a chance to fly.
Thanks to Mark and Joanne, this was finally my day.
After we landed, I was introduced to Jerry, Derrick, Lisa, and Glen; all people who were living my big dream; flying around the world and building incredible companies.
They told me how they’d also dreamed of flying since they were young.
They explained how they’d gone from having nothing to starting businesses, flying themselves all over the world, and having more fun than most people ever think possible.
They reassured me that even when it seems impossible, passion will prevail.
They invited me back.
They checked in on me.
They went out of their way to send me business opportunities to help fund my big dream.
They nudged me through the next 12 years with reminders to “keep going.”
And on March 21st of 2023, they sent resounding celebration as I held the freshly printed license in my hand and finally claimed the title of “helicopter pilot.”
At the time, I didn’t realize how I’d gotten so lucky, but in hindsight, I learned three life-changing lessons:
- Your big dream is worth pursuing. It’s worth talking about. It’s worth sharing.
- There are people who care about your big dream as much as you do, and you will meet them as long as you keep showing up.
- Your big dream will happen so long as you have the courage to stay embarrassingly eager.
Since then, I’ve never stopped asking everyone I meet,
“What’s the big dream?”
And with that, I would ask you,
What is yours?