I have a friend who works for British Airways. He’s an engineer who looks after and maintains the planes making them safe to fly.
We’re currently still in lockdown having had a year of most businesses being reduced to virtually zero.
Wherever you may live you may well have noticed the absence of planes overhead especially if you’re anywhere near an airport like Gatwick or Heathrow. On one hand it’s been absolute bliss; No noise on that regular ninety second cycle, the birds singing loudly, conversations being had in gardens without shouting and the assurance that we’re allowing the environment to recover.
On the other hand, it’s a false sense of silence which we know will return with a vengeance once lockdown is lifted and all the flights are allowed to pollute our skies once again.
But what he said was a surprise. I asked if he was working and he said that he was going in to work every day to check the planes most of which are pretty much grounded. Only eight short haul flights a day flying out of Heathrow, most of them empty. He said that they were discovering weird and surprising issues with the planes simply because they weren’t flying:” These planes are built to fly.” he said. The fact that faults and problems were happening due to inactivity made me think that the parallel is evident in our own creative journey.
Without sounding too flowery and church-sermon, we are built to fly! The temptation to sit and do nothing is great especially when we’ve had a year of lockdown, isolation and very little motivation. Ideas are often hard to generate and if there are no end users in the process, why bother?
There’s a good film, book, TV show to watch and we can always get going tomorrow.
‘We’ve got all the time in the world’ is thrown about like some promise or guarantee especially when difficult decisions need to me made. Sadly, the reality is quite the opposite and the older we get the more we realise the perception of the infinite is brutally finite.
Similar to the conditions of stationary aircraft we too can develop strange symptoms that only occur when we should be actively engaged in what we’re supposed to be doing. It’s different for everyone; Sometimes it can be physical and we just can’t find the energy to turn on the computer and start to write. At other times it’s a mental battle knowing that ideas are far away and there’s no way we can produce anything.
I remember when I was getting into some serious deadlines for jingles and TV music, there would be that distant voice suggesting that I should wait to get some kind of inspiration, to seek out the ‘jingle’ muse, to find that special something that would ignite the fuse and light the way towards the great idea. The reality was that I couldn’t wait for inspiration. I’d just look at the clock and start writing often with absolutely nothing in my head fingers or anywhere else. Something would come eventually and always within the deadline, more or less. No time to wait for ‘that moment’. Just get on with it.
At these times, when there is little to motivate or inspire (sorry!) and as you look around you finding something much better to do, just remember:
We are meant to fly.
Do what you’re built to do and don’t sit thinking there will be a better time. That time will never come. Today, now, this minute is it! Climb on and start the engines, create, write, record, sing, play, produce, invent, build the brand. Whatever it is, get out there and FLY.