On the surface that sounds like classic Superman—after all, what’s more Superman-like than flying?
- There’s the thrill of taking off—of pushing the throttle forward and picking up speed and then pulling back the yoke and actually leaving the ground.
- There’s the excitement of landing—of lining up on that centerline and finessing the plane to a smooth touchdown. Or sometimes not so smooth. Like I said, it’s exciting.
- There’s the discipline of running through the pre-flight checklist, which I once did without my usual Clark Kent / project management attentiveness—probably too excited to get to the Superman / flying part—and ended up taking off with the oil cap off and sitting on top of the engine. Like I said—exciting.
- And there’s the tedium of practicing taxiing, at first wobbling along the taxiway, trying not to get in the way of the actual pilots too much. But you’ll never be able to take off if you can’t even taxi in a straight line.
In addition, I started learning about how the engine works and doing the calculations necessary to plan for fuel consumption during a flight, despite the fact that I never thought of myself as particularly mechanically- or mathematically-inclined. And those Clark Kent parts contributed just as much as the Superman parts to my belief that I could do this thing that at one point I might have thought was beyond my abilities.
The fact that I was able to do all those things—the flying and the taxiing, the landing and the flight plan calculations—made me believe that I could take on the creative right-brain challenge of writing a novel, and then that I could take on the practical left-brain challenge of publishing and promoting it.
Or, to paraphrase another “superhero”—Dr. Frank-N-Furter from Rocky Horror Picture Show …
- You have to be able to both dream it, to have that vision of what’s possible, and that’s your inner Superman AND
- You have to be able to be it, to take the practical steps to act on that vision, and that’s your inner Clark Kent