My Love for Speed

As we are getting on the tarmac and the engines of the plane start winding up, I feel  excitement. I love when we take off, my body being pushed in the seat because of the pressure created by the high speed.  I have a big smile on my face. I love when the plane turns.  I think it must be fun to be a pilot.

As we are flying over lighted cities, just above some light clouds, I start thinking what else brings me this sense of excitement and where it could be coming from…

The first thing that comes to mind is my experience in one of my friends muscle car.  Oh my!  That was pretty exciting too.  He really enjoyed seeing my grin as he was accelerating.  I also remember as a child being in those cars with adults and feeling their excitement, sense of control and pride. I even remember that a gas pedal was a chromed barefoot.  It must be where I got my urge to drive a manual car. Cuz’ with a standard you can accelerate faster and feel in control of your car.  Yes I love speed.

Where else does it translate in my life?  Well, when I start a project, a journey, I want it all to unfold quickly, in a controlled fashion.  Does it happen that way?  Rarely.  And it used to frustrate me sooo much.  Now I’m realizing that it’s probably better that way. Life has a certain wisdom.  Would I have really been ready to speak in front of 2000 people as I was visualizing it, right after my LifeSuccess Consultant training?  Definitely not.  I would have been really nervous and overwhelmed.  Instead I’ve been preparing myself with smaller speaking engagements to become a world-class speaker.

I also remember that when my kids were babies I thought that they weren’t growing up fast enough.  That I would be stuck in that high demand period forever.  And even though my mom was telling me that before long they would be teenagers, it was hard to grasp that concept. Lately I look at them, now almost 16 and 14, and I can’t get over how quickly it has gone by, in a way. It’s weird to look at them, taller than me.  Where as time flied by?

I’m learning to slow down and appreciate the moment. And it’s sometimes strange.  I feel like I’m looking at someone else, because this “Relax!“ mode was so foreign to me, not so long ago.  A friend of mine even complimented me on my slower pace, saying that it was a nice change from my tight and busy schedule that was my lifestyle not even a year ago.

What brought that change about?  My being tired and realizing that I was trying to keep up with my husband.  He is adrenaline driven and I could only keep up with that speed so long before crashing down, energy less. And lately I heard that unlike men adrenaline depletes women’s energy and leaves us exhausted.  Tada!  That’s why I couldn’t keep up!  I was yet again trying to do things in a manly fashion. Just like when I crave that speed with a car or on a plane. I want to feel that I have power and that I’m in control.  But what do we really control besides our mind?  Nothing.  So speed and control are both illusions.

As we are starting the landing approach I become aware that slowing down requires more control.  Just like in life.

Is it easier to catch all the balls life throws at us or to only catch the important ones and dodge the rest?  It’s sound lest exhausting to me…

I understand now that I need to find a model of success achieved in a womanly fashion, making very good money and being highly respected.  Any suggestions?

© 2011, Chantal Ouellette. All rights reserved.

5 Responses to “My Love for Speed”

  1. Very interesting; thank you for sharing!

  2. Hi Chantal

    Fellow JT Masterclass student Zahid here. Just out doing a bit of blog hopping.

    I have a friend with the same speed symptoms that you describe, does everything at speed…I think :) Keep telling her to just chill a little or you will get burn out.

    Control does require more effort but you can a lot of the time achieve more with the right planning and strategy and guidance than physical effort…speed!!! my friends answer.

    If you are looking for female inspiration check out my firen Michele’s site @ http://www.newbizblogger.com/

    She is amazing, so productive and does more than just multi tasking, its super duper multi tasking…really check it out.

    She has a lot of great tips,how to videos and some great advice sections.It will give you some great ideas.

    Tell her I sent you over :)

    Looking good, all the best.

    Regards

    Zahid

  3. Chantal Ouellette on March 16th, 2011 at 9:44 pm

    Well thank you Zahid!

    When I was in full speed, multi-tasking and super-mom mode, I think I flirted with burn out. I wish I would have had a friend like you telling me to slow down. I think I really needed someone to show me how it looks like to chill but still be efficient. No one showed up at my door to do that, so I’ve been exploring and trying different things since then. I will definitely check her website!

  4. Chantal,

    I like your airplane analogy. Something I can definitely relate to being a pilot myself. As you mention, slowing down requires the most control as landings are the most challenging yet rewarding phase of flight as we approach at speeds as high as 160 mph/260 kph. But to your post and unlike you, it is not speed and control that I crave but only control. (This may be why I never feel out of breath). There is nothing more comforting than to be in control of a situation whatever the situation. And although some may perceive me as an overachiever and consummate multitasker when considering all I do, it is not a need for speed that drives me but a need to be true to self and do what I feel I need to do and most importantly can do which by default, requires control. Therefore, as I don’t thrive on speed, I don’t have adrenaline issues that you make reference to as it is speed and not control that brings the bigger adrenaline rush. So true control on your part would alleviate the problems you associate with female adrenaline depletion rates. As an example, even when dealing with my dad’s funeral recently, I treated everything as a puzzle and made all the pieces that had to fit together fit while making proper use of the time allotted, hence I remained in control, even finding time to write an article on my blog about my experience as I felt the need to do so (French version only for now at http://bit.ly/gPWTga) .

    To your quote: “But what do we really control besides our mind? Nothing. So speed and control are both illusions.”, I tend to disagree somewhat as it is my being “In control” that allows me to have a clearer mind and allow me to do all I do. So since we agree that we control our minds (but not our subconscious) I therefore don’t see it as an illusion. My famous saying “It fits in my Palm Pilot” is not about cramming as much as possible in one time period but more like fitting as much as I want and need to in one time period and still allow me time to reflect, to spend quality time with friends, in essence to be myself. Control then is not an illusion albeit it is my perception of being in control. As the world works solely on perception, it therefore becomes my reality and definitely not an illusion.

    To your quote “As we are starting the landing approach I become aware that slowing down requires more control. Just like in life.” I’d like to comment by saying, as much as I agree that you need to slow down in a controlled fashion, I’d like to add “Not only to you need to be in control when you slow down but in every facet of your life”. Once you’ll have achieved a constant speed (like in cruise at altitude), you’ll still need to be in control to remain there and not be thrown back in your old ways.

    So, when you say: “I understand now that I need to find a model of success achieved in a womanly fashion, making very good money and being highly respected.”, I’d reply that your issue is not to necessarily find a female model as it is to learn to better control what you can control, do with and accept what you can’t control, plan to optimize (not maximize) your time, and remain true to yourself.

    Finally, as for flying above the clouds which seemingly got you to reflect, I can see how this could have happened as it always brings me serenity and perspective. To be privileged to having an office at 37000 feet with such breath taking and ever changing views makes me appreciative of what I have in life and allows me to reflect a lot which is probably why I sometimes see the world differently than most.

    Voilà, my two cents worth.

    On a final note, thanks for your great post and thanks for being so sharing of your thoughts, in a word, thanks for being you…

    Your friend

    Jacques

  5. Chantal Ouellette on April 10th, 2011 at 10:54 pm

    Dear Jacques,

    Thank you for taking the time to answer so eloquently to my post!

    I would like to point that when you say that you are in control of a situation, you are mainly in control of your attitude toward that situation. If you were really in control it would be a smooth ride without any problems and bumps, since we rarely decide to create complications. After all, humans like their comfort. Like you I can be very efficient when facing a situation, keeping my cool, and sailing through it. However when the calm comes back I become aware of how stressed I was since I’m left with no energy. Did I keep a good attitude while dealing with it all, aka as control, is really the important question here. And what is your attitude? It’s your thoughts, emotions and actions all in one. When you are in control your are then controlling how you think of the difficulty, thus how you feel about it and you are then better equipped to take the appropriate actions.

    In your suggestions about what I could learn to become a better me, I like the one about optimizing my time, not maximizing it. I think it’s been one of my main weakness since I try to do it all.

    And I’ll end with a question: What is reality? Since my reality is different than yours because of our perception and experience of it…