What’s a “No Parachute” Person?

That’s someone you’ll find over on the winner side of the room.

I heard this when I was 17 years old, from a guest speaker for our football team. That’s all I remember. I don’t remember what the event was. I’m not really sure who the speaker was, but I remember what he said. 

It’s interesting how certain statements will stick with you over the years.

He was talking about being decisive. Everybody who comes to speak to high school students is talking about ideas and insights about being successful, and he was no exception. He said that when you make a decision stick with it. In other words, be what he called a “no parachute” person. 

If you don’t bring a parachute, you’re not going to be bailing out.

I’m not sure how he made his point but it sure stuck with me. It ties into all the other advice you get about not quitting. A winner knows how to make a commitment. Before the plane takes off or the decision is made, a winner is gathering information, debating and analyzing all of the choices. 

Eventually the time comes to make a decision and when that decision is made they are in to the finish. Once they decide to do something, 100% of their time, energy and effort is locked in on getting it done. They have absolutely no thought of bailing out.  

Not everyone thinks that way.

Anyone who has been in charge of a project, or even a birthday party, knows how happy, excited and eager everyone is to commit in the beginning. ‘You can count on me! I’ll be there!’ But the closer you get to the due date, people are bailing left and right.  

Winners don’t bail. They don’t have a parachute. That’s because they planned from the beginning to stay all the way until the job is done.  

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