Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The Point of Decision

It's been years since I was on active duty with the Air Force, but I still recall some things, and one of them is the call of "V1." That's the velocity a plane reaches on takeoff when the pilot must make a decision--continue down the runway until reaching V2, the speed at which he can lift off ("rotate"), or abort the takeoff. It's a critical point.

On my morning walk a few days ago, the "20% chance of showers" caught up with me--when I was just exactly half-way through the walk. That is, it was just as far to walk back as to keep going. I'd effective reached V1. I decided to keep going. Fortunately, the shower stopped, I didn't melt, and I finished the walk. But it made me think about how many times we reach "V1" in our life--decisions a lot more important than whether to turn back or finish our walk. We have to go ahead with our plans or pull back.

I suspect that's happened to all of you. It certainly has with me. What was the situation that brought you to V1? How did you decide? I'd like to know.

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4 comments:

Patricia Bradley said...

Some years ago, I had to decide if I wanted to continue in a relationship that was not going to end in marriage--nothing illicit, just dating a guy who didn't want to get married. After much prayer and thought, I opted to continue the relationship. We have now been dating 17 years come August, and I'm quite happy just keeping company.

Richard Mabry said...

Patricia, thanks for sharing your "V1 moment." I appreciate it.

Patti Shene said...

Hi Richard. Enjoyed the post. I don't know that this situation was critical, but I am a member of Toastmasters International and my club is located 25 miles from home.

I was scheduled to give a speech, but the morning of the meeting, I had nothing prepared. I debated about calling and cancelling with some excuse, but since our club is small, I was to be the only speaker. I really didn't want to do that to the club, so with nothing prepared, I left for the meeting, nervously racking my brain as to what I would talk about for 5-7 minutes.

We had watched a special on TV the night before about Captain "Sully" Sullenberger and his spectacular airplane landing on the Hudson River. The story had truly inspired me. When I arrived at the meeting, I jotted down a few words on a scrap of paper and gave the speech. It was the first speech I had delivered to the group without a fair amount of notes, and my club peers told me it was the best speech I had given to date.

Richard Mabry said...

Patti, you'd reached your "V1 moment" when you had to decide whether to go to the meeting unprepared or offer an excuse. I think I would have done the same thing you did. Even though you didn't feel prepared, your subconscious was already at work.
For writers, Stephen King calls this "letting the boys in the basement work." Sometimes, it all comes together when you just let it.
Thanks for your comment.