On two feet

Did you ever have the experience of making things happen faster than you could have imagined? Maybe your first promotion within half a year working for a company? Or as a teenager moving from first base to third base in one week. These moments can feel like a toddler at the age of 6 months, pulling himself up on the couch and suddenly standing on two feet. All by himself. Leaving his loved ones amazed by the sudden significant progression.

Nevertheless, the road towards this rising can come with challenges. And before you even start trying to stand up, your anxiousness or subconscious inner self could have stopped you from making a beginning. What if I can’t make it. What if I fall over half way. Wait if I actually fail?

I met Atticus as a colleague. While flying under the radar, I was creating a mindfulness program for the company we work at. As I wasn’t sure how the company would react to it, I handled the subject with care. Even though I felt the need to start such a program, it didn’t mean that the rest of the company felt the same way. So, I started sharing my ideas with Atticus. I knew he was sitting on his meditation cushion every morning, so I figured my ideas would resonate with him.

It turned out that we both had a passion for creating an environment where we could bring people together to build a better version of themselves. Collectively.

Not long after the first discussions, we could see this living outside of our company instead of within. This would make us travel on new roads. Meet new people. Different people. We wouldn’t have to align it with the company’s values and opinions, but instead, it would give us the freedom to shape the project to our liking. It would come with bigger challenges, more anxiety and more reasons not to start and make it happen. Getting Atticus involved in the project turned out to be the start of a co-creating friendship that has resulted in the first session of Airplane Mode.

We see the current version of Airplane Mode as a collective. Something we build together with the participants. Since we are exploring on this journey just as much as they are, the intent has always been to organise these sessions free of charge. This meant that we were relying on partners that would offer their space and time to our concept, in the middle of Amsterdam. For some, that sounded like a crazy idea.

But with the right focus, mindset, and energy, you can make beautiful things happen. The obstacles that were on our path turned out to exist mainly in our head. And in the others around us. Overcoming the challenges becomes part of the journey.

Although the concept of Airplane Mode was at a very early stage, and the ideas were still a bit rough, we sat down with three possible partners. Two out of three immediately said: let’s go for it — something we couldn’t have imagined earlier in our journey. Airplane Mode was launching. From idea to flight status <confirmed>, in 1,5 months.

Sometimes it is more convenient to keep crawling. Easier. Less of a struggle. Your brain is built this way, so don’t be ashamed if you want to stay comfortable. But when you find joy in overcoming your struggles, find growth in the uncomfortable, you will encounter beautiful people, beautiful opportunities and high energy along the way. Standing on two feet, even with support from others, feels like back in the days.


Leave a Reply