Never Leave Your Wingman

If you were raised in the 80's, you have most likely seen Top Gun. It was a hit movie starring Tom Cruise, who plays a fighter pilot (Maverick) in the Navy, being trained at a facility in California where the goal is to be "the best of the best." For some reason this movie was my favorite movie back in the day. Maybe it was the music, or maybe it was Maverick's hunky muscles flashing in the sun, together with Iceman’s (Val Kilmer). Ahem, I digress.

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Maverick had that name for a reason. He was rebellious, dangerous, and extremely competitive, and when you mix those three together you get a cocktail of disaster. One rule of flying was to "never leave your wingman," but when faced with temptation, that's exactly what Maverick did. He left the plane he was supposed to protect in pursuit of being “number one,” ultimately causing this flying partner, Goose, to die. He made a rash decision in the heat of the moment to not uphold his commitment, which resulted in a traumatic death. 

 

Why is this important? Because if we do not stick with our commitments, we will not develop the character we need – not only to succeed, but to also carry the weight of the success. Life is hard, but being successful in life requires character. Such character is only built when we are required to follow through when we say we will, even if that means getting little or no recognition, not "winning" your game, or not being able to do the fun or popular thing.

 

What kind of measures might you need to put in place to follow through on your commitments? Where might you need to go back and take responsibility for commitments you did not keep?

May you never, never leave your wingman.