Lessons Learned Falling out of an Airplane

I decided I wanted to go skydiving. I have wanted to since I was 25. I couldn’t then because they said I was too fat.

I achieved my goal weight last year and this year I am doing activities I have never done before, like running and skydiving. I decided to skydive since I am now under the weight limit. Yes, I jumped out of a perfectly good airplane. Well, we didn’t actually jump. You can’t stand up and jump out. You slide your butt to the edge of the open side of the plane and sit and then lean forward and fall out of the airplane. It was an amazing journey that I learned several life-changing lessons taking.

Here are 11 lessons I learned from my amazing experience.

Take Massive Action

Do It.                     Do It Now.                  Do It Big!

If you are going to do something incredible, enlightening, life-changing, you must take massive action. Decide what you want, want to do, want to be. Learn what you need to do to get there and then Do it, Do it Now, and Do It Big. The key is to do it. Take Action. Take massive action.

Trust Your Team

You worked hard to hire the best people. Trust them to do what you hired them to do. Educate them, Encourage them, Empower them. I hired a company to give me a great skydiving experience. I don’t know how to fly a plane, I don’t know how to fold a parachute, I don’t know anything about the act of skydiving. But, the team did. I didn’t second guess them; I didn’t doubt they were doing it right. I did ask Adam, my tandem partner how many times he’s done this and he quickly thought and said, “Oh, let’s see, today is my second day.”

Of course, he was joking, and that humor helped to take off any edge I might have had. Humor helps you enjoy your new adventure. See the next lesson below.

Enjoy the Journey on the Way There

It’s not just about achieving the goal. Enjoy the entire journey on the way to the goal. There are experiences you will have, and lessons learned. Enjoy the journey, not just the destination. There is so much to see and feel as you move toward the goal, that you should enjoy and learn from. From the time I filled out the waivers (I think there are more pages to this waiver than I think I signed to buy my homes.), to getting my gear on, walking out to the plane, getting into and sitting in the plane as we taxied out to the runway, to taking off and gaining altitude to 10,,000 feet, circling and looking out at the area around us, until Adam hooked us up and said scoot over to the door, and then we looked out at the open sky and fell out. I was skydiving. I enjoyed every second on the way there. The journey was as exciting and as fun as the destination. Experience it all.

Keep Your Eyes Open

I imagined people jumping out of the airplane, terrified and closing their eyes in fear. We do this in life as well. Keep your eyes open. There are so many opportunities to see the world from a new perspective, to see things you have never seen, on the ups and downs. Life is like jumping out of an airplane. If you don’t pay attention you will miss so many wonderful sights, sounds, and feelings. “Stop and smell the roses,” is a saying that helps explain that. When I am hiking, I spend as much time taking photos of the amazing scenery I see and I stop and listen to the sounds of nature as I walk through the woods or on the beach. I am enlightened each time. I keep my eyes open along the journey. I want to see it all.

Keep Learning

When you experience a skydive, you learn a lot. You learn to overcome your fears. You learn to step out of your comfort zone. You learn that you can do something amazing if you put your mind to it. You learn new skills. You learn to control your emotions. Try new things and you learn about what you are doing. Our brain and body change as we learn. New synapses are created in the brain. It is essential for our minds to keep learning.

Just Because You Land on Your Ass Doesn’t Mean It Was a Bad Landing

Adam said, “when we land, lift your legs up as high as you can.” I thought he was going to land on his feet and then I would set my legs down. No! We both did a 4 Point landing, both cheeks of each of our asses. A perfect landing. Smooth, easy, fun. Well planned and executed. It was not what I expected. The way we end up is often different than the way we expect the end or even plan the end. Life happens and we often end better than we would have if it was as we planned.

Take Calculated Risks

Going skydiving is risky. The plane could crash. The parachute may not open or open properly. There are risks just walking down the street. I’ve almost been hit several times recently just crossing the street. But you must take risks. The key is to take calculated risks. When I skydived, I researched companies in the area. I read the reviews. Today’s parachutes are much safer and easier on the body than those when I was 25 and had to worry about breaking my ankles when I was overweight. I went in knowing the risks.

Experience New Challenges

I had never jumped out of an airplane. I’ve wanted to since I was 25, but even at that time I was overweight and told I couldn’t jump. I lost weight and it was time. There are so many experiences that will challenge your mind, your heart, and your comfort zone. Life is all about experiences and memories. Make your own memories. Step out of your comfort zone and experience new challenges in your life. You will be excited, exhilarated and it will build your self-esteem.

Embrace the Rush of Life

When I jumped out of that airplane, it was the biggest rush of life. I was enjoying what I was doing. I had an amazing feeling of freedom. It was amazing. Find something that amazes you, that gets you excited with life. Feel that rush and embrace it. It may be scary; it may be enlightening. Embrace life and all that is rushing around you. Enjoy your experiences in life. Embrace the fear, the excitement, the joys.

Don’t Let Fears Keep You from Experiences

Are you afraid to do what you want? We have many fears that keep us from experiences new things, new careers, new relationships. Fear of heights has not been a big problem for me. I didn’t have a fear keeping me from jumping out of the plane. I had fears and belief systems that kept me fat for a long time. Once I changed that limiting belief and those fears I lost the weight. I then chose to experience what I wanted. You can, too.

 If You Can Jump Out of An Airplane, You Can Do Anything

Experiencing events where you have a possibility of your own death will give you a new perspective on your own life. I am not saying commercial skydiving is anything like going into a military battle. You are not in total control and you realize if something does go wrong, there isn’t much you can do. You made a choice to take that risk. You jumped out that plane. You took control of your life and now you get a feeling of true freedom. If I can do that, I can do anything. I can be what I want to be.

There are many more lessons you may learn from your experiences falling out of an airplane or another challenge you have in your life. We all learn different things in our life. Each person’s life is different, and their perspective is different.

What are some of the major lessons you have learned from your adventures and experiences in life?  Share them with us in the comments. I’d love to hear how a major goal you achieved impacted your life and what lessons you learned from it.


  • Tony Woodall


    Motivated Action Goup, LLC

    Tony is the CEO of Motivated Action Group, specializing in Leadership Development & Personal Development. He is a professional speaker, coach, and consultant. During his career as a Chief Information Officer, he built successful teams and systems for fast-growing start-up mortgage companies helping propel them to large national organizations. He earned the designations of Certified Mortgage Banker, Certified Mortgage Technologist and Accredited Mortgage Professional from the Mortgage Bankers Association. The author of 9 Steps to Successful Goal Achievement, The How-To Guide for Goal Setting Success, Tony helps corporations, associations, and busy executives achieve their high-performance goals. His inspirational Goal Getting™, Don't Just Set'em, Get'em program has been presented as CE courses for Boards of Realtors, Sales Academy sessions for banks and financial institutions. An award-winning speaker, Tony presents engaging, inspirational and transformational keynotes and workshops for corporate sales and customer service colleagues that desire high-performance results. Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, Tony now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area where he loves the weather, the food, the ocean, and the many great hiking trails around the area. His favorite hike includes his two loves, the beach, and the mountains. He starts his hikes at Stinson Beach and hikes up Mount Tamalpais.