Point of Negative Return

Optimism Thought of the Week

For Sunday, July 10, 2016 

Point of Negative Return 

By Glennel Hardy


“If we never go beyond what’s familiar to us, we miss the opportunity to seize what lies ahead of us.” – Glennel Hardy

One of my favorite past time events were the launch of the space shuttle vehicles from the Kennedy Space Center.  When it is a less than a minute before launch the main systems of the shuttle is transferred to the on-board computer system.  Within two minutes into the launch the two solid rocket boosters separate, as the shuttle continues to soar.

After four minutes into the launch, the shuttle reaches the point of “negative return”, meaning in the event of an engine failure it cannot return back to the Kennedy Space Center.  At the point of “negative return” the shuttle is flying too high, and too fast in the event of engine failure. As the shuttle continues to soar, it eventually breaks free from its main engine, as all three engines remaining pushes forward into orbit.

The analogy of this story is when I moved from Chicago to Phoenix, I had taken a risk to leave from where I was most comfortable, and went into the unknown, where I was the least comfortable.  Those that supported me, my mentors and my mom, eventually had to let me fly on my own, although I was still flying into the unknown.   I had reached a certain point in my life, where if I did feel unsure about what I was doing, there was no way I can go back from where I started (negative return), I had to continue to move forward.

The higher I reached for the stars above me, the fear of the unknown began to subside. Those that helped me reached to that point, eventually allowed me to fly on my own, and there was no turning back.

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