Ever since I was a little girl, I dreamed of skydiving. To be honest, I was hooked ever since I saw the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie opening scene.

It looked so fun- the flying, the culture, the flipping!!

By the time I was old enough to jump, it was a no-brainer.

At this point, I was so far abstracted from the time I spent obsessively watching this film that I hadn’t even realized the inception it had worked on me until I was questioned why I wanted to go skydiving in the first place.

I wasn’t fully aware of the world it would open for me either.

This week I turned that question around on a close group of friends and asked, “Why would you skydive? Why or Why not?

The responses I received covered the full spectrum from “hell yes” to “if the plane was going to crash.

For the enthusiasts, it is merely a question of when not if.

And for the people adamantly against it, I realize that it is not for everybody and I hope you are never in a plane in that situation.

However, if you’re on-edge and debating whether or not you would like to experience skydiving, I would encourage you to keep reading.

Skydiving: A Business Case

For the past two years, I have been an entrepreneur. Whenever it comes to motivating or persuading someone into working with a product or service, my mind jumps to a business plan framework so that is what I would like to create for you.

Below is an excerpt of a business case for skydiving.

It outlines a problem you may identify with, a collection of current competitive solutions, and the unique value proposition that skydiving offers.

Problem: Learned Helplessness

In my last article, I asked if fear is limiting your potential.

The main problem for those fortunate enough to have their physiological and safety needs met is that they often sacrifice the higher-tier needs of love/belonging, esteem, and self-actualization to maintain these lower-tier needs.

Are you settling for the bare minimum when there is a great potential for happiness and greatness?

Do any of the following describe you?

  1. All you look forward to is sleeping; the best part of your day is the end.
  2. Finishing your “to-do” list leaves you feeling unaccomplished.
  3. Your free time is spent sleeping.
  4. You constantly feel stressed, tired, and unfulfilled.
  5. It’s more comforting to complain about your circumstances than to change your life- even though you know you could be happier.

What you are currently experiencing could be due to chronic exposure to a cycle of stress, anxiety, and exhaustion with no time for recovery.

Living in this condition is far more harmful than one might expect.

Chronic exposure to such a lifestyle resets the body’s idea of normal. In extreme cases, this can be referred to as learned helplessness.

Once a person has accepted this loss of control, they often do not make an effort to escape the cycle.

Psychologist Martin E.P. Seligman discovered this conditioned response in an experiment involving dogs and floors that produce electrical shocks in 1960’s.

Below is a video explaining the experiment for those who are interested.

Although most people have not reached the point of extremity wherein they would settle for being constantly shocked, the pains of people stuck in such a rut are present, noticeable, and problematic.

Common solutions

When performing customer interviews in a startup, one of the key aspects you are looking for is to see if your potential customers are actively searching for a solution to the problem you have identified.

Below are common ways people deal with the stress and monotony of everyday life – proof that people are actively trying to find a solution to complacency.

Proof that people are inherently unhappy with settling for less than their potential.

  • Drinking?

Although acceptable in moderation, many people begin to rely on a drink at the end of a hard day to “take the edge off.”

This may instigate a temporary stress relief, but it does not solve the root of the problem. It is expensive, potentially addictive, and harmful in large quantities.

Additionally, it can have negative effects on relationships and disperse the stress to family and friends who notice a downward spiral forming.

  • Stress-Eating?

Stress eating is an increase in food intake in response to negative emotions.

Although a commonly portrayed as a comical act in sitcoms, this type of stress-response can lead to unhealthy eating habits with long-term consequences.

The temporary emotional relief does not outweigh the health risks turning to this relief each night can cause.

  • Ignoring the problem entirely?

Although doing nothing can be perceived as an easy alternative to attempting to find a solution, ignoring a cause of stress or avoiding confrontation can ultimately do more harm than good, as it merely perpetuates the cause of the stress.

Ignoring a problem is never a solution.

  • Sleeping?

Sleeping allows the mind and body to relax, but oversleeping can lead to grogginess and depression.

When overwhelmed with your current situation, sleeping is another form of temporary relief. Unfortunately, this takes up time that could have been used to knock out items on your to-do list and ultimately reinforces a feeling of unfulfillment and dissatisfaction with your work output when you awake.

  • An extravagant purchase?

Television commonly displays this type of rut as a mid-life crisis.

In an attempt to pull themselves out of this rut, characters often make an extravagant purchase to feel young again and attract attention.

However, these types of purchases cannot compensate for what they really crave – a lifestyle change. It superficially displays what they want to change fundamentally and ends in buyer’s remorse and a fight with their spouse.

Skydiving: A Unique Alternative

As in my last article, I must stress that I am not licensed to give clinical advice, merely draw upon experience and what I have witnessed with friends.

However, if you recognize the above patterns in your daily routine, perhaps I can offer an alternate solution.

Unique value proposition:

For people stuck in in a daily routine who are tired of common methods of temporary stress relief, skydiving is a unique way to break the cycle of learned helplessness, feel empowered, and make a step towards fulfillment by offering a chance to face your fears, discover a new perspective on life, and rediscover the beauty of nature.

 Allow me to elaborate on how skydiving can be such a powerful tool.

  • Face your fears

Skydiving allows you to confront a plethora of fears that are associated with the fear of extinction, mutilation, and the loss of autonomy.

Facing your fears unlocks potential in all aspects of life.

If you recognize a pattern of fear controlling your actions, facing one can help you to overcome another.

It unlocks a feeling of confidence, intensity, beauty, power, and freedom when you allow yourself to discover new emotions and explore the top-tier needs of humanity (love/belonging, esteem, and self-actualization).

  • Discover a new perspective

“The optimist sees the donut the pessimist sees the hole.” – Oscar Wilde

Perspective is everything.

We are a collection of our experiences and especially in this world where personalization and customization is expected, we develop a narrow-minded point of view via confirmation bias.

The artificial intelligence algorithm used by YouTube is uniquely created to push you further down the rabbit hole of your own views.

Skydiving allows you to see the world from a new perspective both literally and culturally.

The majority of people live life seeing the earth from the ground up unless it is in picture/video format.

You gain an entirely new appreciation of the Earth’s beauty and the forces of nature (mainly gravity) when you are falling towards the ground from 13,000 feet in the air.

Additionally, there is a culture in skydiving that is pure and fun-loving that is hard to come by in a world overrun by technology and stress.

The people you will meet are the perfect blend of careful (in regards to safety) and carefree (in regards to stress management).

Exposure to this culture allows you to see that pure joy still exists and this aspect in itself will push actively fight the stress in your life.

  • Re-discover the beauty of nature

No matter where you go, skydiving offers an amazing view of the Earth and unlike in many settings today, there is no chance of missing out on this.

You are forced to unglue yourself from your cell phone screen.

After freefall, you will spend 5-7 minutes gliding through the air under a parachute.

After realizing your chute opened and the worst of your fears are mainly over, you can just enjoy the view and sail through the air.

All in all, skydiving can provide a healthy method of stress relief that opens your world to new emotions, perspectives, sights, and friendships.

I just can’t promise that you won’t become addicted 😉 .

Sunset Tandem Jump, © Photo by Edilson Osorio Junior

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