Airplane Story: Why Humans Are Fearful

The other day I was on an airplane for business. The plane was packed full of people. There wasn’t a free seat available. The plane took off great. Smooth takeoff. Everyone was relieved and the stress was fairly low.

That was until we hit turbulence.

Now, it wasn’t crazy turbulence, but crazy enough to warrant a little bit of stress. During the brief moments of turbulence, there were a few shrieks from those in the cabin. Some of the people were visibly stressed out because of it. I saw a few people holding each other’s hands and even someone that was constantly looking around at others with a stress face on. I’m sure you know what this means.

However, there was one person in the entire cabin that didn’t have a care in the world what was going on and had absolutely ZERO stress. And that was a young child that was sitting about 3 rows from me.

While almost every single person was stressed, parents including, the child was laughing, giggling, and talking to others within the cabin.

The child was in the hands of the father and with every slight feeling of turbulence, the father clenched his arms to hold the baby tighter. As if if were the last time that they could seen each other. Now, I have no idea what it means to be a father. I don’t have a kid and maybe this is something normal, but that’s not the point of this story.

Regardless of the situation and what was happening around us, the baby had no idea what was going. She was happy. She was laughing. She was carefree. She was fearless.

During this moment, it allowed me to reminisce about a previous story that I’d like to share:

Right before one of my best friends got married and had a kid, we decided to walk around Philadelphia. It was during the spring time so the temperature wasn’t too bad. We just got done eating a a BBQ joint. Which if you’re ever in Philly, it’s nearly impossible to find damn good BBQ. But we were in the mood for it and got it. 

After lunch, we then walked around 10th and south near a park. Not exactly sure why, but we decided to go to the park to sit on a bench to just chat. There were a ton of families playing in the park with their kids while we were siting on the bench. It’s less creepy than it sounds. But we were just chatting about life. Enjoying the sun, the weather, and the great atmosphere. 

After just randomly looking around, I saw this kid that was scaling this large cargo net looking thing. The cargo net was probably about 10-12 feet in the air. The kid was about 3 foot tall but was old enough to do it himself. The kid got to the top and was really excited about it. Then something incredible happened. This little girl, no more than 2 years old. I’d say maybe 2 feet tall. Maybe 2 years old. Like could walk, but at the point of that drunken baby walk, if you get my point. So the little girl on the bottom looked at the kid at the top and then miraculously decided to also scale this 12 foot wall.

With her father behind her the entire time, but not once did he ever assist or touch her, this little girl scaled the wall.

The father was petrified. You could see it in his eyes. You could tell by his body language. The little girl however, was fearless. Beyond fearless.

During this moment, I tapped my friend Andrew in the arm to see what was going on and we later had a deep conversation about the events. What we both realized is that as we get older, we have more stress and we fear more. This fear stems from past experiences and reasons beyond our control for the most part. 

For example:

  • If you ate Chinese food for the first time, but got sick from it you may never eat that type of food again (Real scenario with a family member)
  • You may get cheated on in a relationship and become reluctant to open up as quickly as you should to your new partner
  • You fall off of a play machine and decide to never play again
  • Or see the tragic events from 9/11 or other random news about planes and immediately have this stigma about how planes are all awful

Regardless of your situation or example, we have this underlining fear that surrounds us. But if you think about it, what is our real reason for being so fearful?

Well, for one, as you get older, you have A LOT to lose and fear to some degree takes over you. To a point where it partially controls you. 

So, how does this relate to business?

Well, it relates to business in so many ways because when we were young, we were fearless. Nothing could stop us. But as we get older, we become more fearful and don’t take the proper risks needed in order to succeed! 

I’m not much of a motivational speaker. In fact, I hate motivational speeches. But this was a story I just had to share. I’m leaving this episode wide open specifically for you to think and interpret what it is that I am trying to say and how it relates to you. Every situation is different, but for me personally. These past two experiences were eye opening moments where I realized that at times, I was living a life in fear. I was living a life where I didn’t take the same risks that I once did. 

I had more to lose and the chances of gaining something in return weren’t all that high.

But if you think about it, isn’t that what life is all about?

We have one life to live and we need to make the most of it.

Anyways, as always please reach out anytime if you have any questions at hello@penji.co or connect with us on any social media platform under @dotpenji. You won’t want to miss next week’s episode where we talk about “Tech we use at Penji” Catch you next Thursday, until then. Go out there and execute your vision, have a great rest of your day.!