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Color Inside the Lines
Why boundaries are good.
I have a lot of flight attendant friends. And by a lot, I don’t mean A LOT a lot. Just enough. How many is enough, you ask? Well, I can still count them without using my toes, but I definitely need two hands… That type of a lot.
Anywho, they’re all pretty fly but that ain’t what this is about.
But, while we’re on the topic, have you ever noticed that flight attendants typically don’t wear stiletto heels? I always thought they would, I guess, since many of them dress so nicely in their uniform. Seems like, it would just “go” with the outfit 🤷🏽♂️… but nah. Ain’t no heels when you’re 30,000 feet in the air. Why?
One reason is because they’re on their feet a hell of a lot, while also maneuvering through tight aisles all day, AND also the sharp point could potentially damage the exit slide during an emergency.
Yes, all these things are true. But you want to know a sneakier reason why heels aren’t worn on planes? Pressure. It’s like a science (or math?) problem. The smaller the surface area that something is placed onto, the larger the pressure is per square unit of that measurement. And when you’re 30,000 feet in the air, you need to distribute that pressure as evenly across the plane as possible. I mean, it’s not like someone’s high heel would poke a hole in the bottom of the plane, but I suppose we’ll never find out. Every square inch matters!
This is the same reason people put their hands around their mouths when they want to talk louder, or why we blow our soup with our mouth pursed, or how karate cats can cut paper by punching their hand, or why super skinny people’s elbows hurt so bad (I could go on…)
The smaller the surface area, the bigger the impact. I can’t prove it, but I’m on to something.
The shortest distance between point A and B is…? A straight line. But what about the fastest? MMhmmm.
Need the water hose to shoot out faster, or further to reach that far corner or the backyard lawn? Stick a thumb in front of half of that hole and see don’t you make it over there. Same force + less area = more pressure.
And that’s where my other friend comes into play. Nah, he isn’t a flight attendant but walk with me. He always goes to get pizza on Wednesdays. Every week, once a week, he’ll head for pizza and text me around lunch and ask if I want to go and get some with him. We live close to each other, so sometimes I’m free and hungry, other times I’m not. But it’s always a Wednesday thing. It took a while for me to notice, but when I did, I asked him what was up with that and he replied: “Repetition creates perfection!”
Now at first, it sounded like some half-baked DiGiorno to me, but the more I sat with it, it made sense.
At first it felt… limiting, predictable, but perhaps that’s not so bad. Limits can be good. It wasn’t that the pizza was only good on Wednesdays, nor was there a special or deal or anything, it was just an opportunity for him to find something, and stick to it. To limit his options to create a bigger impact.
What you call predictable, he may call consistent.
And as such, in life, not every boundary we face will be bad. They aren’t meant to back you into a corner, or make you defensive, nor rebellious. Boundaries are good, they help you focus. Because what you don’t do is just as important as what you do do.
They limit a “surface area” otherwise full of distractions so that you can gain speed and momentum. In other words, they make the most of the force you bring.
Imagine a flowing stream being powered by a waterfall. Now imagine that stream was half as wide. The water would flow faster, right? I think so too. Less area, more force.
As beautiful as boundless and lovely and inspiring as life can be, sometimes our best work is when we paint between the lines.
For Lack of a Wetter Bird, color inside the lines, it’ll do you well.
Fuck it, Top 5 pizza chains:
All the rest of ‘em