Frictionless Friday: Can a Zero-G Flight Build Resilience?

NOTE: If you’ve never been into zero gravity, it’s going to be hard to relate to this post. I hope you’ll stick around for the ride anyway, for the perspectives on resilience.

A couple weeks ago, I had a perspective shift so rare and dramatic that it could be a spiritual experience: flying into zero gravity. As part of an unforgettable team day, my Abundance 360 cofounder and epic elite client Peter Diamandis treated us to 15 parabolas on a ZERO-G suborbital flight.

I must admit that I was absolutely petrified going into this experience, as was our team. We’d read frightening stories about the so-called “Vomit Comet” NASA used, and really, how do you prepare yourself for a physical experience you can’t actually envision? To make matters worse, I really like being in charge, and I wasn’t sure if I’d freak out or panic after losing the comforting, anchoring feeling of gravity.

Happily, I lived to tell the tale -- and came out of the experience with three powerful takeaways.

1. Everyone should have the experience of feeling the absence of gravity.

The rhythm of my breathing and the sensation of my body expanding outward created its own energetic force. Such a simple idea, yet in the absence of gravity, it was the most powerful force I could feel.

I’ll get the obvious out of the way: a ZERO-G flight isn’t cheap, and I’m exceptionally lucky (and grateful) to have gotten such a rare opportunity. But if you’re someone willing to spend $5,000 on a once-in-a-lifetime experience, I can’t recommend a better use of those funds.

This part is hard to express in words. When you go into reduced gravity, your relationship with the forces around you completely changes. My muscles felt free and alive, totally unrestrained. No joint or muscle pain, no tight back. Just free. That in itself is a remarkable experience, and it compounds over the 15 parabolas you do on a typical flight. (In fact, Peter once flew Stephen Hawking into zero g in a flight similar to the one we took.)

In the stillness, I remember thinking that the only thing I could actually feel was the outward expansion of my chest as I breathed deeply. The rhythm of my breathing and the sensation of my body expanding outward created its own energetic force. Such a simple idea, yet in the absence of gravity, it was the most powerful force I could feel.

The flight itself had its own rhythm. Between parabolas, we had to lay down on the padded floor of the aircraft while it got back into position, and we experienced 1.8 G’s -- nearly twice your bodyweight -- in force. It was a gnarly back-and-forth between freedom and constraint. As my back settled into the padding, I remember noticing how my back felt decompressed, and my muscles felt lightweight yet energized. Then, as we ascended and the G’s hit us, my back would readjust into place. Moments later, we were in the next parabola, free to fly, somersault and levitate in midair.

I felt pure joy. I felt lightness. I felt alive

Throughout it all, I felt pure joy. I felt lightness. I felt alive.

2. We choose how strong our gravitational forces are on Earth.

Gravity is an emotional experience with some degree of control.

Some forms of gravity -- for example, the natural gravitational forces that keep us on Earth -- are non-negotiable. But after being in zero g for a short time, I now also believe gravity is an emotional experience with some degree of control.

Setting aside the non-negotiable form of gravity, and setting my body’s actual mass aside, the flight made me think of a new question: am I carrying around more weight than I need to? Have I put so much pressure on myself that I feel heavier -- more gravitational pull -- as a result?

And if the answer to the previous two questions is YES, what actions can I take to change those answers?

I didn’t want that feeling of energetic lightness to end after we landed.

And so far, they haven’t.

3. Action enables stillness.

Stillness and peace are beautiful. And they’re even more enjoyable when you’ve taken action to get there.

The residue of everyday hassles, grief and stress burned off. Only pure love and pure joy remained.

In zero gravity, you float around like a rock. Focused, strategic action -- pushing yourself off a wall or the ground -- is the only way you can really influence your direction. Punching, kicking and flailing are natural reflexes that work underwater, but are useless in zero g.

Because I couldn’t control my exact location during the weightless parabolas, I was forced to let go of the inch-by-inch movement and focus solely on the intended overall trajectory.

And when I let go of my need for physical control, I also let go emotionally. During those parabolas, I felt truly unencumbered. The residue of everyday hassles, grief and stress burned off. Only pure love and pure joy remained.

I wouldn’t have felt this degree of freedom if I hadn’t taken action -- in this case, by creating the results to earn the reward, getting on the plane, fully participating in the experience, and following in-flight suggestions from Peter and the crew.

It all reminded me of why I created Ridiculously Efficient: to create time freedom through high performance. It’s not just about the result, but about the journey you take toward achieving that result.

What’s the ROI?

While many of these takeaways are emotional in nature, the return on investment of an experience like this is clear.

Do you want to think bigger? Have a taste of true freedom? Get perspective on what’s most important to you?

Then experience what it’s like to live, breathe and think without any constraints.

For all of this, I enthusiastically recommend ZERO-G.

Marissa Brassfield

Marissa Brassfield is a productivity expert, branding consultant and communication efficiency specialist who helps entrepreneurs and high-performance teams become ridiculously efficient.

Marissa has worked with some of the most visionary entrepreneurs on the planet. She’s dialed in to the frustrations these results-oriented, interrupt-driven individuals have with bureaucracy and suboptimal team performance. Her coaching helps entrepreneurs counteract growth-killing practices and unlock unparalleled performance from their support staff.