What have you done 13,000 times?
A year of training. Over 500 skydives and over 13,000 motocross jumps. The goal? Jump a motorcycle off a cliff into a BASE jump in the mountains of Norway. You can watch the months of preparation in just nine minutes, where Tom Cruise and his team explain the behind-the-scenes work for this stunt to be shot for the upcoming Mission Impossible movie. The number of people and the work required to come together to accomplish what will likely be less than 3 minutes of the film is impressive.
You might think his team members would say, “Be careful,” before each skydive, each motocross jump. However, his mantra for each undertaking was, “Don’t be careful; be competent.” Modeling, GPS tracking, external weather factors, camera angles, and more were researched and rehearsed until the team could ensure this stunt was as safe as possible.
“I have to get so good at this that there’s just no way that I miss my marks.”
And while the director is explaining all of the ways this could go wrong, they show Tom preparing to jump, and he says, “I’ll try not to smile.” And even if you don’t love Tom Cruise, there is a powerful lesson in this video…
An outrageous goal was set. Spoiler alert, they pull it off (Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning comes out in July). Looking “behind the scenes,” there is an absolute joy on the faces of the whole team because it took every single one of them to become competent in their specific role to succeed. They each chose their ‘hard,’ picked the right people for their teammates, and got to work. Some days in the practice may feel like you are jumping off a cliff from a motorcycle. If you’ve picked the right team, they have your back and want to share your success. When all of you are prepared, you don’t have to be afraid to jump.
You might even smile while you’re doing it.