Friday, April 01, 2005

Angle of Attack

In aviation there is a term called "angle of attack." This literally means the angle or attitude that an aircraft has with respect to the ground. The nose can be pitched up (a high angle of attack) or pitched level (a low angle of attack) or, I assume the nose can be pitched down (a negative angle of attack?.) But what does this have to do with life in general?

In life we are often beset by various problems, concerns and challenges. It is up to us to learn how to confront and deal with these issues. So we need to decide how we will confront them. Sometimes, it seems, that to confront the issues head-on is appropriate; sometimes sidelong is better, and sometimes it is necessary to call in for reinforcements and plan an alternate method all together.

I call this process "deciding the angle of attack."

I can think of lots of processes that we, as humans, go through in which we need to decide an appropriate course of action. Mechanical action is one example. Sometimes it is best to use a different angle to maximize our torque. Sometimes our opposable thumbs get in the way. Different situations require different strategies.

I quit drinking alcohol in March of 1993. I haven't tasted a drop of alcohol since then. (Well there was a rum cake incident that left me feeling ill.) That was a problem that I confronted head-on. I conquered my alcoholism and have since moved on. I find that other problems in my life are not so easy to conquer. I have a compulsivity/ addiction problem. I find one thing and become so fixated upon it that all else falls to the wayside. To conquer one addiction it seems that I add another. My addiction to tobacco, for instance. I've tried many times to quit, all of them were unsuccessful. I tried the nicotine gum. Disgusting, and it made me jumpy. My isolationism is another addiction. I prefer to be alone. Sometimes so much so that in my solitude I am irritated by the mere suggestion of socialization.

I guess what I am saying is that in order for me to confront and conquer these problems I can't just sit and think about them. I need to choose an angle of attack and close in on them. If that angle of attack fails, I'll reset my angle of attack and go at it again. Seems like a lot of work when you think about it, but there is no other way to solve a problem than to take action against it.

1 comment:

kmvr said...

I like all you just said, it shows tenacity.
You talk about your isolationism as an addiction. I've never thought about it that way before, interesting. I am prone to be an isolationist myself but I don't consider it a problem. I wonder if that's my problem - that I don't consider it a problem. ack