Just say yes to opportunity

I can learn to fly at the same age Harrison Ford did.

I always wonder what my live would have been like if I had not mostly said yes to all the opportunities that have come my way.

When I was 16 years old, I was really involved with fencing. I had won some competitions and was also fortunate enough to spend a full week with Olympic fencing coach Bob Anderson.

Bob was a very traditional fencing instructor, but also had a background in the movie industry. He taught Errol Flynn his moves and even acted as a double for him. 

Bob received a phone call one day. He had the opportunity to train actors for swordsmanship on Star Wars. I guess he was a bit of a yes man, because he moved to Hollywood, probably made a lot more money than he would have as an Olympic fencing coach, and did most of the movie industries stunt training when it came to things like swords and light sabres.

The only time in my life I said no was to an opportunity to train for the British Olympic fencing team. I rationalized that I did not want to make sport a career. Now, I often wonder what doors might have opened if I had said yes. It is a very small regret.

Since then, I have taken opportunities like that very seriously.

It probably should not be a surprise to many of you that when I received a phone call from a friend a few weeks ago urging me to sign up for a grand aviation adventure in 2018 that I said yes.

It is an amazing opportunity to fly a plane from Patagonia to Florida with 14 other pilots of vintage aircraft. 

I hurriedly produced a video and sent it off to the organizers. The link to their video is here.

My only challenge is that I don’t have a pilots licence and I can’t fly. Not really that big of a deal since I figured this could be a very long and interesting flying lesson.

A few hours later, I had an agreement from a top flying instructor who would fly with me and I can learn how to fly a plane. To be more specific, our plan is to fly a gyroplane and mix it up with some beautiful old aircraft as we bumble our way up through stunning mountain ranges and Amazonian jungle. 

It will be epic. However, it is a competition of sorts. Many people have applied, so what would really help is a few likes of the video and a comment of encouragement. 

If you have a few minutes, please help us in our quest to represent Canada on this amazing and inspiring adventure.

Send us a message with a comment on the video.


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About the Author

Mark has been an entrepreneur for over forty years. His experience spans many commercial sectors and aspects of business. He was one of the youngest people to be appointed as a Fellow of the prestigious Institute of Sales and Marketing Management before he left the UK in 1988.

His column focuses on ways we can improve on success in our lives. Whether it is business, relationships, or health, Mark has a well-rounded perspective on how to stay focused for growth and development.

His influences come from the various travels he undertakes as an adventurer, philanthropist and keynote speaker. More information can be found on Mark at his website www.markjenningsbates.com

He is a Venture Partner with www.DutchOracle.com a global Alternative Investment company.

Mark Jennings-Bates:
[email protected]

Photo credit: www.SteveAustin.ca 

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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