A story is told about a British pilot who was terrified when he looked down, to discover a rat chewing on the fuel line.
He was going to have to land his plane as soon as possible but he was calculated that he did not have sufficient time to do so before irreparable damage was done to the aircraft.
What he did next was counter-intuitive and non-obvious.
Instead of attempting the landing, he flew the plane even higher. The decrease in oxygen was enough to kill the rat.
When you are faced with dire circumstances, you could simply hope for the best.
You could waggle your wings and try to shake things off.
You could bet against the odds and attempt to land safely.
Or you could double-down. Go harder, go higher.
Guy Kawasaki says Silicon Valley’s successes are more a matter of people throwing things at a wall and painting a target around what sticks.
That is true for most successes. But that is not a story of luck or synchronicity, it is a story of people failing at a hundred things, persisting.
When things look grim, they double down and go harder. Instead of landing, they fly higher. Of course, many, many, many sink without trace.
But the ones that make it, are characterised by persistence that eventually finds that a solution.
Persistence required bravery.
How brave are we?