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BLOG: What do a jet fighter pilot and a suburban housewife have in common?

Mim Coleman - Photo supplied by Rose-Hip Vital Equine

Miriam Coleman and Sunbury Lodge Toronto.

© Jess Van der Vlist


By Mim Coleman

I am a suburban housewife among other things. As a Chartered Accountant, I was recently afforded the opportunity to listen to industry experts on a range of topics from digital disruption technology, neuroplasticity, and authentic conversations. I also heard how a child fascinated with aviation chased his dream to be a Top Gun fighter pilot just like Tom Cruise’s character Maverick.

Matt Hall was our guest speaker and very quickly I realised that this presentation wasn’t just a 20-minute diatribe of motherhood statements. Sharing his life story it became apparent to me that I was hearing principles I strongly believed in. Matt Hall “Australia’s Top Gun” and I had quite a lot in common.

Let me start with this:

Do the ordinary extraordinarily well.

What does this mean?

Retiring from his role as a RAAF Wing Commander Matt launched himself into his next career, a Red Bull Air Racer and in his first year he came third in the world championship series. A feat never accomplished by a rookie in the history of air racing.  A passing comment “you could win the championship next year” sparked a series of events that had near fatal consequences on the Detroit River. 

What lead to the perfect storm that almost ended his life? Matt had, on the whim of a passing comment, changed his entire approach. He had a successful process that did work previously and left it all behind to achieve an outcome. To WIN.

His failure and ours arise because we focus on the outcome at the expense of the process. You know that blue ribbon, the wool rug, the title, the recognition? Rather than correct nutrition, fitness, training, training, more training, consistent training, focussed training, wellbeing, goal setting and making every step count.


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Going from a tried and true process, Matt changed his plane, changed his technicians, his team and driven by the outcome to win he micro-managed every aspect of the process and lost sight of why he was there. It was to his detriment.

After the race where he almost lost his life it was time for a critical debrief. And what did Matt do after this debrief?
He re-established his tried and true process and finished the series in seventh (and alive).

The message is that if you have a process that works for you, that allows you to continue to improve and be the best that you can be, then don’t be frightened of the result.

If the best that you can be at any point in time is 7th, 30th, 15th or 2nd then why would you change your coach, your horse, your saddle, your boots, your float, your vet, your farrier?
“But I don’t know where to start” I hear you say.

Well let me tell you that what Matt and myself have in common and so can YOU.

•    We are ordinary people living an extraordinary life
•    We dream BIG
•    We get better at doing what we are already doing
•    We set micro goals that lead us to our Big Dream
•    We plan, we brief and we debrief
•    We build a team around us that support our dream
•    We know that failing to prepare is preparing for failure
•    We practice
•    We focus on the process and don’t get fixated on the end result
•    We have fun and enjoy what we do
•    We ask others “How can I help?” AND
•    We do the ordinary extraordinarily well

Above all else we Chase our Dreams.

Thank you to Matt Hall for the inspiration to write this article and for sharing your wisdom.

His book “The Sky is not the Limit” is a great read. Look him up on the internet a fascinating guy with a powerful message.

This article is dedicated to my friend Jenny who herself has recently achieved the final micro goal that will deliver her to her Big Dream. Jenny’s Big Dream is to compete in the FEI PSG on her 20 year years young Thoroughbred in tails, a top-hat and a smile that will be seen from the Milky Way.

Thank you for reading wordsbymimc





M ad out now issue 34


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