#1752 The CAT Launch

“I’m Excited!” “Bring It On!”

I’m typing this a couple minutes after taking off from the runway on the USS DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER aircraft carrier.

I’m on a special Navy plane called a COD—short for Carrier Onboard Delivery.

I’m currently flying about 15,000 feet above the Red Sea en route to Bahrain en route to London en route back home to Austin.

We just did what is known as a CAT launch, short for catapult launch.

We were catapulted by hundreds of pounds of steam pressure generated from the nuclear propulsion plant on the carrier.

We went from zero to 140 miles per hour in 2.5 seconds so we could get lift off in the 307 feet of the flight deck in front of us.

Note: A normal airport runway is 8-10 thousand feet and it usually takes 30+ seconds to get off the ground.


I’ll tell you more about the trip I made out to the Red Sea to connect with the 5,000 Sailors of the aircraft carrier that has been battling the Houthis 24/7 for the last four plus months in future +1s.

It was a sacred honor to roll out Heroic on the carrier via a series of micro workshops with everyone from Captain “Chowdah” Hill’s command team to the youngest Sailors on “The Best Damn Ship in the Navy.”

It’s hard for me to put into words just how humbling and inspiring it was for me to spend four days with the crew and see just how hard they all work and how much they all sacrifice to serve MY family and YOUR families and our nation’s and our world’s freedoms.


A few days before we took off, we LANDED on the aircraft carrier via what’s called a “trap” landing —in which we went from 135 miles per hour to a dead stop in 345 feet.

Note: The normal runway is 8-10 thousand feet and that process normally takes 30-45 seconds not 3.

That was SUPER fun.


Before we got ready to take off, my new friend who invited me out to fire up the Heroic Warrior Sailors (thanks, Terri!) was telling me that the CAT launch is pretty intense.


Every (!) single (!!) time (!!!) she told me about what to expect my heart would skip a beat. 😂

Seriously! 😳


As the engines of the plane started roaring and we entered the 20-second pre-catapult launch phase with the engines FULLY throttled waiting for the carrier’s CATAPULT (!) to work its magic ( 😳!), you know what I was saying to myself?


You guessed it…

I had a big ol’ smile on my face as I silently said to myself…


Followed by…



What did that do for me?!


As per the research we talk about all the time, when you’re in a high-arousal state and say things like “Bring it on!” and “I’m excited!” to yourself, you flip the switch and go from the negative physiological consequences of a “threat response” that’s generated when you’re coming from fear to what scientists call a “challenge response” that’s generated when you’re coming from excitement.

(Check out the Notes on The Upside of Stress for more.)

I’ll tell ya what.

It worked.

I’m typing this with an even bigger smile now.

Today’s +1…

The next time you (or your colleagues or kids!) are in a “high-arousal” state feeling the energy surge before you do something awesome—whether that’s give a big presentation or taking a big test in school (or CAT LAUNCH OFF AN AIRCRAFT CARRIER! 😳!!) remember to smile and say to yourself…


Followed by…


It’s Day 1.

We’re all in.


🫡 🇺🇸 ✈️!!

P.S. Fly Navy! 🤓

P.P.S. The COD only has two windows on the whole plane. I got a window seat. Check out my big ol’ grin while wearing my flight gear here!

Sunset view…