It's likely that 2020 has not been a great year for most people, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but a new book from Lt. Col. Dan Rooney looks to give people the code of living he follows day-to-day to get the most out of their life.
"Fly Into the Wind: How to Harness Faith and Fearlessness on Your Ascent to Greatness," was released last week, delayed due to the pandemic, but it's release may not have come at a better time for some people.
Rooney knows a lot about resilience. He’s flown three tours with the U.S. Air Force in an F-16 jet, and he’s also the founder of Folds of Honor, which provides scholarships to children and spouses of fallen or disabled service members. In 13 years, Folds of Honor has raised about $135 million to provide scholarships to 28,000 people, 41% of whom are minorities, Rooney said.
The title of the book came from what fighter pilots have to do when taking off.
"As fighter pilots, we always take off into the wind because we need resistance to ascend," Rooney said. "I content are lives are no different. We're all going to have struggles, resistance in our lives, but our resilient spirit or lack thereof, is going to determine the trajectory of our live."
Watch our interview with Lt. Col. Dan Rooney below
In the book, Rooney lays out his personal code which he calls CAVU. It's an Air Force acronym that stands for "Ceiling And Visibility Unrestricted."
"It's those infinite blue skies that are perfect days to be fighter pilots," he said. "Our lives are no different. Our lives are unlimited, but there are a lot of key things you have to do to unlock your life."
Those things are what he calls LEOs, or Lines of Effort. There are 10 of them, and each builds on the others to help guide people to finding and achieving their potential.
"It (the book) allows people to pause and really evaluate their lives and prioritize what's important. I give you the bones to do that," Rooney said.
One of those LEOs is what Rooney calls "synchronicity." There are two types – game-changing synchronicity and fluid synchronicity.
"I define synchronicity as chance with a purpose. These fluid moments are, like a running conversation with God," he said. "For me, it’s manifested itself with the number 13. For me, it’s a biblical number, there’s 12 apostles, Jesus was 13, and you look for the real meaning of the number 13 and it stands for new beginnings, which makes sense, when you head back to the bible."
Rooney cites his faith and his relationship with God often in the book. He came across the number 13 while writing the book.
"For me, at first, it was very ominous, but then I discover that it was actually god pulling me along when I desperately needed it in my life, and to this day, I see 13s all the time," he said.
With the LEOs, Rooney said they are simple, and executable things people can incorporate into their day-to-day life that can bring them happiness and fulfillment.
"Obviously, everyone is going to be different, but I'm really prayerful and feel blessed and honored to share this with people," he added. "Especially, as we come to the end of 2020, we've all been flying into the wind and looking to the future.