Danger Zone

Goose: "No. No, Mav, this is not a good idea.”

Maverick: "Sorry, Goose, but it's time to buzz the tower.”

A few days ago, my boss asked our team if our comfort zone keeps us from our calling. Following that, I tightened my fanny pack, slipped on my aviators and blasted Tom Whitlock until my ears rang.

Huh? Cranked up who? Born and raised in Springfield, Missouri, Tom Whitlock won the Academy Award in 1986 for the song “Take My Breath Away.” He also co-wrote — you guessed it — “Danger Zone.”

If you knew who Tom Whitlock was, raise your hand. Now, for the rest of us who are telling the truth, here is a quick and important history lesson.

Whitlock divided his days in high school — studying by day, and playing drums for rock bands by night. Those grinding nights paid off, opening the door to attend Drury University in 1971 to play music. In 1983, he skipped town for LA after some false starts, his sights set on a music career.

While he was HELPING a friend at what became a defunct studio, he met famed composer Giorgio Moroder. What was Moroder doing? Cussing up a storm, complaining about brake defects in his Ferrari.

Whitlock SAW an OPPORTUNITY. He ran to Pep Boys, bought brake fluid, and FIXED the PROBLEM. Was this his job? No. Was he a skilled tech? No.

Whitlock exclaimed, “If the Lamborghini broke down in Venice Beach, I would go sit there all night until the right kind of tow truck was available. If I needed to sleep on the floor to get up and let carpenters in at 5 a.m., I did that. If Brian De Palma wanted bagels, I got bagels. If Giorgio's mother wanted groceries from Gelson's, I went to Gelson's. It was a blast!”

The rest is history. They went on to compose scores for movies like Scarface and Rambo III and music for the 1990 FIFA World Cup.

Doors open. Doors close. Service to others is the breeding ground for opportunity. The most notable “open doors” came when Whitlock chose to help someone and pursued his calling after several setbacks. It took him 10 years to finish his college degree!

2020 has been called a lot of things already.  The year of _________ (fill in the blank).

What will this year be for you? What will you make of it? What is the danger zone for you? As a person working in the field of “making the world a better place,” I submit we should all be asking this question. Where is the danger zone—the place of uncertainty—where, if I went there, it would have a positive impact on others?

When you line up the BOLD words in this post, here is the formula you get.



Live Dangerous!


Meet The Author


Josh Plumley

Senior Director Development

Children At Heart Ministries