Right now, today, I am reaping rewards from lessons I learned 25 years ago when, against all odds, I became a licensed private pilot.
The odds? I was a single mom raising 3 kids on my own, working full time, responsible for all bills, a 5’ 1” woman (cockpits are built for 6’ men), no college education and legally blind in one eye. The chosen airport was one of the most difficult and therefore dangerous at which to land. This tiny woman was stepping into a tall man’s world.
I no longer fly planes. But those same lessons have taught me how to fly my inner dragons.
Number One Lesson: P.I.C. – the Pilot is always the one In Command. Not the tower (authorities, bosses, teachers, parents, or friends) but the pilot who is flying the plane. You are the one who is ultimately fully responsible for your life. If you are old enough to read this, you are old enough to be in charge of you.
#2. Pre-flight check. A pilot would never jump into a plane and take off. Like we do in our cars. Does the tail rudder work? In what condition are the tires? Fuel? Oil topped off? Is the plane safe to fly and can you handle it if the engine stops? Do you know where you’re going and what route you will take to get there? In what weather will you be flying?
Pre-flight your day – your life. Do you have the proper fuel for your body, your mind, your soul? Can you easily steer your life and rest when required instead of being forced down (as in getting sick and out of commission)? How much weight or baggage are you carrying physically, mentally and emotionally? Shifting or unknown cargo can throw you off balance.
#3. Lift off. Did you know that taking off is practically as dangerous as landing? Look around you – up, down, and side to side. You are not the only one who wants to do something. Have patience when you have to wait for the runway to clear. Are you comfortable – relaxed yet alert and prepared to go forward on the right signal?
#4. Fly The Plane! This is your trip, your life. You have this plane to fly now. You have this life to live now. Pay attention. What is going on around you? Are you on course? No matter what happens with the plane YOU are the one responsible for this flight. Don’t blame the weather, the birds, or crappy fuel. Deal with what comes up the best you can.
#5. The best part of flying planes and living life = it’s an experience meant to be fun. You are the PIC, the Pilot In Command.
Fly Your Plane!