After the plane landed in DC, I felt a great sense of relief. “I’m at home,” I told myself. After a long flight, landing in the right spot and at the right time is a great feeling!
As I deplaned the aircraft, I looked at the cockpit and noticed the multitude of buttons, switches, and lights. I shook my head and smiled inside, thinking about the times when I had to troubleshoot and repair aircraft navigational systems. Those were fun times too!
I also remembered this short story about what I learned on my first flying lesson, published here in Craft Your Journey three years ago. The lessons are as valid, and perhaps more, now as they were back then…
After almost a year holding a gift certificate for a flying lesson, I found time to drive to Joint Base Charleston’s Aero Club to redeem my certificate. About time right? I always wanted to take flying lessons, but my work schedule was tough. Well, it’s never too late to have some fun!
Of course, I had reservations at first, but this experience was an opportunity to discover. There are many parallels between my experience flying and our actual life experiences. As a matter of fact, we even incorporate flying expressions in our daily conversations. For example, “She passed the test with flying colors.” Or you may have heard, “He learned on the fly.” Or how about, “He landed a great job at X-company”?
In relation to actual life experiences, this is what I learned. I have to thank my flight instructor, Mr. Jacob Pennington for those personal leadership lessons.
First, do thorough pre-work before takeoff. Jacob inspected the aircraft thoroughly. Then, we went into the aircraft but did not take off. He checked all of the instruments. I asked questions about the gyro system, the altimeter, throttle, and the other gages. He also checked with the control tower for availability of runway, and took several other steps.
I thought about the importance of the steps Jacob took. How can you takeoff if you’re not prepared? You will put yourself in danger. The thought here is, “What are the types of pre-work I have to do to ensure I am successful in my future?”
You may need education or other knowledge to properly perform your duties. You may need to set your finances appropriately to acquire a balanced, future lifestyle.
If you’re thinking about making a career change or other life decision, consider giving this decision a 360-degree look. Check your instruments to ensure you are prepared to take off. Talk to a friend or coach before making the decision. I remember Jacob spoke with the control tower several times before we were properly positioned for takeoff.
Secondly, don’t stand on the sidelines; takeoff and fly! This action involves taking calculated risks and being able to monitor the journey. Once we took off, Jacob showed me how I was to monitor our altitude. We kept on climbing until we arrived at our mandated altitude.
Once we were there, we stayed the course by keeping track of our position in relation to the coordinates of the location we were going. I steered the aircraft several times, getting us in and out of the marker in the gages. Jacob coached me, “Small adjustments are the key….”
Here’s a good success practice (related to what we just described above). Once you set your destination, find a way to monitor your position. If your goal is to improve your fitness, set written milestones to know you’re on track. Check at regular intervals, for example, number of times per week you’re getting to the gym. You may have to make adjustments; go ahead and do them, but the key to stay on track is to make small adjustments.
Lastly, let’s experience the thrill of flying: landing! Yes, it was time to land. We steered and were cleared to land. It was a windy day. “That landing is not going to be an easy one,” I told myself.
Jacob focused on his instruments and line of sight. He had to compensate for the strength of the winds and stay focused. We made it. (Well, otherwise I would not be writing, right?!)
I was happy to have landed…mission success! We arrived because we knew our destination and learned to compensate for the external environment. We experienced strong winds, but we were able to compensate.
As you approximate achieving your life’s dream or goal, stay focused. Whenever you experience the strong winds, remember that you can and must compensate. Your journey will also be a successful one. You’ll land at the right place and at the right time. And you’ll feel successFull!
Always motivated, lugo
Copyright © 2012 and 2015 Jose LugoSantiago – Craft Your Journey!
Dr. Jose Lugo Santiago is the chief leadership and foresight strategist for LS|EG, a consulting firm dedicated to facilitating change through leadership, strategy, and foresight. He holds over 28 years of experience leading organizations in the military and civilian sectors, and crafting strategy to meet successful business process re-engineering and innovation. He is also the author of several titles to include peer-reviewed academic works. His doctoral areas of research are Leadership and Foresight, Culture, Strategic Change, and Organizational Development.