A Better Pilot

Be certain of your goal, dream

Many years ago as a boy, an acquaintance of mine dreamed of being a fighter pilot… the very best! Some years later he had joined the India Air Force and got his chance to go to flight school. He related that when he first got there, he was told in clear and certain terms that he was – as of that very moment – a pilot.

He was then quickly informed that he just needed to improve greatly in one area – that of experience – to be a better one. This was a concept and an attitude that was to serve him well in the challenging times. He was to draw from this not only as a pilot, but also in his daily living!

When the monotony of repeated practice drills got overwhelming, he only had to remember, “You are a fighter pilot – you only need to improve in experience to be a better one” – it somehow became a little easier.

Sometimes frustration, lack of sleep (because of long hours needed for study), and a constant nagging fear of failure were almost too much for him. He felt like quitting! It was then he needed to remember what he’d been told: “You are a fighter pilot – you need only to improve your experience to be a better one”!

Daily he remembered… and renewed his commitment to his dream. When his schooling was completed and he graduated at the top of his class – he was just a little taller – as he saluted, then accepted his wings. He really was a pilot! Of course… he had been one from day one!

Now… he was a better one! So much better in fact, that he was asked to stay and teach at this very same school. He had something of great value, some-thing others wanted, his experience! He was a flight instructor for a number of years before he retired as certainly one of the best!

Through all this, the rewards given him by senior officers and peers were nothing compared to the reward he had given himself! He realized his dream…. he was the best pilot he could be!

Something needs to be said here for experience. You see, you can study and learn – all there is to “know” about a particular thing. My friend knew all about the aircraft – the hydraulic systems, the gages, lights and controls, and all of it’s aerodynamics and capabilities. But until he strapped on the parachute and logged some flight-time… he did not reach his full potential… and he did not realize his dream to be the best!

If you think about it, this makes all the sense in the world! We are – at least on the inside – whatever we truly want to be! We owe it to ourselves to go after the experience… to be a better “pilot”! It makes it all a little easier – with a daily commitment to our dreams…and not giving up… but remembering what we’ve been told!

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