As I mentioned in my last post, I'm a private pilot. I took up flying to add some adventure to my life. I figured when I got to old to skydive I could at least fly jumpers and stay connected to the sport. At the time, flying provided an outlet that had structure, risk and the need to have all of your attention. It was my escape from everything else that was going on, work and family. I think that is why I do what I do sometime, deep down it is to get away and escape.
When I think about flying a plane it is a little different than flying my body. While flying a plane you have to think on so many different planes (pun intended). With skydiving you have many aspects you must consider when flying your body but to me it seem much easier and natural. I feel more in control with skydiving. Skydiving itself is liberating and relaxing. To jump out of a plane that is in flight, hearing the deafening sound of the wind in your ears as you fall 120 mph, to all of a sudden everything is quiet when your parachute opens. The canopy ride is so peaceful, calming and cleansing. But this entry isn't about skydiving. Its about flying, I'll stick to the topic.
I wanted to write about flying this time. I wanted to write about one of the things I like to do. When I decide to go flying many things have to go into it since I don't have my own plane. I have to check the weather to make sure it is going to be nice the day I want to rent the plane. I then have to make sure the plane is available to reserve. Once that is done my planning starts. Where am I going to go, how far am I going to go, who will I take or am I going to take someone with me. I am not going to go into every detail of flying a plane don't worry. I am trying to point out that there are many factors that go into flying a plane and not just flying the plane. If you ever learn how to fly a plane you will come to find out there are checklists for everything. They keep you on track so you don't forget anything important. When things are chaotic in my life I find checklists liberating and calming.
I have used what I have learned from flying in my life and business. When things start to get hectic I make a list of things I need to do. When family gets hectic I make a list. When work gets hectic I make a list. When life gets hectic I make a list. I then follow the list to complete the tasks. For me this takes away some of the chaos, uncertainty and stress. I forget all of the other things that are going on and focus on the list and task at hand, Focus on the list and escape from the rest. Just like flying, focus on the checklist, mental or written. When I focus on the list I am able to escape everything else. Flying has taught me more than the ability to control a plane while in flight. All pilots know that you aren't really in control. Yes, you are flying the plane and telling the plane where to go but all you are really in control? What flying has taught me that in life you are heading in a linear fashion, birth to death. We have the ability to manipulate what happens in between those two points but at the end of the day those two points are certain. They will happen. It can be a smooth flight or it can be a very chaotic one. You are almost guaranteed to have both. When it gets chaotic we need tools to help guide us, to keep us in flight. Mine are checklist, mental and written. They are all not the same. It depends on the situation. They all have the same purpose. To keep me on track and flying straight. To easy the confusion and chaos life might be throwing at me at that moment, To give me a little escape from the chaos. It allows me to Let Go! Next time you find yourself in the middle of the chaos. Think back on the things that need to get done. Create a checklist and Let Go of the rest so that you can get back to flying straight.