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"We are the protagonists of our stories called life, and there is no limit to how high we can fly."

Type rated on A330, B747-400, B747, B757, B767, B737, B727. International Airline Pilot / Author / Speaker. Dedicated to giving the gift of wings to anyone following their dreams. Supporting Aviation Safety through training, writing, and inspiration.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Monday Motivation: Life is So Hard...

Because it's supposed to be. 

Last week I heard a story about a man watching a butterfly emerge from her cocoon. 

This man sat patiently and watched as the butterfly worked diligently to expand the hole in the end of her cocoon to escape. She worked for hours attempting to break free. Then all motion stopped. This very kind man decided to help the butterfly by opening her cocoon for her to walk out with ease. 

And the little butterfly did just that. 

But what emerged from the cocoon was a butterfly with a swollen body and small wings who was unable to fly. She crawled through life, handicapped by his assistance. 

Just like a butterfly... What If.... learning to fly and attaining that career is expensive, challenging, and filled with obstacles for one reason- To create the strength so you will emerge with wings to handle anything.

Pilots never give up. They'll fly their plane all the way to the ground no matter what is happening. Pilots face situations where they need to think outside the box. Pilots need to have mental and physical strength. Determination. Commitment. Perseverance.

Pilots need to build their strength as they work hard to break free from their cocoon, with wings strong enough to take on the job they desire. Lives depend upon it. If everything came easy then we wouldn't know how we'll behave in the middle of a crisis. These challenges are our life training.

What if the job you covet, the person you desire to be with, or the education you're grasping only come with challenges because you need the strength to spread your wings. 

We always get what we need in this life. 
Embrace your challenges and know there is a reason. 

What challenge have you faced?  I'll tell you how they will help you in your life.

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene


  1. Thank you for a wonderful post Karlene! I really like how the transition from a cocoon to a butterfly with the strength to fly, is a great metaphor for life itself and the struggles we have to overcome in order to reach success.

    Challenges is what drives us, I think, as humans. Without them, life is boring, to an extent. Challenges come in all sorts of different situations, like relationships, education and work.

    One of many challenges I have faced, was living abroad. Just that itself was a challenge, living by yourself in a foreign country, not knowing anyone from the beginning, trying to gain knowledge from school, while maintaining a positive attitude when feeling so small, alone and a bit scared. I felt like I grew so much though, so all in all it was an experience I wouldn't be without.

    1. Cecilie, this was a huge challenge for you. I know when two of my daughters decided to go to college out of state, away from friends and family, it added that extra bit of education to the education. Probably more so than the books. And you in an other country... amazes me.
      Always remember that being brave is not being fearless, but doing despite the fear.
      Thank you for the beautiful comment.

  2. Thank you so much for sharing a powerful post,Karlene san!!I really agree with you.Sometimes life training is very strict to us though that's why there are so much fun part in our life.I cannot imagine how many challenges you've been going through.:-) I will keep going as well!!
    Have a velvet day!!
    warm regards,

    1. Jun, I thought of you after reading Cecilie's comment. You did the same thing and you achieved your goals. This next challenge is just making you that much stronger. I know you will keep going because you, too, are a very brave and strong young man.

  3. Thanks for another inspiring post, and helping me reset my perspective Karlene!

    1. Thank you so much Kevin! I really appreciate your comment! Keep that perspective.

  4. Great post Karlene!
    I was needing to read this. Next year will be my year, it is the year that I'll start my transition from a cocoon to a butterfly. Honestly, can't wait to experience this next chapter of my life! It will be hard, but it will teach me tons.

    "There are moments when we have to choose what is right and what is easy."

    We are only taught by the experiences we pass through, by something that has made an impact. After that, we reflect and take the lesson for the rest of our lives.

    Things has changed erratically. The message? Be strong and brave, never give up on your dreams, don't let people make bad influence to you. In the darkest times you can find positiveness, just remember to turn on the light.

    "It is not our abilities that shows what we truly are. It is our choices."

    To the question:
    I have faced many challenges already, but the one that I am facing is extremely hard. The decision of studying in a different country, far far away... If you let me take the liberty to say this, my mother has only me and my sister. My father is a hard-work person that does not live with us because of his job location. I grew up without his presence. So leaving my mother will be extremely hard... But you know what? I will leave her for a good reason! It's to make her feel proud and to follow something that I dream since I was a child. And "leave" is not forever, it is just for a period of time and she will be always seeing me, and she won't be alone.

    Under the circumstances that our aviation world has which includes modernization, lack of safety and lack of investments in education, the feeling that I will reach my goal is still strong and alive! I can feel it! Is this that famous bug that every AvInsider talks about?

    Karlene, lovely post. Have a great week!

    1. Thank you so much for your beautiful comment. In the darkest of times I will always turn on the light. When the power is out, the inner light will be lit. There is always light.

      As a mother we want our children to grow, do and stretch their wings. Our greatest gift is that they follow their dreams, and live happy and full lives.

      Take a moment to read Cecilie's comment. Going to school away from home is a huge opportunity to grow those wings strong. You'll do it. Mom will be happy. Life is filled with wonderful things for you.

  5. Karlene, this is a great post. One thing thing that encourages me to be stronger is to learn from those who are less fortunate than I and who have taken their unfortunate circumstances and persevered further than I, especially in their aviation careers. And yes, pilots never give up.

    1. Thank you Jeremy, you are surrounded by teachers. Amazing how the teacher so often becomes the student. Your strength is incredible as your capacity to give back.

  6. Thanks for this reminder.
    I originally came here (where I am now) to work on the ramp because my friend and a few people before him only worked 6 months on the ramp before moving onto flying. That has changed. Movement slows down and picks up but right now it's slowed right down. I don't know when I will start flying soon but I have been working hard since day one.

    Today and only starting today will be even more challenging as the winter comes. We already had two pretty bad shifts in terms of cold and snow and having to do work 10X the effort as it is in the summer. But like this post have mentioned, the challenge is there for a reason. Discipline. Patience. Strength.

    That's what I'm gonna keep in mind when I work in -30C weather soon in a few months!!!


    1. Ramiel, Discipline, Patience and Strength are great lessons that will keep you warm and give you strength. Just know that when you are in the flight deck during your first winter flying, you will have walked in the ramper's footsteps.

      As a flight engineer in Anchorage, I had a taste of winters on the ramp doing walk-arounds. Nothing like what you're doing, but I knew what it felt like to be out there in the elements, instead of a nice warm flight deck. Appreciation. Gratitude. And a warm cup of coffee always waited for anyone who stepped onto my plane.

      This will be your test. I know you will pass. Remember when you're on an 8 hour shift and you walk outside, you say to yourself, "I can do anything for 8 hours!" I know you can.

    2. yes. haha but we do 12 hour shifts haha!

    3. "I CAN DO ANYTHING FOR 12 HOURS!" "A week!" "A month!" "A Year!".... :)

  7. Too funny, I was just about to blog about the same exact topic. You beat me to it :) Regardless, it is SO TRUE! I've seen that reflected every day in my life. Love the quote :)

    1. YOU should still blog! We can never hear this enough!!!

  8. LIFE IS SO HARD... I know right. I have to tell myself how the hardness that keep on coming to be was only a key for the next easy thing... I really love this post Karlene. Really...

    Such an aspiring and motivating. I like it a lot! You never stop aspiring others, I salute you for that.

    1. Mokomira, I suspect life is just the best personal trainer in the world. Hang in there and go for that one more day. One more time. Each try you get one step closer.

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