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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, January 6, 2014

Greatest Challenge to Success...


“Goals—the dreams we fly toward, 
destinations yet to conquer,
and leverage to keep us moving.”


I was asked what the greatest challenge in my aviation career was. I smiled. While I might have said it was starting over so many times—I would have been wrong because that part was fun. Perhaps it was navigating a flying career and motherhood at the same time, which would be true. But we all learned so much from the experience. What was my greatest challenge?


His question made me think of the universal challenge for all pilots, or anyone chasing a dream. I realized the answer to the greatest challenge of our lives is patience. Patience of knowing that the dream will come because you are doing what it takes to make it happen. Knowing that life is a journey and to enjoying every moment because those moments will be gone before you know it. Knowing patience truly is a virtue.
 
 
If I could give a gift to you, it would be the gift of patience. Trust that you will get where you are going...so enjoy today and be patient for tomorrow. Life will come. 

What is your greatest challenge?

XO Karlene

15 comments:

  1. That is my number one challenge and I suppose its comforting to realize I'm not alone. I pray that I will learn patience before its too late. I often overlook the good things that I realize I always thought would be "so cool". Ill start focusing on reigning this in!

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    1. Billy, you're awesome! Yes... the number one for so many. I think at the end of the day you finally get it. They all tell you along the way, but you won't believe it until late. Keep practicing!

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  2. Wow, wise words!

    Patience. We need oodles of it in this biz, or we will drive ourselves crazy. I'm sure we both know plenty of pilots who are miserable because their career didn't meet their expectations. Circumstances intervened.

    That's why I harp over and over again--enjoy every moment of this insane journey that is an aviation career. Like Forest Gump's chocolate box, you never know what you're going to get!

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    1. That's a good thing to harp. I think my career could have thrown anyone over the edge. But for me... I loved the ride. And it's still going strong and getting better each day. Now I just have patience to see what comes my way next.

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  3. My biggest challenge was intolerance for being perfect. It's along the same lines of patience but about being patient about my skills. I was intolerant of not being perfect all the time every time when I was training early in my career. Of course, the inevitable less then perfect things occurred which would simply "set me off." I was difficult to live with in those days. Looking back, being that way really didn't make me better. It just made me aggravated.

    Now, I was very hungry for being as good as I could be. I think "hunger" is not the same as "intolerance". I still have a high bar. I expect amazing things from my students, those that fly around me. But, I am not nearly as intolerant as I used to be. I'm glad I moved past that somehow.

    Tom

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    1. Tom, That's interesting. I'm curious what made you make the shift. Beating yourself up is never a good thing, and as we have both scene can hinder progress at times. I think pilots want to be perfect. But working toward a goal in effort to be the best we can, and accepting our imperfections is best. Because, if we were perfect there would be no room to grow. I cannot imagine not having something to work toward and striving to be better.
      So glad you are not as intolerant.
      Thanks for your comment!

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  4. Hmm. I'm with Sulu, but I would call it perfectionism. It's so hard to move on and do your best on a check ride when you are still thinking about that botched approach or a mistake you made. The sad thing is the amount of weight we give the mistakes as opposed to all the things we actually do right. I can remember a hard landing in the dark hole of Manila with so much detail...yet I've made so many good ones I've lost count.

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    1. Excellent point! The checkride not moving on is the greatest mistake that people make...not being able to let it go. Especially on a checkride. That's not focusing on what needs to be done and thinking about the runway behind you. A good lesson for all new pilots to learn. Same thing in life. Yes... don't you love that black hole? I have my Tower landing... lowered the runway on that and will never forget it. Thanks for the comment. Enjoy Hawaii!!!

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  5. This is a great question, Karlene, I second Eric's words that patience is a tremendous challenge because we live in a "I want this to happen/come to me NOW" society.

    I also wish to add that for me personally the greatest challenge to my aviation success would be fearing that the unknown could block my road of getting my flight time, hours that I need to reach my ultimate goal and the potential that the evil twin taking residence in my mind could say to me, "you will never be able to overcome those obstacles." Patience does come into play, like Eric said, however, thanks to my flight instructor and yourself, I have those positive people in my life that have already helped me overcome most of those battles.

    Ok, now I am surprised that I could type this much, my fingers must be defrosted now. Thank you for bringing in your warmth from Hawai'i!

    J

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    1. Keep typing! The blood will flow into your fingers and warm them up. I think the fear of the unknown is a huge obstacle. But try looking at it as the gift you have yet to open. There is something there, but you just don't know what it is. Sometimes good. Sometimes you want to give it away. But it's always a surprise. Surprises are fun. I say go full speed into your life and enjoy all the surprises along the way. Use them as opportunities and you will do great!

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  6. You really made my day! This is a post where you would really learn from it. Thanks!

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    1. You are so welcome. And... you have 12 universal laws... love that too! Thanks for your comment!

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  7. One of my challenges is to enjoy where I am right now rather than always looking for the Next Big Thing. Pilots are always looking toward the bigger aircraft, next job, upcoming pay increase, upgrade, or whatever. If you're not careful, before you know it your whole career has passed you by... and you've missed it.

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    1. Ron, This is soooo true!!! I think that is with life. We are so busy doing we forget to be enjoying. I try to make myself look around every day and be grateful for where I am. I guess this might align with patience. Enjoy what you have, the rest will come with time. Thanks so much for your comment!

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  8. Patience, perfectionism and balance for me.. those are my greatest challenges in aviation. Patience when the inevitable "plateaus" happen. Letting go of perfectionism enough to not beat myself up when I'm not perfect. Keeping myself at that fine balance point between the pursuit of perfection and acceptance of being human and not perfect all the time.

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