Have You Ever Flown a Plane by Yourself?

No?

Well you totally should!

In keeping with yesterday’s theme, I am in the middle of training to get my private pilot certificate, and yesterday I took the plane up by myself for the very first time. It was just an incredible feeling.

I started training about 10 years ago, but it got way too expensive for my life at the time so I stopped. I got a little more training from the Air Force, but I’m a navigator not a pilot so it was limited. When I started back up about a month ago, I was really struggling with landing smoothly, and landings are kind of important when you are flying a plane. So I had been a little anxious about going up by myself with no one to save me if I dick it up.

Fortunately, my landings had been much better my last couple of flights so I was feeling pretty confident when my instructor climbed out and I was all but myself, about to do something I had dreamt of doing since I was a little kid. I will spare you all of the details, which you can find later on my aviation blog, aviationguy.com, but I will tell you it was the most liberating, free feeling I may have ever had in my life.

Flying is already something that I find incredibly peaceful and enjoyable being up in the sky overlooking everything and getting a view that so few people will ever experience. However, being the one at the controls and feeling the plane cut through the air at my command is truly an indescribable feeling. That may seem a little like I just don’t want to go to in descriptive detail, but I honestly don’t have adequate words to describe it.

While flying is my thing, you can feel the same way about whatever your thing is, just go and do it. Life is meant to be experienced and enjoyed not just sitting behind a desk through school and then at a job for 40 years. If you can’t get out and get your heart racing, or get so excited that you just yell, which is what I did after flying by myself yesterday, then you are missing out on this great adventure called living. Money is only a thing that will never bring you happiness, and while it is necessary to have some in order to fill your needs, it is the experiences of life which truly bring us the most joy and fulfillment.

So whether your thing is flying, hiking, or even home decorating, stop wishing you were doing it, and go freaking do it. You will never regret persistently pursuing your dreams.

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Why Don’t We Spend More Time Doing What We Love?

Yesterday was just an all around fantastic day, and today and tomorrow should be for the same reason. I not only got to fly my beloved C-130 for work through some incredible mountain valleys, I also got to fly in a small plane as I work on my private pilot certificate.

It is something I have wanted to do since I was a little kid, and even started about ten years ago, but it just got too expensive at the time. It is even more expensive now, but I just could not wait any longer. So I jumped in head first, and have had more fun up in the air then I can remember having anywhere in quite some time.

All told I spent about 4.5 hours flying yesterday and loved every minute of it. I just can’t figure out why I didn’t start this sooner, and why we as a people don’t spend more time doing the things that bring us the most joy?

I know that my excuses were that I didn’t have the time or money to do it, but that is all they were, excuses. My financial position and time commitments have not changed recently, but my enjoyment level has because I stopped making excuses and just went for it.

My question to you all is what is one thing that you absolutely love doing that you wish you could do more of, and what is keeping you from doing it?

Sometimes even just thinking very specifically about those two questions is enough to help you find a way to do it more often.

It may require sacrifice like less sleep or no more Starbucks for awhile, but in the grand scheme of things those will be minor sacrifices compared to the enrichment you will experience in your life.

So take a minute to honestly assess where you could be happier, and then get to work making it a reality. The only person stopping you from being happier is you, so get out of your own way and make it happen.

Getting Back to Work

It was so great going back to work today.  I didn’t know who I needed to see or where I needed to go or where anything was but man was it great to just be at work.

It is awesome to be in an active flying squadron again where I know I have a future.  It is no one’s fault that my last squadron didn’t feel that way, simply the nature of the transition, but it is refreshing to be somewhere new.

It likely will still be a couple of weeks before I actually get to fly courtesy of paperwork and such, but I am getting closer and it is amazing.

Life is just good right now and I’m happy.  I know some people don’t like to vocalize that because they think they will jinx it, but I am learning more and more that it is actually much better to acknowledge it.

I truly am excited to be here and excited to start a new long term adventure.  I know I have plenty to learn and that excites me too.  It is so great to feel gainfully employed after a nice break.

Writing is Fulfilling and Scary

I have always really enjoyed writing.  Even when I was in school I loved being able to take in a bunch of information and form it into a worthwhile discussion of whatever topic it was I had been assigned.  

Now that I am older I get to write whatever I want to, and it is so much fun.  It is way better when people read what you wrote and comment favorably, but there is something incredibly fulfilling about putting in good work on a piece and feeling good about it.

At the same time it is really scary when you put in all that work because people may not like it.  They may criticize what you wrote, or worse, they may prove you are wrong.  

These exact thoughts have kept me from writing in the past, and I fear they likely will again at some point, but right now I am just enjoying putting out as much as I can that I want.  

I am currently writing a book, which is something I have always wanted to do but always been to afraid to actually do.  As I finish each chapter it is amazing how rewarding it is to get it done.  

I have no idea if anyone will read it, but I am learning so much about myself and my past in the process that it is totally worth it either way.  In the end I feel like I have a message to share and I hope others will benefit from it as well.

It is amazing how common it is for fulfilling things to also be a little bit scary, but I guess that makes sense because it is only the things that challenge is and expand our limits that are truly fulfilling.  that’s why I am grateful for the scary and fulfilling skill of writing.

What are you thankful for?