Plane & Pilot
Tuesday, January 28, 2014


What drives your decision making?

We need a healthy dose of ego. It gives us pride in ourselves and in our accomplishments. It makes us want to achieve great things, such as getting a pilot's license. It gives us an edge, helps us prove our worth, make us want to be better, look good, stay in shape, be more productive. But if we recognize we have an ego, understanding it is the key to keeping it in control. There's a great line in the movie Chasing Mavericks: "...the ones who push the limits, discover the limits sometimes push back." Like the symbol of Libra—the scales—the care and feeding of our ego is an exercise in weight and balance.

Let's face it, when we're flying or learning to fly, we're already creating magic, so there's nothing left to prove. The best things in life, like flying, shouldn't be about ego, anyway.
Instead of a smooth touchdown, I bounced a wheel landing. This hurt my ego.
I know my ego is tied into my flying, more than in any other area of my life, because it's part of my identity and what I'm most proud of. I think I'm a sensible, cautious, professional pilot. Most pilots I know are. But, in the back of my mind, I always have to check to see who's driving the bus—me or my ego—so I don't do anything dumb (again)! I know I've said it before, but there's just not enough room in the cockpit for both me and my ego.

There are old pilots and there are bold pilots, but there are no old, bold pilots. The saying isn't necessarily about being afraid, weak or reticent. It's about ego. It's about having the smarts to know when ego is taking over. Boldness is ego, either pushing us toward a greater glory or into a box canyon, and before you go there, you need to know the difference. Next time you get in your airplane, think about who's driving this bus—you or your ego.


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