a flight plan for life

Life Is Like A Journey

Author and success guru, Jack Canfield, has a wonderful analogy of faith. He describes the way we can drive a car at night, even at highway speeds, seeing only by the headlights of the car which shine for a couple hundred feet ahead of us. We can drive from Los Angeles to New York – a distance of almost 2,800 miles – only seeing a couple of hundred feet head of us at a time.

Ever since I went through flight school several years ago, I’ve often imagined the journey through life being somewhat like an airplane flight. Before each flight, I had to have a flight plan, specifying where I’m starting from, my final destination and the “planned” route – knowing that the route may likely change as I’m enroute due to various circumstances.

So often, we’ll get caught up in the details and minutia of planning how everything is needs to happen to make our own successes happen – to reach a certain “destination”. That’s a waste of time. It’s like trying to find a way to see the entire highway to New York City while still standing firmly in Los Angeles. Or a pilot trying to think of and calculate every possible variable before leaving… he’d never take off!

My point here is, we can’t let not knowing every possible scenario or having all of the answers keep us from moving forward.

Where Are You Headed?

You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you’re going, because you might not get there. ~Yogi Berra

In order to actually get somewhere, you have to have a clear destination in mind – a goal. It’s best to have some fairly clear directions, or at least know which route you’re going to set out on. Most people are most comfortable setting out on a trip with as much information as possible, ahead of time. That makes good sense.

Planning & forethought are important! But moderation in planning is key. You aren’t always going to have every detail known before leaving on your trip. You don’t have to possess all of the answers or see each and every step at the moment you set out toward your goal, as long as you clearly know the destination we’re heading toward – just like the trip from Los Angeles to New York.

The Flight Plan in a Nutshell

Like any of us when we set out on a trip, the pilot gets enough information to complete his flight plan prior to departure but that doesn’t mean he has all the answers. He’s trained in contingencies and how to adapt in order to reach his destination. He has a reasonable belief that he will make that destination because he knows where he’s starting from, where he’s heading and some of the variables in between.

The most important part in planning is knowing where you’re going. That’s having a clearly defined goal to travel toward.

Just like a flight plan, write your goals down. Keep that list handy & review your goals often. Some short-term plans need to be reviewed several times a day – making sure we get done what needs done through that day. Other, more long-term flight plans should be reviewed daily or at the very least, once a week.

When you run into unseen variables along the way, adjustments in your plan need to be made. If your destination changes, you will need to change your routing. If you have to make any changes, write them down on your own “flight plan”.

By knowing which way you’re headed, making frequent reviews of your progress and small adjustments as needed, there is no journey too long or destination too far.

Life is just that way. No goal is too high for you to reach if have a plan – and then DO IT. Actually set out on your journey and GO!



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