IN LIFE, AS IN FLYING (1)
Everything Important Happens Before the Take-Off. Every pilot knows that a successful flight is largely determined by the quality and thoroughness of the pre-flight preparation. Navigation planning, weather assessment, fuel planning, weight & balance calculation, and the pre-flight inspection of the aircraft all figure prominently into ensuring the safety of any given flight, and we overlook any one of these at the potential peril of ourselves and our passengers. None of these critical tasks is remotely glamorous, of course, and collectively they can chew up a lot of time that might be devoted to other more “entertaining” activities. Thus, the temptation to skimp on the pre-flight planning – to give short shrift to the weather briefing or to completely forego the weight and balance calculation—can be strong. It only takes a few close calls, though, to remind us of the importance of thorough preparation for each flight. Stumbling into unanticipated adverse weather or wrestling an aircraft that is out of CG (not properly balanced due to the way in which it is loaded) to the landing spot will instantly bring home the lesson that neglecting any part of our prior planning can lead to a less than “desirable outcome” for the flight.
As in flying, so it is in life. Thorough preparation for any challenging or multi-faceted task can mean the difference between success and failure. Launching an exercise program is largely a doomed enterprise without a structure in place addressing the frequency and duration of the program and the elements that need to be present to ensure sustained motivation. Recruiting a work-out buddy and setting aside a specific time of day that is likely to be free from interference can vastly contribute to the success of a new fitness regime. A diet usually is not terribly successful without some advance meal planning, shopping, and food preparation. And a stellar piece of writing invariably is preceded by a carefully crafted outline and thorough research. In all of life’s endeavors, it seems, success is greatly abetted by thorough advance planning and preparation. And, conversely, the failure to plan often is a fair predictor of failure. In life, as in flying, the old adage “proper prior planning prevents poor performance” is a time-tested truism. (Okay, so I cleaned that up a bit, but the point remains.)
Stay tuned for more!