Align yourself with what you are instinctively designed to do, combine it with something you love and you will feel like you are flying…every day.
I remember the day like it was yesterday. I was on a Braniff flight (yes, there was such an airline) with my mother and brother when I was a little girl. The flight attendant came up to us while we were inflight and said, “The captain would like to know if you want to come into the cockpit” (back in the day, they could do those kinds of things.) I squealed with excitement. I remember walking in, seeing all the buttons and gadgets and made the decision right then and there that I was going to be a pilot someday.
After many, many, many years of working in the corporate arena, I got laid off after the dot.com doom. An overwhelming feeling of excitement came over me because I decided that I was finally going to do what I dreamed of doing…become a corporate pilot. I never had much interest in commercial aviation; no…I was going to fly cool sexy business jets like a Gulfstream.
So I started flight school and within a couple months, I realized that I really wasn’t enjoying myself…at all. I was bouncing around in a Cessna 152 and thought...this kinda stinks. Going flying was becoming a chore and was not bringing me the joy that I thought it was going to. I started beating myself up, felt embarrassed and ashamed but quickly realized that I was not only a danger to myself but the people on the ground weren’t in the clear either. I put my head down and threw in the towel.
Shortly after what seemed like defeat, I was introduced to my instinctive workstyle. I was applying for a position in the business aviation field and was asked to take an index to see how I naturally took action. I actually think I heard a choir singing when it was explained to me that I would be a very unhappy person if I had to consistently stick to a routine and work with checklists and procedures. That is something you kind of have to love if you want to be pilot. I can still feel the relief that came over me and could finally cut myself a little slack. I also learned that I love gadgets and mechanical things so that explained why I was so awed by the cockpit. I still squeal with excitement when I see them.
This forever changed my life. I learned that we are all naturally hard wired to act, interact and react. These are our instincts. When we are operating within them, it doesn’t feel like work. We can do what we are design to do all day long and with a smile on our face. When you have this insight into yourself, you can make better choices about what is going to make you happy at work and at home.
Now, could I have become a pilot? You betcha! Could I have done it every day all day long as my primary occupation and be a happy about it? Heck no! Could I get my private pilot license someday and fly for pleasure? Sure can…and will! Did I give up on aviation? Nope! I opened myself to other opportunities and was able to work in the business aviation industry doing another thing that I am instinctively designed to do…work with people. My dream did come true.
Born as a book, Delivering Happiness is now a culture coachsultancy and a movement on a mission to inspire passion + purpose in workplaces around the world.
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