As you may know, I’m a licensed sports plane pilot. My insides are doing happy loop-dee-loops as I wait excitedly on the runway to take off. As I start to taxi slowly, then pick up speed at an exhilarating rate, the wind begins to lift me slowly and I rise higher and higher. My destiny is in my hands as I suddenly burst into the beautifully vacant field of blue I have come to know and love as my second home.
Before that can happen though, I must be prepared. My aircraft must be in good shape, all checklists must be fulfilled, I must have fuel and the weather must be just right. Only then can I journey to my far off destination.
I love being a pilot. But in a sense, we are all pilots…of ourselves! Think about it. Instead of an aircraft, we pilot ourselves, taking off to our dreams and our destiny. And just like any good pilot, we must be trained and prepared as well as we can.
The opposite of a pilot may be the leaf that falls from a tree. Leaves see no way but down, and they have no dreams or will of destiny. Many people are like leaves, blowing in the wind. They accept a fate to fail and are mercilessly and easily impacted by the winds of change. They clumsily fall to the ground, never avoiding the obstacles in their way. They may even be easily affected by those around them and often feel victimized, despite their own responsibility in events.
Pilots take command. They have a plan, a map and a route. They have fuel and the skills to get where they want to go. When the plane is in trouble, who is ultimately responsible? The pilot.
Before you take off into your life every day, are you a good pilot of yourself? Do you have a defined sense of self that will make it possible for you to take off into your dreams and destiny?
To be a good pilot of yourself, it all starts with…
Before I could fly, there was a lot I needed to learn about my aircraft. I learned the parts of the aircraft, what they do and most importantly, what parts make or break the flight. Do you know yourself well? Are you using your strengths and gifts to navigate through your life? How about your passions? The things you don’t know and need to learn more about? The better we know ourselves the more easily we will be able to chart the course for our final destinations. That’s because I firmly believe our GPS is located inside us. We just need to listen and allow ourselves to map out the route to success.
At my non-profit organization, The Fig Factor Foundation, our tagline is “unleash the amazing.” This implies that the best is within us and all we need to do is find it and share it with the world. As the pilot of yourself, you are charged with finding the amazing inside of you. It can be the fuel that propels you forward towards your dreams. It’s the ignition that sets you in motion down the runway and up where you want to be!
It’s a well-known fact that if your aircraft is not in good condition, you will not be able to get it off the ground. In fact, it may be dangerous to fly it. The same goes for yourself. If you are not getting sleep, exercise and good nutrition, it will be difficult to pilot yourself to where you want to be. Your GPS may be broken, leaving you with no direction, or your engine may be out, leaving you without energy to achieve anything. Make a personal investment in yourself and take care!
The day I got my pilot’s license was a special one for me. I felt that I had truly accomplished something and I felt validated for all my hard work and sacrifice. Someone piloting their life with self-respect will never turn their back on learning and improving themselves. They don’t cut corners on their preparation or endanger themselves or others on their way to their destination. They never let their opinion of themselves be swayed by others. They command their destiny.
Before I started my journey to become a licensed pilot I never paid much attention to the weather. In training, you would be astonished at how much pilots have to learn about weather before they can even think of flying! Weather is like the external forces that affect our lives. Do we allow these outside forces like unpleasant people and events to bring us down and keep us from reaching our goals? We should always self-monitor how we let these external factors affect us. Sometimes, the weather is all clear and we can move onward and upward. Other times, we must just make a course correction to continue on our route. But sometimes it’s too cloudy and dark to even take off and we may just have to wait until the sun comes out! Either way, it’s important to continually self-monitor our progress towards what we want.
You can also consider your co-pilot, whoever that may be in your life. My daily prayer is that God gives me the strength to be the best leader I can be while elevating those around me. I pray for the strength to navigate all the decisions I need to make each day as an entrepreneur, speaker and author, listening to the GPS inside of me and piloting myself the best I can. I know if I do that, I’ll always return to the runway with more exciting adventures to share with the world. And you can too!
Contributed by Jacqueline Camacho-Ruiz, CEO of JJR Marketing (www.jjrmarketing.com) and Fig Factor Media LLC (www.todayslatina.com), founder of The Fig Factor Foundation (www.thefigfactor.org), author of ten books (www.jackiecamacho.com), international speaker, and pilot. Jackie speaks to hundreds of audiences about marketing, servant leadership, finding your passion, and achieving success in business. She has addressed the United States Army, BP International, United Airlines, Allstate, and Farmers Insurance among other corporations to share her inspiration.
If you or an organization you know needs as speaker, please get in touch with us athttp://www.jackiecamacho.com/contact.