What To Do When Disaster Strikes – Fly the Plane!

”May you live every day of your life. “  Jonathan Swift

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Jesus, in Matthew 6:24

This BLOG posted the first time on the last day of 2016.  I am re-posting as prayers go forth for those in the gulf area dealing with Hurricane Harvey.  For those who are facing the “what now?”  One thing:  Fly the Plane.  You will get to the other side.

 A Year Contains Opportunity to Fly

It is not always been that way of course.  Disappointments, crisis and even devastation, do not discriminate.  Should they come around, we deal with them as appropriate.  As a pilot, we train for those times when, in spite of the best planning and precautions, things go wrong and we shout MAYDAY!
I was reminded of that reality recently while watching the movie, Sully.  For me, as a former air traffic controller, FAA accident investigator and current private pilot it was more than just a good movie, it was visceral.  It epitomized the value of what to do when things go wrong: fly the airplane.  To do this well, one must choose to
resist the natural urge to:
  • Panic
  • Sit down and cry
  • Scream and holler
  • Freeze
  • Ask “why me?”
and so on, and so forth.  None of these things are helpful or productive in that moment.  It takes training and practice.

A Year May Bring Unwanted Challenges

flyThis past week, a friend called to cancel and appointment we had.  Within 24 hours her life had completely unraveled as a result of a deep betrayal by a loved one.
At this very special time of year, with twinkling lights and festive music, she is looking for a lawyer, a place to live and dealing with the “wouda, coulda, shoulas” that flood one’s very being in these situations.  My advice to her:  Fly the airplane.
It’s the difference between crashing and burning or making a survivable landing. The plane is gone but you are alive.  There will be time in the future for processing emotion, rearranging of plans, dreams and all that goes with these unexpected events .
Even when you survive the landing in a spectacular way, as Captain Sully did, it does not minimize the trauma to one’s soul.  But right now:  Fly the Airplane
So whether you are facing this New Year excited and eager to take on the world as I am, or are dealing with deep trauma, I have one piece of advise:  Fly the Airplane.  Live each day, Put one foot in front of the other, take the one next step, because no matter which end of the spectrum of experience you are at, we only have today.  This moment.  That is all we are created to handle – today.

What one thing are you doing to fly your plane – today?

to fly your airplane – today?

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