344. Your very own instrument panel.

344. Your very own instrument panel.

I have a friend who has been a pilot for many years. Geoff is the proud owner of his own plane.

Geoff spends as much time up in the air as he possibly can and, as he once explained to me, he “would rather be flying than doing anything else.”

During a recent conversation I asked what he does during all those hours he spends in the air to while away the time, and he explained that once a plane has taken off and is en-route to its destination, it will constantly veer off course, and the role of the pilot throughout the flight is to constantly make small course corrections.

Geoff went on to explain that being off course by as little as 1° can take you hundreds of miles away from your intended landing spot.

It dawned on me shortly afterwards that driving a car is really no different. Once we are out on the road our job as driver is to do exactly that of Geoff when piloting his plane. We too are constantly making a series of minor course corrections

We may even have set the car on cruise control, but we know that if we take our hands off the steering wheel, for even a moment the car will begin to veer off in a direction other than intended and, if left uncorrected, the results would be disastrous.

Pilots have instruments that will alert them of the need for a course correction and we, as drivers have our eyes to tell us the same thing.

As I thought of this, it dawned on me that just like a plane or a car, we set out each day on a course and through a series of events or incidents constantly find ourselves going off course.

And we too have an instrument panel to alert us to this change in direction.

This instrument panel is called Our Emotions and euphemistically we have the equivalent of  little bright coloured lights telling us which course we are on because, as we all know, we can turn red with anger or feel blue when we’re down and just like the pilot or the driver, we must pay attention to these signals if we have any hope of reaching our intended destination.

For example, if you have possessed a driver’s license for more than five minutes you have had the experience of being cut off by another car.

And, if you are like most of us, when this has happened you have experienced instant anger and, perhaps in extreme cases, immediate rage.

Now, ask yourself this question. When you set out on this journey was it your intention to become enraged between the time you got into your car and the time you reached your location?

Probably not, because the time you spent being angry you were, in essence, off course and going in the wrong direction and while your car may well have ended up at your intended destination, your emotional state was clearly off in a different direction.

As we have discussed many times the fact that we own every emotion we have – we choose it all by ourselves – we need to learn to recognize the signals and make instant course corrections for those fleeting moments of extreme anger do absolutely nothing to enhance the quality of our day. Because we have our own inbuilt “instrument panel” to notify us each time we go off course we owe it to ourselves to get back on course as quickly and smoothly as possible.

And there is a simple way of doing this.

We’ll talk about that next week.

Till we read again.

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