I flew an airplane solo for the first time on my 16th birthday.
Over the past 10 months I had taken many flying lessons. As a student pilot, my goal was to solo on my birthday. I flew each of the two days prior to the my birthday on July 16th.
Those were not good days.
July 15th, 1989: As I bounced the plane down the runway seeking a smooth landing, my flight instructor grimaced and groaned from being jolted about in the small cockpit. “Mike Alpha,” our resilient single-engine Piper Warrior airplane, endured the beating in silence. Just part of the process of teaching teenagers how to fly.
With only a few hours remaining to reach my goal of soloing, my flight instructor’s 7 simple words echoed through my mind:
I knew that I had not planned properly for these flights. My landings were proof.
So I gathered my thoughts, reviewed my books, visualized myself landing smoothly, and experienced flying solo in my mind. I heard the roar of the engine, felt the plane lift off the ground, and sank into the pilot’s seat as I made the left hand turn in the pattern. Every landing I made was textbook.
Now if I could just do in real life what I could do in my mind…
July 16th, 1989: Friday morning everything changed. The day was beautifully clear with no wind.
After two touch-and-go landings that could have been used for training videos, my flight instructor had me taxi off the runway and stop. He looked at me and said 7 simple words that I’ll remember till the day I die:
“I think I’ll sit this one out.”
Adrenaline, excitement, and fear rushed through my body. As he stepped out of the plane and closed the door, I was, for the first time, all alone and in full control of Mike Alpha. The time had come.
The flight was memorable, as was the post-flight custom of writing the date on the back of my shirt, then cutting it off my back to be framed.
On my 16th birthday, I achieved my goal by remembering 7 simple words.
We all have goals we’re striving to achieve. So you too can adhere to the advice of my flight instructor: remember that Proper Prior Planning Prevents Pitifully Poor Performance. “P to the 7th”, he called it. It’s a memorable alliteration that I’ve carried with me for over 3 decades.
Paul J. Meyer is known as the founder of the motivation industry. Here is his Success Formula, which ties nicely in to the 7 simple words of my flight instructor:
Then, construct your determination with sustained effort, controlled attention and concentrated energy.
As you make your approach to 2016, be sure to Plan Properly — Prior to Performing — so that you will avoid a Pitifully Poor Performance. When you go back to the basics, review your plan and focus your attention, you will achieve your objective and land your plane as smooth as a baby’s bottom.
Remember these 7 Simple Words as you plan your marketing, operate your business, and make your dreams come true.
Have a safe flight!
Michael DeLon is an author and the President of Paperback Expert. As a marketing-centric publishing and expert positioning firm they help clients create a book in 24 hours to position themselves uniquely and experience sustained business growth. You can request a free copy of Michael’s book On Marketing by visiting www.paperbackexpert.com/FreeBook.
Contact Michael by email at Michael@PaperbackExpert.com or phone at (501) 539-0038.