Fighting For Pilots' Mental Health

From the beginning of history people have looked skyward and watched birds fly. Throughout most of history the ability for man to overcome gravity was a mystery. However, today air travel is taken for granted. All someone needs to do is log on to the Internet, go to a travel or airline website and book a flight. It is that easy. Some people would argue that there is more to it than that. These people will say you then have to go to the airport, put up with the lines at security, suffer though possible delays and then be stuffed into a cramped airplane for hours.

People who complain about the hassles of air travel do not stop to look at how amazing this form of travel truly is. What used to take months of traveling in a wagon, on horseback or even on foot, now takes hours. The pioneers had to suffer through harsh winter storms without shelter and cross ice filled rivers with the risk of death. Now we sit in climate controlled cabins cruising at speeds that are measured by a Mach number or speed relative to the speed of sound. I would say that the people who complain about air travel probably complain about many other things.
We all have things in life that we think are difficult.  The question that we need to ask ourselves though is what are we going to do to overcome difficult things.  The Wright brothers had to overcome many obstacles to make that historic flight at Kitty Hawk back in 1903. The Wright brothers had to overcome gravity. Sure many people had dreamed of soaring through the skies, but gravity forced us to remain on the ground. The Wright brothers were told by many that this could not be done. This made them no different than any other person who had created something new. 
How many times in life has someone told you that you cannot do something? You cannot play football, you are too small. You cannot play basketball you are too short. You cannot make a living by being a musician you have to be really good to do that. We all have our gravitational forces that attempt to hold us down and keep us from soaring. But the strongest force that holds us back is ourselves. The power to overcome anything negative lies within each one of us. History is full of people who would NOT give up and went on to achieve goals that most other people thought were impossible.  
Beethoven is a perfect example of someone defying personal gravity. He as a composer of music. He lost his hearing. But he did not stop simply because he could not hear the music, he continued to compose. At first as his hearing declined he would write music that contained lower notes. He could hear the lower notes. But then he suffered total hearing loss. The higher notes retuned to his work. He knew he could no longer hear with his ears so he started listen to the music inside of him. It was that music that he brought to life. It was that music that now nearly 200 years later lives on today. 
Who could ever imagine that a blind person could play a musical instrument? A musician has to see the keys on a piano or where to place his fingers on the strings and frets of a stringed instrument. If that is true then I guess that Stevie Wonder or Ray Charles did not get that memo. These two musicians are just two of the most famous blind musicians. There have been many others. Was it difficult for Stevie Wonder or Ray Charles to achieve the skill level they obtained? Yes. Did they overcome great odds to rise to the top of their chosen profession? Yes. Did they let their lack of sight hold them down? NO.
We can all make up excuses as to why we cannot do something great. But excuses are not reasons. A blind person may say I cannot play the piano because I am blind. That is an excuse. However, if the same person says I cannot see something because I am blind. Then then that person has a reason s to why he or she cannot see something.  All too often we confuse excuses with reasons. If a person is late for a meeting due to traffic he or she will say the traffic is the reason for being tardy. However, everyone else left earlier and arrived at the meeting on time. The reason for being late was the time the tardy person left home, the heavy traffic was used as an excuse.  
My point is that we all make choices in life to give in or overcome. We all have greatness within. The only way that greatness will come out is if we let it out. Often times we have to force it out, but it is there waiting to surface. How can we overcome our gravitational forces? NO MORE EXCUSES! Look for ways to make things happen. Achieving great things is like driving somewhere. If one road is closed we take another. If that road is closed we find yet another. If we are determined to arrive at our destination we eventually will find a road that will take us there. 
Do not give up. Do not let gravity hold you down. No matter what that force is that you think is holding  you back find a way to get past that force and soar towards your dreams.
Keep an eye on the sky!
Collin Hughes

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