This question gets asked all the time to prospective aviation careerists. What do you plan on doing? Flying commercially? Working as a mechanic at the local airport? The possibilities can be daunting and sometimes overwhelming.
One thing (out of many) I learned in the military is that "if you fail to plan you plan to fail." Having a plan to achieve your goal is great, but along the way I can almost guarantee you that your plans will somehow fail. Not necessarily the end goal, but your path to doing what you want to do.
When planning for maneuvering in the military, rather in an attack or defensive posture, somewhere along the way something goes wrong. It can be any number of things, however, the end goal was still the same, no matter the outcome. Most of the time our objectives were still achieved, but not the way that was intended.
How in the heck does this tie into aviation?
I've spoken with pilots who were adamant about certain paths. One was teaching and did not want to do anything else. But now, they fly as a First Officer on a Gulfstream 550.
Another pilot was extremely dedicated to becoming an airline pilot, there was NO other way. Now he flies LearJet's as a corporate pilot. He said "this opportunity was too good to pass up."
Both absolutely LOVE what they are doing. BOTH still have the opportunity to achieve whatever is next in their careers.
Failure is often misunderstood as "missing the mark." I highly disagree. Failing is not shooting for the mark at all. Keep going, stay motivated, accept your failures as opportunities for learning.
What are your goals in aviation? Personally my goals are flying professionally while operating businesses. Have I achieved both? No. Have I failed multiple times along the way? You bet! Will I continue to have failures? I hope so! If I'm not failing then I'm not learning!
Whatever it is that you have set out to do, stay the course, continue taking one step at a time. Don't give up! We look forward to hearing about you and your aviation adventures.
Blue skies and safe flying my friends!
-Jeff Lively Jr
Owner of Lively Aviation