Everyone knows that being a pilots is a well respected and lucrative job. I realize how much people admire pilots when I tell somebody. I always can sense the shock first at their faces and then the excitement. Then followed by a question such as you much be so rich right? Can I get a free ticket? did you marry an air hostess? how many countries did you visit so far? and many more along that line. Well, after all these were the reason why I wanted to become a pilot anyway till I met my mentor, fortunately. I only have flown 10 hours when I met my mentor who is an airline pilot for one of the top airlines in a coffee shop in the airport where I was training for my Private license.
I was so excited when I saw his 4 stripes on his shirt and confident walk. I could already visualize myself when I become an airline pilot in a few year’s time. But after only 10 hours of flying, I lost so much confidence in myself whether I can make it that far. I explained to him my situation and frankly asked him “how do I become like you?”. Straightaway he threw a question back at me. “Tell me 5 reasons why you wanted to become an airline pilot?”No lies.” he asked with a smile. I opened up and told him the truth. Money, flying different countries, luxury lifestyle, air hostess and bonus. As soon as I finish he burst out laughing and I just looked blank. Then he explained point by point.
“ 1. Money
Yes. I am captain of one of the biggest airlines and making over $120,000 per year. But it took me many years of hard work and dedication to get where I am now. When you are motivated just by money when you face setbacks or failures you will quit straight away. Money is not a great motivator. To come over challenges and be successful you need better motivator than money.
2. Flying to different countries
I have flown to more than 10 countries in the last 30 days. It doesn’t excite me anymore to go to London or Paris. Because I been there more than 50 times sometimes I don’t even come out of my hotel room.
3. Luxury lifestyle
You do not have to be a pilot to live a luxury lifestyle. Even this lifestyle looks luxury there were many days at the start of the career I stayed in 1 star and 2-star hotels and drove a beat-up, Nissan.
I have many friends who are an air hostess. They are not just beautiful. Most of them are well educated, respected and well mannered. Only in movies, they showed them as a different type of people.
I receive many bonuses and advantages from the airline I work for including free tickets for my family and friends. End of the year we get bonuses and more than all of this material bonus we are well respected by company chiefs which I find is worth more.
I am not surprised that many guys get into the field for these reasons. Nothing wrong to have these reasons to become a pilot but if you keep these as your motivation factors you will never become an airline pilot. You need a lot of will power to challenge any setback. You need lots of patience when you get your flights canceled at any time. You need lots of courage to keep trying until you get that dream job. More than anything one thing that keeps me motivated all these years is passion. Passion for flying. Every day I wake up and thank god that I get to fly this amazing machine and get to have my office at 35000ft and also get paid for something I love to do. “
This conversation changed my view and see myself as a different person. I worked very hard with lots of passion. Regardless of all the challenges I faced now I am in my dream place. The right seat of an airliner. Only if you have that passion for flying then join in one of the greatest careers in the world.
Born to fly