You’ve probably heard the story of Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody.
Everybody was sure that Somebody would do the job. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did. Somebody got mad, because it was Everybody‘s job. Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it. Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done.
I’ve always liked that story, because it’s such a pithy reminder of how we can so easily assume that “somebody” will take the job that “anybody” could do. Over the years, I have also adapted it to the concept of finding or, more accurately, making the time for things I say I want to do. I have the best of intentions. Really, I do. Every time I think about it, I am positive that Sometime I will get around to it. I know that Anytime offers a perfectly good place to start. But another day slips by and I realize I have found No time to get started. The cycle continues. Days become weeks, months, years, even decades.
Filling the Bucket List
What broke the cycle for me was a medical issue (see Jan/Feb 2013 issue of FAA Safety Briefing) that motivated me to think hard about doing rather than just dreaming and vaguely planning. I am blessed that my particular issue, relapsing-remitting MS, has mostly stayed out of my way. But it doesn’t ever go away, and it therefore provides a constant and very beneficial reminder that Sometime is always anchored in an uncertain future. Time to recast the “tale of the Times” in a slightly different way:
Every time I think about a goal I want to pursue, I recognize that Sometime I might not be in a position to achieve it. If Anytime will suffice, there is No time like the present to get started. And getting started is key to ensuring that This time will have a positive outcome.
Being an inveterate list maker, I started by creating my own personal bucket list (The Bucket List, by the way, is a great movie if you’re on the hunt for a good Friday night flick). There were two big aviation-related items on the list. First was to earn my ATP certificate. Second was to sign up for the specialized upset recovery training course recommended by one of the many aviation publications in my mailbox.
I didn’t just list things, though. I also added “start by” and “complete by” dates to each item. Next, I listed the specific steps and actions that would create momentum, which would in turn generate progress. I put the big items in priority order. Then I started marching down the list, happily checking off each step.
As the magical Mary Poppins likes to say, “Well begun is half done.” And so it was. Getting started created momentum and motivation for the focused effort each goal required. I passed the ATP check ride just before Thanksgiving that year. Soon after, I transformed Sometime into a Set time by booking dates for the upset recovery training – one of the best, most educational, and absolutely fun things I’ve ever done. In fact, I had the time of my life – and I went back for more.
The Time of Your Life
This issue of FAA Safety Briefing is dedicated to offering encouragement and guidance on getting back into the flying game if, for whatever reason, you’ve been away for a while. If you find yourself playing the Sometime game, I’d like to encourage you to act on the idea that there is No time like now to make it happen. Call your FBO. Book the airplane. Hire an instructor. I promise you’ll have the time of your life – and you’ll go back for more. (FAA Safety Briefing -Mar/Apr 2014)