September 1, 2021

Despite all of the navigational equipment and global positioning system (GPS) equipment in the world, there are moments when people feel lost or actually are lost! Or, as my old cowboy friend Murff would say, “I wasn’t lost. I just temporarily lost my bearings.” Believe me, when he says that, he was really, really lost!

When I was a young pilot, we were taught that when we couldn’t figure out where we were on a map and we didn’t have any functional navigational equipment operating, we were to fly low and read the town name on any water tower we could find. I wish things were that simple when we lose our bearings in any aspect of our lives. All can be well and then all of a sudden out of nowhere comes that feeling of being lost. It can be due to health, a loved one, a relationship, a financial challenge or just losing our sense of purpose in life. Animals such as cattle seemingly exist from day to day, focusing on finding something to eat and drink. However, animals can and do feel lost at times. If you’ve ever had to separate a mother cow from her calf you can see the loss and the pain associated with it real quick. Thank goodness the good Lord gave us two legged critters the ability to think — if we will only do it. When we’re lost, we need to stop and use the four steps of the Management Moment of Truth (MMOT) process to get back on course.

Step One:     What is the true reality? Do you know where you are beyond a shadow of a doubt? Don’t kid yourself as you force yourself to have an “A-ha” moment.

Step Two:     How did you get to where you find yourself? Have a soul-searching situation analysis and don’t think biased thoughts. Be completely honest and open to all options when you find yourself lost or off course.

Step Thee:   What action needs to be taken to correct the situation or to get you where you want to be? What’s your objective plan? Know that this is the painful part that most people don’t want to execute and then wonder why they can’t change things. This requires discipline and focus. I really believe there is truth in the saying “no pain, no gain.” I also remind myself that there are no miracles where there first wasn’t some sort of pain experienced first.

Step Four:    How will you measure and communicate the plan and tweak it as necessary to get your desired results? Often communicating your plan helps solidify your commitment to the plan. Don’t confuse results with activity. “No Excuses!”

In aviation the universal emergency flight thinking plan is a three-step process. It’s pretty much the same for all aspects of our lives:

1. AVIATE: Keep cool, fly the airplane and think.

2. NAVIGATE: Decide where you are and where you are going to land or go.

3. COMMUNICATE: Let those with “a need to know” know what is happening.

I hope that when you get those overwhelming feelings of being lost these thoughts from the school of hard knocks help. Keep the faith and focus and know that you are not on your journey alone. I know it will all work out; I have been lost in one area or another most of my life! Age and maturity don’t ensure not getting lost but the formula for getting back on course does work, with God’s favor.

Written by KING AEROSPACE Founder, Jerry Allan King-Echevarria.