Like many families this winter, we’ve been fighting a series of bugs. This past weekend, while my youngest was stuck in bed with a fever, he and I rewatched Disney’s animated feature film Planes: Fire and Rescue (if you haven’t seen it, I recommend it)!
The story is pretty simple: the charming and friendly home airport of worn-out crop-duster-turned-race-plane Dusty Crophopper is shut-down for failing to meet the latest firefighting regulations. Dusty volunteers to go and get certified as a Single-Engine-Air-Tanker so the airport can reopen. During his training, Dusty repeatedly struggles to push himself to the limit for fear of breaking his reduction gearbox, but (spoiler alert) finally overcomes his fear and saves the day––and a pair of elderly recreational vehicles stuck on a bridge––when they are trapped by a rapidly moving forest fire.
So what’s the point of retelling this?
Well, if Dusty had simply wanted to get his firefighting certification he may never have succeeded. But he was driven to overcome his own fears and challenges because he knew that doing so would help his friends reopen their airport.
Here’s the thing …
The storytellers who wrote the movie understand how the human mind works. What works in narrative storytelling also works when we’re trying to do something hard.
In other words, we all need purpose and meaning to push ourselves to accomplish our hardest goals.
Student pilots are no different from Dusty Crophopper. As members of the general aviation community, if we want to see the pilot population grow, we need to help them articulate a clear vision and purpose for their training, whether it’s:
- Starting a career with the airlines
- Growing their business
- Fulfilling a lifelong dream of learning to fly
- Visiting distant family
- Taking on a new challenge
Give them purpose and meaning and you will help them get through the hardest parts of their training so they can complete the checkride.