Ever Been Blindsided? Hit Hard By The Unexpected?
~ that which hits you from your blindside ~
When my engine coughed and sputtered over northern Colorado, that was, of course, not expected. That moment was not in my plans, not in a Plan B, not a contingency, and I certainly had NOT informed my passengers,
“By the way, if we happen to run short on fuel and find ourselves going down,
we’ll just cross that bridge when we get to it.”
I had filled both fuel tanks before leaving the Mountain Home airport in Idaho. I had checked the en route weather and winds aloft. I knew the settings for fuel management.
So it was a mysterious surprise that the fuel gauges were on empty. I should have had plenty of fuel for the flight. This was The Unexpected, come for a surprise visit like distant in-laws knocking at the door.
I did make a mistake. I should have informed Denver Control Center that I was changing my flight plan, and I should have descended for a landing and refueled at some airport in northern Colorado. By the clock, though, I still had fuel.
When the direct route I’d been cleared for was altered due to changes in direction—being vectored around the skies as instructed by Denver Approach—more fuel was consumed.
And I pushed on.
How about you? Has there been a time when you pushed on too long? Have you ignored warning signs?
Has your vision for the goal been so clear, so intense, that you were like a horse wearing blinders?
Malcolm Gladwell, in his book Blink, calls this, “mind blindness,” a condition that makes normal people come to abnormal conclusions; people who interpret facts, for instance, in light of a desired outcome—because they want something to be a certain way…
…they filter facts narrowly and think logically to wrong conclusions.
And so we fly on, we push ahead; we miss the signals around us or even those directly in front of us. Our intent is so focused we become myopic and tunnel-visioned.
There is something to be said for focus, intent, drive and determination, but…
…we simply must not lose our peripheral vision, our awareness of our surroundings and our circumstances while in hot pursuit of our objective.
To ignore such is to invite trouble at best, disaster at worst.
What’s been your own experience with being blindsided by The Unexpected… and what did you do?
Share your comments below.
~ excerpted from the author’s book, Fumes and a Prayer: How to Live at the Edge and Still Be Home for Dinner,
Chapter 2, “The Unexpected”
available on Amazon
or personalized and signed by the author by clicking on the link here.