Imperfect is okay

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Anyone who has ever taken an important test or participated in an interview that would lead to a much-wanted advancement knows what sweaty palms and butterflies in the stomach feel like.

Some accept these emotional distractions and press on anyway. Others let the discomfort dissuade them from making the attempt, preferring to rest on their laurels — even if they have few laurels to rest upon.

Of course, that nervousness, the sense that we have to perform at a high level or be considered a failure, is self-induced. The bar may be set high, but the goal we seek is not unobtainable.  It’s merely challenging. Something that requires focus and effort. 

In these situations when we push ourselves to reach the next level, if we set our personal expectations at perfection, we’re really working against our own best interests. The effort to give a perfect performance becomes counter-productive. This may transform a challenging goal into an impossible dream.

That’s not good. 

Aviation is awash in training, testing, inspecting, and verifying. Those decision points are critical to safety, of course. They should be taken seriously. The standards for tests and inspections are set down on paper, so there is no question about what constitutes passing or falling short. 

Knowing all that, failure doesn’t necessarily mean you’re out of the game.

A given deficiency may be something that can be corrected.

Let’s consider a few examples. 

I once had the good fortune to work on the restoration of a P-38 Lightning. A technological marvel of its time, the P-38 was fast and sleek with long legs and impressive firepower.

Lockheed’s World War II P-38 Lightning earned honors as a World War II fighter that would see the famed Lightning name invoked later. Pictured is the Planes of Fame Museum’s P-38J in August 2017. (Photo by Frederick A. Johnsen)

This particular P-38 had served well, right up until the point where its pilot went one-on-one with a mountain. In a fair fight between aircraft grade aluminum and granite,

This post was originally published by General Aviation News on . Please visit the original post to read the complete article.

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