Why We All Must Become Surgeons…and Pilots Too.

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October 9, 2013

Why We All Must Become Surgeons…and Pilots Too.

I boarded a certain airline from Entebbe airport in Kampala to Jomo Kenyatta International airport in Nairobi one day. I must admit that the pilot did not treat us well. On a normal day with no turbulence, we would lose height in a flash. My heart would jump to my mouth…it was terrible. That state would be repeated again and again as we approached Nairobi.

Well, frequent fliers were unfazed; they seemed used to this pilot’s antics. Am up against him because I traveled the same route and the landing was as smooth as glass. Anyway, let me leave that pilot alone for a while.

Some years back, my younger brother went under the knife…for a kidney transplant. This was at the Kenyatta National Hospital. As usual, prayers were held that all would go well…and of course all did go well.

 
Swans have one partner their whole life. If one partner dies, the other will die of a broken heart. What’s your swan?

The thing that links a pilot and the surgeon is that we all expect 100% excellence from either. You would not want a trainee pilot on your journey. You would not want a trainee doctor to perform an important surgical operation on you or your loved one. In fact, we enter an airplane with absolute certainty that we are in the hands of a professional…the same applies to the surgical theater.

We expect 100% excellence from pilots. Mediocrity will not do even for a minute. Yet at the same breathe, we easily give excuses with whatever has been entrusted to us. Someone somewhere has told us that failure or lackluster performance in our duties will not result in death of someone else…so guess what? We have the liberty to procrastinate, do the bare minimum, counterfeit the original, forego routine check ups and so on.

The game changer however normally comes when a threat is issued.

  • The boss tells you that he needs the report by midday or you are fired. A report that normally would take you two days to prepare is now done under one hour.
  • Your wife tells you that she would go back to her parents unless you change. When you discover she is dead serious, you are a better husband and dad within a week.
  • The publisher tells you that he needs the manuscript in three weeks, otherwise the deal is off. You put everything aside, get focused and deliver right on schedule.
  • Your child picks up unbecoming behavior unknowingly. All of a sudden, you are home right on time to be with him and raise him.
  • The doctor tells you that you have 3 years to live if you do not alter your diet. Ten years down the line, you are healthier than ever because you made the necessary adjustments.
  • Your business suffers a major loss. Projections show that you will be bankrupt soon. Five years later, you are a multi-millionaire because you made the necessary adjustments.

Can you see the pattern here? In as much as Doctors and Pilots are operating with absolute excellence as we expect them, we on the other hand have to wait for a wake up call to achieve the excellence.

OK…let me not accuse everyone wholesale. Let me speak for myself. If I can only reverse the way I am living and know that 100% excellence is expected of me at all times:

  • As a Husband,
  • As a Father,
  • As a Leader,
  • As a Visionary,
  • As an Author,
  • As a Voice of Inspiration,
  • As a Mentor,
  • As a Coach…

…then this world will see astounding value from my life as I live to fulfill my God-given purpose. One thing is for sure, if I do not give myself the wake up call, life itself will do. Why? Because I am alive for a reason…for a purpose. I am not an aimless wanderer on earth, I am here to be a major blessing to my family, and the world.

Selah!

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