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Immerse Week 19 – Z Check

You have a choice in what you focus on.

Dear friend,

I was talking to an air force fighter pilot about the importance of prioritization and focus. Halfway into our discussion, he shared how he lands his aircraft. He would do what they call a Z check, to scan all the cockpit gauges and indicators. This Z check almost always indicates that one or two gauges are off. At that moment he has to prioritize—should he focus on landing the plane or think about why that needle is off? He is trained to recognize danger. He is also trained to disregard minor malfunctions. With this dual set of skills, he has landed the plane safely each time.

He correlated the way he lands his plane with our discussion about life. Curiously, he hadn’t applied his air force lessons to the rest of his life. As a result, he wasn’t piloting his family life well. He was reactive toward his wife, focusing on the minor imperfections. Even at cruising altitude at home, when things were outwardly quiet, he was busy with memories of hurts and regrets. Worse, he had a tendency to launch preemptive missiles to avert future disagreements. Some of these disagreements were totally imaginary with low potential of materializing. His personal life was thus dissatisfying.

At the end of our discussion, he left with the thought that if only he lived his life with the same gentleness and care with which he flew and landed his plane, he would be much happier.

Choose to reevaluate something trivial about your loved one that has bothered you of late. Let go of it today and instead focus on something profound that is right about him or her. Your moments of togetherness are finite and fewer than you think. Make the most of each of them.

May you be surrounded by good people; may you focus on their goodness rather than their inadequacies.

Take care.

@AmitSoodMD (on Twitter

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