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What Does Your Attitude Indicator Say?

A friend of mine, John Holmes, is an American Airlines pilot. He tells me that airplanes have “an attitude.” The “attitude indicator” on the control panel of an aircraft is the most vital instrument for a pilot. The attitude indicator is circular with the top half blue, which represents the sky, and the bottom half is brown, which represents the ground. There is a line in the middle, which is the artificial horizon, representing the real horizon.

The “attitude” is based on the roll and pitch of the aircraft. For the roll, if the nose of the aircraft goes up or down, it is indicated on the indicator and considered either a nose-high or nose-down attitude. The wings going up or down is known as the pitch. This instrument is especially helpful if it is raining, snowing, foggy, or cloudy, as the attitude indicator will let the pilot know the position of the aircraft even when the position cannot be seen with the eyes. During flight, a large aircraft makes hundreds of automatic adjustments based on the attitude indicator.

The bottom line is this: The performance of the aircraft is determined by its attitude. Isn’t that so interesting! I believe it’s the same in the workplace. Our performance is based on our attitude! Well, I decided I needed to see the inside of an airplane’s cockpit to check it out. I called our local airport to see if I could borrow an airplane (it is a very small airport). Before I knew it, I was up in the air with a pilot getting my first flying lesson! I discovered firsthand that the attitude indicator is definitely important if you want the aircraft to fly correctly. It’s the same in life; we need to pay attention to the attitude indicator on the inside of each one of us. If we pay attention to it and make the necessary adjustments (or choices), we will go high in life and be successful.

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