It's true. No matter who you are or what you do, there are three things you have in common with a pilot or a surgeon.
1. A checklist. That's right; a checklist. If you are going to be successful in any endeavor you need a checklist.
We all know that pilots go through a pre-flight routine before they take off. They don't do it from memory though experienced pilots probably could. They have a list and they check off each item as it is completed. Personally, I would rather have the pilot find the error before the plane takes off rather than after.
Checklists for surgeons are mandated. Completing those lists makes a significant difference in the number of complications or fatalities resulting from surgery. Again, I would rather the surgical team check off each item to make sure it is done rather than discover an “oops” and have to undergo another operation to remove scissors or sponges. How about you?
If pilots and surgeons use checklists, don't you think it make sense for you to use them to keep your life on track? This article tells the story of The Checklist Manifesto for surgeons as well as gives suggested lists from Harvard Business Review's Justin Bell.
2. It's Life or Death. That may sound strong, however, it is not in the least. No doubt we will all agree that pilots and surgeons are in control of life and death situations on a consistent basis because of their chosen careers.
You know what? You are no different. The quality of your life is determined each day by the choices you make regarding your health, your personal life and your business life. You can choose to overeat, not exercise, overindulge and suffer the long term consequences. Likewise, you can choose to sit in front of the television and avoid any personal development that will benefit your relationships. You can even choose to stay in a dead end job that you hate rather than looking for something else or starting your own business.
Your choices are life or death. You can live the life of your design or dye a long, slow death.
Which do you choose?
3. Corrective Action. Here's the good news. In most instances, a pilot or surgeon can take corrective action if something goes wrong. For sure, you can.
Look at all aspects of your life. If it is not proceeding as you would like, take corrective action. Put together a checklist of what you need to do to achieve your goals—physical, financial and personal. Don't be “tough” and do it alone. Ask for help. There are plenty of people both online and offline who would be happy to help you.
It's your life. Will you take corrective action?