"Everybody ends up somewhere in life. A few people end up somewhere on purpose."
Imagine taking off in an airplane with no flight plan and no destination in mind. How will you know if you're on course or lost? Sometimes people are trying to get through adversity, and their only focus is on how to not feel bad. Can you see the similarity? Having a goal in mind, a vision for your life, allows you to move forward by looking forward. Where would you like these flying lessons to take you?
"I believe that each one of us has a special calling on our lives, a work we are assigned to do. For us to fulfill that which we are assigned to do, we must first be open to the truth that it is possible. As long as your heart is open to the possibilities, you will find that whatever you are seeking is also seeking you."
Setting your course simplifies everything. Perhaps even more importantly than knowing what to do, you'll know what NOT to do. In todays distraction economy where pop-up ads, clickbait headlines, and constant notifications come at you, it's like trying to fly through a sky filled with flak. Having a clear vision can help to make things simple.
"Vision defines your 'what to do', because vision gives you your address. It shows you your destination, where we get the word 'destiny' from. Destiny dictates your decisions, so life becomes simple. If someone offers you something and it doesn't collaborate with your vision, it's easy to say no. Without a vision it's tough for you to refuse things. You were not born to do everything..."
People with a clear vision don't have time to get stuck on the ground. They have important things to do. The more important your goals are to you, the more unwilling you'll be to let yourself get mired in anything that holds you back.
You'll know what's NOT helpful to think, say, eat, consume, believe, or do. If you are preparing for a flight, it isn't the right time to be reviewing all the crashes in the history of aviation. You set your sights on where you want to go. You make a plan for how to get there. You do the minimum necessary items to safely start the engines, taxi out to the runway, take off, and point in the desired direction. When you're speeding down the runway, you definitely want to be looking forward.
In aviation, there is a concept called the sterile cockpit rule. It means, you must refrain from unnecessary conversations until you reach a safe cruising altitude. Why? It's so that you don't get distracted and make a costly mistake. If you are focused solely on reaching a desired destination, ruminating about old hurts is violating the sterile cockpit rule.
This lesson is not suggesting to suppress or ignore adversity. It is making the point that to move forward into a better life, it's important to stay mostly forward-focused. I believe a good rule of thumb is to spend no more than 20% of your time processing old hurts, and at least 80% of your time imagining, planning for, and taking relentless determined action towards the life you really want. This is the 80/20 rule.
If you have a very recent trauma, or you are deep in a grieving process, you may want to work with a therapist who specializes in these things. If this is the case, at least be aware that a day will come when you'll be able to look forward to new and brighter possibilities, and you can actually use the energy released from the trauma healing process as fuel to reach your destiny!
"It must be borne in mind that the tragedy of life doesn't lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goal to reach. It isn't a calamity to die with dreams unfulfilled, but it is a calamity not to dream. It is not a disaster to be unable to capture your ideal, but it is a disaster to have no ideal to capture. It is not a disgrace not to reach the stars, but it is a disgrace to have no stars to reach for. Not failure, but low aim, is sin."
—Dr. Benjamin Mays