dandelion with petals releasing in the breeze

White-Knuckle Living: How to Succeed by Letting Go

Early in my flight lessons, my instructor called attention to the death-grip I…


little girl standing on father's shoulders while he holds her hands

Sustain or Drain? Minding the Company You Keep

Flying sustains me. When I walk away from my airplane after a flight, I have…


green stop sign with the words

Who Stole the Go Signs?

There are no signs in the sky—well, at least no man made signs. I like this.…


flock of whooper swans flying in formation

Follow Your Inner Compass: How to Listen to the Voice Inside You

If you ask a pilot how he navigates, how he knows which direction to fly, the…


mix of white and grey, stormy clouds in the sky

Unexpected Turbulence: Navigating Life’s Jolts

This might come as a shocker, but aviation weather forecasters don’t always get…


Stones stacked up onto of each other with ocean in view

Find Your Balance to Find Your Wings

Balance is critical in aviation. Flying a plane that has a center of gravity…


long road surrounded by a large field

Reach Your Dreams: You CAN Get There From Here

One luxury of flying an airplane is you travel straight to your destination.…


baby dressed in a costume wearing a superman cape and an eye mask

Discover the Hero Within

I’ll let you in on a secret, but don’t laugh. Well…you can laugh, but try not…


arrow pointing up toward the sky

The Sky’s NOT the Limit

There’s a saying that’s common. You’ve probably heard it: The sky’s the limit.…


Weather or Not…

I’ve been thinking about the weather lately. This weekend, I’ll fly my plane to…


tail of an airplane

The Holy Ground of Boeing

For those that read Weather or Not, you know I planned to fly myself to Atlanta…


Don’t Look Back

Someone once asked me if my airplane had a rear view mirror. While it might be…


Goldfish flying out of a fishbowl

Make the Leap – Part 1

There is something you were meant to do. The fortunate among us know what that…


butterfly flying out of someone's hands

Make the Leap – Part 2

When a caterpillar emerges from a chrysalis, does it know it has become a…


yellow balloon with a smiley face on it, floating up into the sky

Smile and the World Smiles With You

I found myself immersed in a sea of people last week, adrift in the ebb and…


Billboard with a blue arrow pointing to the right on it

Cosmic Signposts

We all receive signs. Some of us just don’t notice. People call them different…


Feather floating through the air

Airport Angel

Sometimes help not only comes when you least expect it, it can arrive in the…


Looking outside a window, at the view of clouds and blue skies, from the inside of a prison cell

You Can’t Soar from a Prison Cell

Imagine for a moment you're confined to a prison cell. It’s not the dark, dank…


Airplane, taken at Air Harbor Airport

Into the Great Wide Now

Flaps, one notch. Mixture, rich. Sky, clear. Throttle, full. Brakes, released.…


white door, open, showing the view of clouds and blue skies

The Space Between Life’s Lessons

Some of you may have noticed a lag between posts recently, which may imply I’m…


Sideview of an airplane

The Passion for Planes, Paintings, and Pets

Passion. It sparks in radiant arcs when you discover it—or it discovers you.…


Pile of books on grass

Life is Rich

We’ve all heard the maxim, “The best things in life are free.” It’s true. But…


row of yellow school busses parked in a line

The School of Life

There’s no substitute for the school of life. Each of us is enrolled, like it…


how-to-discover-your-passions-in-life

Follow the Glow: How to Discover Your Passion in Life

I'm pleased to announce my article Follow the Glow is featured on…


hands stretching over head

Summer School

I miss summer already. Perhaps it’s a holdback from childhood when the last…


cloudy blue sky and sun above a blue surface of the sea

Summer School – Part 2

Second in the summer school lessons series. For part 1, click here. In July of…


Cave off the beach with mountains in the distance

Out of the Cave

​I feel as if I've been hibernating for the last few months. As I stumble out…


Pigeon flying in the sky

Everyday Magic – Summer School Part 3

When did most of us stop believing in magic? Was it the same time we stopped…


Road sign that says oops

From the Ashes – Summer School Part 4

Several months ago I flew the Cirrus to Montgomery Executive Airport at…


large zipper in the sky

Life & Whatnot

When I started Lessons from the Cockpit last year, my goal was simple: write…


Cloud shaped like a music note in the sky

Colin Hay – A Man Among Men

My music collection is eclectic. If there is one thing in life I strive to be,…


Rainbow over a grassy meadow

The Sunny Side

Yesterday I was guest speaker at the Greensboro Optimist Club. I gave a…


Letting Go – Summer School Final

Ah, Memorial Day Weekend. Although not the official start of summer, the…


World crisis, view of the USA and South America

The Weight of the World

When non-pilots see the plane I fly, they assume it carries a lot. But…


Planet earth, rising sun and moon

Notes from the Universe

I have something to share with you. It’s going to sound strange, but here goes:…


four people paper chain cutouts on a grass and sky scene

Connected for Life

I often speak to groups about networking. People think I have a…


What Boosts You?

My youngest son, Cort, didn’t enjoy his first airplane ride. He was four and…


Field of white doors

The Real Questions Are…

What do you want to do with your life?   What do you…


Paper airplane soaring through the sky

Lift-Off

I want to take a moment to thank all the readers of Lessons from the Cockpit.…


Clouds

Dare to Soar

Lessons from the Cockpit has a blog exchange this week. Seattle writer…


Wooden lawn chair on the beach

Make the Most of Every Moment

College has been a hot topic in our house. Two weeks ago, we moved TJ, our…


Bridge of stones

Find Your Mantra

I am reposting the piece I wrote as Lesson 221 for writer Katherine Jenkin's…


Two arrows pointing in opposite directions

Detours

If you read Don’t Look Back, you know I don’t spend much time fretting…


Rising moon over the sea and a shooting star in the distance

Universal Perfection

Have you ever had moments when you’ve been struck by an intense clarity, a…


Someone helping another person up a mountain

With a Little Help from My Friends

A few months ago I wrapped up the fall session of the creative writing class I…


People throwing paper airplanes into the air

Just . . . Trust

When it comes to chasing our dreams, what are so many of us frightened of? Who…


How to Overcome Doubt

Doubt. It’s arguably the single most insidious obstacle that stands between…


Rainbow with daisies underneath

The Most Important Promise

Most people I know try to honor the promises they make to others. And if…


hands holding the sun at dawn

Wisdom to Know the Difference

There’s an old aviation joke that gets passed down often. It usually surfaces…


Hourglass with green sand flowing through it

The Downside of Deadlines

In May 2009, I left a high-paying job to write a novel, and I’ve never…


Large submarine

More Stories to Tell

Aviators come from all walks of life with wildly varied personalities. But one…


large yellow street sign showing a fork in the road

Spirituality Guest Post

Inspirational speaker and award-winning author Janae Bower co-hosts a blog…


Silhouette of man on the edge of a cliff

Find Your Song

I’ve always loved the quote, “We are not human beings having a spiritual…


Large clock pointing at twelve o'clock

Time Machine Do Over

A week ago Friday I found myself at an urgent care facility with my 8 year-old,…


Dark tunnel with staircase leading up to blue, sunny sky

Life On The Outside

Who knows why most pilots felt the urge to learn to fly? Perhaps some grew…


Orange butterfly flying around a white daisy

Hope for Humanity

There is a person you are meant to be. You know this because you’ve dreamed of…


Man waring a suit standing in an empty field

Live Your Future Now

If you suddenly found yourself with enough money so you no longer had to work,…


A rock climber approaching the top of the cliff

Get Uncomfortable

Fitness has been part of my life for a long time. I’ve worked out enough to…


Stairway leading up to an open door showing clouds and blue skies

Act On Your Dreams

Last Friday morning I flew the Cirrus to Charlottesville, VA to visit a buddy…


The Athens Parthenon

Flawed Beauty: Why You Must Embrace Your Imperfections

Several years ago I drove to a friend’s mountain cabin near West Jefferson for…


Person standing with a star in his hands

Guest Post on “Lessons from the Monk I Married.”

I'm please to announce my guest post on Katherine Jenkin's blog, "Lessons from…


Recreation airplane flying in the sky

Guest Post at EXTRAordinary! Inc.

This week I have a guest post on EXTRAordinary! Inc., the website of an…


The Write Motivation

If you've ever checked out the other tabs on Lessons from the Cockpit, you may…


Cloud shaped like a ying yang in the sky

A Double Life

I have a secret to share: I’ve been leading a double life. For many readers of…


Do It Your Way

Six years ago, three friends and I spent a week paddling fifty miles in canoes…


Hand with paintbrush painting blue sky and clouds

Lego Wasteland

Susan and I spent a recent Saturday cleaning out a few closets in dire need of…


Hand pointing upward toward the sky

Eyes High: A Simple Mood Lifter

Whenever I lift my eyes toward the sky, my mood improves. I noticed this a long…


The earth on meadow with clouds and a blue sky

From a Distance

As I neared my speaking venue, I suddenly regretted not making time to wash my…


Large bubble floating in the sky

Live Outside the Lines

Life on the ground is often rigid. We spend the better part of our days living…


Fireflies flying out of an open jar

Free the Fireflies

Summer always reminds me of childhood when I would play outside with friends…


Window pain floating in the sky

Movie Lessons: Almost Famous

My friend, David Horne, occasionally writes a “Movie Lessons” segment for his…


Two monks meditating

Book Recommendation: “Lessons from the Monk I Married”

I’ve been running full steam over the last six months with a new business but…


Red carpet with leader rope and gold pole barrier system

No Small Lives

A great actor can transform a bit part into something amazing and memorable.…


Row of Christmas ornaments sitting in snow

No “L”

It looked as if a forest had exploded. Green pine needles littered our carpet…


Empty red chair sitting in a field of grass

An Empty Space

I never thought about the old man until I’d see him on my way home. If the…


Two palm trees on an island floating above the clouds with a large moon in the background

Nothing is Impossible

What in your world do you define as impossible, that you wish weren't? To make…


Let Nature Spill In

Our upstairs air conditioner stopped working one Friday evening in late May. I…


Red and white radio tower with half a moon in the distance

The Transmission of You

For those of you who still listen to the radio, perhaps you have a favorite…


goldfish jumping out of the water into a larger bowl

Expand Your World

Conventional wisdom says aquarium fish only grow as large as the tank will…


statue of a fool jester standing on one foot while balancing something on one finger

Raising Fools

We have three boys, all with different personalities yet similar in so many…


Young child doing a cartwheel outside in the sunshine

Raising Fools – Part 2

Continued from Raising Fools - Part 1 I’m lying with my upper back…


River running through the mountains

Life Force

I’ve penned Lessons from the Cockpit for over four years and in all those posts…


Life Flows

Continued from Life Force: There must be an easier way. Those words sifted…


Stream of water running through a valley

The Current of Life

In my last post I promised ideas to help you flow with life versus…


Green stop sign with the words

What Some Call Failure, the Successful Call Experience

Failure can be a scary thing. Most of us sense it lurking at the edge of…


Looking out of an airplane from the cockpit

Get Out of Your Head

“Stop staring at the instrument panel,” my flight instructor said, finger…


message in a clear glass bottle sticking up out of the sand

Remember What You Came Here to Do

I’m a sucker for a distraction. I often walk into my home office with a…


How to Foster Peace and Limit Stress

When I started training for my pilot license, I was amazed at how I felt after…


cell phone with blue skies and clouds on the screen

A Magical Power

Hundreds of years ago, remote communication on earth didn’t extend beyond smoke…


The Bright Side of Storms

Pilots of small planes give thunderstorms a wide berth. Accidentally flying…


tan colored, spiral shell with a blue background

No Coincidences

Have you ever watched a movie that follows multiple characters over a period of…


Watch the Moments

Watch the pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves. My friend’s dad…


A tree stump resting in front of a lake with mountains in the background

When a Flaw Becomes a Strength

I drive through an old neighborhood on my way to the office and back every day.…


A sand castle on the beach on a sunny day

A Course in Nature

From the deck of our oceanfront rental, I watched my boys play in the sand.…


Beautiful spring weather, three balloons flying over the field. The huge field of white, red and yellow buttercups (Ranunculus asiaticus).

What Fills Your World?

I sometimes envy people who travel the world with everything they own slung…


A notebook with a drawing of a cloud with the words

Why You Should Keep a Journal and How It Will Change Your Life

If there is one activity that has vastly improved my life in multiple ways,…


Large Shark Fin Gliding in Blue Water

The Best Ways to Find Shark Teeth at the Beach

I’ve been addicted to hunting shark teeth on beaches for a long time. The…


staircase going upward into a cloudy, blue sky

How to Rise Above the Storm Clouds in Life

How do you feel when you walk outside to a bright blue sky? Good? I do. What if…


notebook, pen, and coffee mug on table

Three Concepts Aspiring Writers Should Know (The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly)

More people than you’d think harbor dreams of writing. This is apparent to me…


Fun break blowing bubbles in a field

Talk Some Nonsense Into Me

For readers who know me only from the blog, in my other life I run an…


Procrastination Paradox: Why Done is Better than Great

Procrastination sucks. If there is one thing that has slowed me down in life…


White Piano on Water

Mistakes Fuel Growth (The Pianist Who Almost Wasn’t)

Hate making mistakes? Me too. But unless you never attempt anything hard,…


woman having trouble meditation

What to Do if You Want the Benefits of Meditation but Have Trouble Doing It

Does the world really need another post on meditation? Probably not. But…


Butterfly emerging from chrysalis

Why You Must Believe in Yourself

There are probably many people in your life who believe in your ability to…


Girl with finger paint on hands

Sometimes You Gotta Make a Mess to Make Something Beautiful

Life is messy. We spend our time trying to organize the chaos into something…


My Favorite Parenting Advice

Parenting is hard. Really hard. By the time we have kids, most of us haven’t…


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