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I have certain habits and ways of thinking about the world that are the right ways, at least for me:
I want to enjoy everyone I know, everything I buy, and every idea I come into contact with to the fullest. I feel that we need to really appreciate what we have to the absolute fullest.
A few years ago, I was taking private pilot lessons and was very close to getting my pilot’s license–and then I stopped. It has been at the back of my mind for some time that I have not completed this training, and that I need to do something about it. Accordingly, I drove to the airport to sign up for classes and complete my training.
If you dream of doing something, you should never stop close to the finish line. This is what most people do. You should always push through and hit your goal.
The Camarillo Airport is a small airport that is about a twenty-five-minute drive from where I live in Malibu. It is sort of in the middle of nowhere, about twenty-five miles from civilization on all sides. I have always loved going to airports and walking around them, and this airport was no exception.
Camarillo is not a commercial airport. It is mainly for people who own airplanes and fly for recreation. Since I live on the beach, I see lots of airplanes towing banners and advertising beer, new movies, and so forth, to the people sitting on the beach. All of these airplanes seem to originate from the vicinity of the Camarillo Airport.
The flight school at Camarillo is right next to an “executive” airport hangar. So, I decided to go inside the hangar and look around. There was a woman in an office next door and she gave me a tour of the hangar. I spoke with the woman at some length about the airport. She told me that people like the airport because it is low-key and other people do not see them coming and going. She said lots of stars and very important businesspeople fly in and out of the airport regularly because it is more private, away from the “buzz” of Los Angeles.
When I got inside the hangar, I was amazed. I saw a collection of around twenty-five airplanes that cost about $3 million each. I could not believe there was a collection of these airplanes right there. In addition, there were several jets, some of which were quite large.
“Whose airplanes are these?” I asked.
“They are various people’s airplanes. Most of the people fly them rarely. That floatplane right there belongs to Kenny G. He likes to fly out of here and go landing on lakes.”
“I do not understand,” I said.
“I do not either,” she said.
“Can you charter them?” I asked.
“Not these airplanes. These are owned by private people. Some of them have their own pilots, whom they hire whenever they travel, though.”
As I looked around, I saw what was essentially a huge parking lot of multimillion-dollar airplanes that are very rarely used. It seemed amazing to me that so many people had these dreams of flying, yet their airplanes were grounded and hardly ever used. I wondered how many hangars like this one must exist throughout the world, wherein people’s once magnificent dreams of flying sit parked and waiting.
One of the most important things you can do is to go after your dreams. Your dream could be something materialistic like owning an airplane or a boat, or it could be spending your time (or life) with a certain person. What happens, however, when someone achieves his or her dream? Regardless of how your life has gone, I am sure there are many dreams you have already accomplished. But, once you achieve your goals, what then?
What you see with airplanes, you also see with boats. I grew up spending a lot of my childhood in marinas around Detroit because my stepfather operated a boat business. People would make all of this money and would purchase an expensive boat, and then end up taking it out only a few times a year–or less. It never made any sense to me. Why would someone spend all of this money on a boat if they had no plans on using it? I imagine the person dreamed of owning the boat for some time and was very excited about it. Then they got the boat and forgot about the fun they could have with it. As the dream of owning a boat was fulfilled, the boat somehow became less interesting or desirable to the person who bought it.
We have all had the experience of starting on the road to fulfilling our dreams. To me, the airplanes I saw at the Camarillo Airport represented people who pursued their dreams and ended up reaching them. There are people who do everything they can to reach a goal, to get somewhere that they think is going to make them happy, and then when they get there, they do not appreciate it. They are not happy because their lives have not really changed the way they had hoped they would after achieving their dream.
While all people do not live out their dreams by accumulating boats and airplanes, some do exactly the same thing with people. People dream of being close to another person, and often fulfill this goal. A marriage is a perfect example of two people coming together due to what is, in most cases, a dream one or (hopefully) both of them had.
Someone told me recently that each year 5% of the adult population gets married. However, despite this percentage of people getting married, more than half of these people end up getting divorced. What happened to their dream? When I see couples fighting and deeply unhappy with each other, it really depresses me, because I know that neither person’s dreams are being fulfilled any longer. Over some time, the people’s wishes to spend their lives together suddenly fall by the wayside.
Several years ago, my wife and I were driving someplace with a couple who, a few years previously, had appeared to be deeply in love. The story of how they met and how their relationship developed had been a real source of inspiration to me when I had first heard it. The man had dreamed of being with the woman for a long time and had sought her out for quite a while before she had agreed to go out with him. Soon they were married, but within a few years everything had seemed to change. The man had forgotten what his wife had once represented to him, or at least he was forgetting this more than he should have been.
We were sitting in the backseat and the man was driving. The man was saying things to his wife like:
“If you do not shut up, you stupid bitch, so help me god I am going to smack you!” He sounded extremely serious and determined in his tone.
The woman was crying and shouting various insults to fuel her husband’s fury. There are certain fights that couples have that, when you witness them, you see they are at a level far beyond “normal behavior,” and you may accurately estimate that, as a result, the couple will thereafter divorce or be spending several unhappy years together. This was one of those fights.
I did not get involved, but the fight disturbed me to quite a degree, especially since I knew how important both the man and woman were to each other. Nevertheless, they seemed to be in the process of throwing away their dreams. Couples often end up doing a lot of damage to their dreams and lives together. Usually this happens as a result of taking each other for granted, and the people within the couple decide to just throw it all away.
When you see boats, exotic planes, and people who had once been the focus of someone’s dream suddenly being ignored and treated poorly, it is very sad. It is as if people reach a point where they do not appreciate what they have accomplished and the fact that they have fulfilled their dreams. If you fulfill your dreams, nothing is more important than being incredibly grateful for what you have done and enjoying the results. The person with the airplane should be getting out and enjoying the airplane. The person with the boat should be enjoying the boat. The person with the friend or spouse they one day dreamed of having, should enjoy his or her partner, and be eternally grateful.
There is no use in having a goal or a dream if you do not enjoy and nurture the result when you finally achieve it. Simply put, if you achieve something, you should make the most of it. Far too many people reach a goal and then stop caring. This is the worst thing you can do, because deep down you will never appreciate any goal you attain in the future.
Never allow your dreams, goals, and aspirations to sit on the sidelines. Cherish these things while you seek them as well as once you attain them. You need to enjoy what you have now in order to live your life to the fullest.
Cherish your dreams, goals, and aspirations both while you are seeking them and after you attain them. If you dream of doing something, never stop short of the finish line. There is no point to goals or dreams if you do not enjoy and nurture the results once you achieve them; if you achieve something, you should make the most of it. If you stop caring once you achieve your goals, then you will never truly appreciate any of the goals you achieve in the future.
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