Due to fatigue and improper rest, between 43% and 54% of pilots surveyed in Sweden, Norway and the U.K. admitted to falling asleep while flying a passenger jet. What’s even scarier, one-third of these pilots found their co-pilots sleeping right next to them when they woke up.
Clearly this speaks to the importance of having the right people taking the lead when you’re trying to go places. It also speaks to how much those leading us have got to get proper rest and how they need to be in good physical and mental health if they’re going to be the ones responsible for helping us get to our intended destination.
This also made me think about how many of us are guilty of falling asleep at the wheel when we should be awake (insert preach)!
While it’s extremely easy to be judgmental and stick your nose up at the pilots who fell asleep while carrying precious cargo, I wonder if we would be honest for a moment and admit that there are areas in our own lives where we are doing the same exact thing as the sleeping pilots. Where when it comes to the flights we’re considered the navigator and chief aviator and guide; how we have stretched out, laid down and gone into the proverbial recline mode when it comes to everything we are supposed to be taking care of!
Could it be that we aren’t much different than the sleeping pilots in our very own lives? When we consider the influence, authority and command we have over the many irreplaceable lives of others and the monumental tasks and weighty assignments; have we become so lax that we’ve allowed ourselves to fall into a place of slumber at the helm? Should the sleeping pilots be held accountable for what they did on the job and if so, shouldn’t we too?
Truth is, none of us really get a pass for failing to stay awake when we’ve been charged with great responsibility. None of us get to make excuses when we’ve been chosen and said yes to carrying out significant assignments on our job, in our families, churches and communities? It’s sad and truly unfortunate that many who will even read this today will see themselves in one area of their life where they have taken rest to the extreme; but the question of the day is WILL YOU CHANGE? Will you decide today is the day to stop sleeping on your wife? Will you decide today is the day to stop sleeping on your husband? Will you make a commitment today to finally stop sleeping on what you said you’re committed to? Unless you make up your mind to stop treating your business, ideas, vision, or church with such half heartedness and disregard; you’re really no different than the sleeping pilots. If you ask me, I actually think it’s criminal to say you’re going to help people get to their destination and then turn around and fall asleep on everyone on board the flight.
My advice to the coachable today is simple. If you have become dormant and idle when you should be the one leading; WAKE UP and change!
Wake up because other people’s lives are at stake. Wake up because this is not something that you should ever take lightly. Like being a mom or dad, husband or wife; leader or whatever,…these are people’s actual lives! And I’m trying to understand what kind of sick person gets behind the wheel and takes others lives so lightly that they would actually go to sleep on the job?
Wake up before you have to live with years of regret because you didn’t do what you were assigned to do with any passion, honor, respect and esteem. If the truth be told; we are all responsible for motivating and inspiring others to go places on this journey called life. Everyone is a leader in some arena. Stop being so selfish, irresponsible and babyish and act like a grown up. People are depending on you to step up and stop being so pitiful. Turn the tv off and go to bed at a reasonable hour. Rearrange your schedule so you have time to take care of yourself and for God’s sake, learn to say no to time wasters and users. Make time for the people you’ve made real lasting commitments to. Stop eating junk food all day. Go see a therapist. Go to church. Go to the gym. Get some better friends. Stay away from toxic people who want your life to be messed up like theirs. Do whatever you need to do to be a better person. Take some time to seriously figure out what your priorities really are, because people are counting on you to get yourself together. Lives are waiting on you to help them get to their next destination; and rarely does this happen when the leader is asleep.
Whether it’s falling asleep at the wheel of your marriage; you better wake up and remember the vows you made to your spouse before this trip started. When it comes to your commitments to your organization, church or community; WAKE UP! It’s not a game. Lives are in the balance. When it comes to your career, calling, and assignments; too many people are asleep and this is nothing more than unacceptable negligence at it’s finest. The sad reality is that just like the sleeping pilots, some of the people you are sitting next to and working with have followed your bad example; and that’s why they’re asleep too.
Shame on us if we have trained a generation to do the same dysfunctional crap we’ve done. Shame on us if we have praised and applauded inconsistency and immaturity. Shame on us for rewarding shameful behavior with titles, positions and promotions with high visibility. Shame on us if we have taught those closest to us to sleep at the wheel. It’s a shame because many of us know we haven’t corrected the people sitting next to us sleeping, because we know they got these reckless habits from us. It’s disheartening to consider that so many leaders who are out of control are the same ones who are teaching bad habits to the people they should be teaching excellence to. I hope to encourage you today and tell you there’s still time to turn things around! First you must reset. Splash some water on your face and get yourself together before there’s another accident. You don’t want to be the one responsible for taking down the plane do you? There are lives on this flight who trust you as their leader to help them take off.
I hope this encouraged you to start taking whatever you lead seriously again. Please don’t fall asleep when people are in the seats behind you, looking to you and whether they say it or not; they are depending on you to help take them to their destination. Please wake up.
Copyright 2019 Sherry Grant
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