MindYourBusyNess: September 2010

Split second decisions

Once I had the privilege of traveling in the cockpit of the aero-plane. I found that the captain of the plane was sitting idle most of the time. He seemed relaxed. He was enjoying his coffee and chatting to me in very casual manner as if he was a traveler too like me. This was just opposite to my perception which I had about the working of the captain in the cockpit of a moving plane. I assumed him to be a busy, tense, worried person and physically engaged in activities of adjusting and controlling the buttons & levers etc. I asked him why the job of a pilot is highly paid and considered tough and ‘what was his specific role as a captain of the plane?’ He explained to me how the modern planes can be programmed to run on auto pilot mode till everything is working normally on ‘expected lines’. The other crew members were busy in rituals according to the instructions given to them by him before the take off of flight. They can manage minor problems in the working. He has to be just watchful that everything (the machines, controls and his crew members) is working as expected. His real job starts during emergency situations. It is during those situations, where his vast experience and training will count. He has to take split second decisions in the worst of circumstances. That is what he is paid for. To facilitate him to execute his decisions, he was having parallel but overriding controls to the co-pilot who is actually flying the plane. Thus he was able to negate the effect of any immature action by the co pilot. To perform his job honestly and sincerely (realizing that his own life and lives of all passengers were at stake on his performance) he was being ‘at ease’ with the environment so that he can work at his best. It is also possible to have similar arrangement in our lives and fly in the vast sky of our imagination. Most of the activities in our society today are just mechanical rituals. Let them happen as it is unless there is something very disturbing. Do not overload your mind. Just relax and enjoy. Just instruct the work team (in case you have the privilege of having one) reporting to you before the start of any major event. After that allow them to do their work and do not interfere. Be cheerful and conserve your energies and skills for any emergency situation, if at all it comes in your life. We should leave our mind free to identify the emergency situation little early and focus on decision making during that time. But alas, we are pre occupied with so many things in our mind that we turn the normal events in our lives as emergency and use our power of decision making so lavishly that we are exhausted by the time we encounter the real event. phot courtesy bigpfoto