Say you’re up soaring locally, with no special plan except to have fun and stay safe. That’s cool, but whether you like it or not, soaring always requires decisions. Even deciding not to decide is…  you get it.  One big choice that’s yours to make at any point is, would you rather have an excellent flight or a mediocre one?  It’s your call!

For a mediocre flight just keep doing what you always do, and maybe bring music or some of your favorite food.  It’s easy, but much less satisfying and in many ways less safe than pursuing excellence.

The more you demand of yourself the more you’ll enjoy it. If you prefer improvement over the status quo, simply challenge yourself, in any way you like.  No need to go for the world record every flight, especially this time of year, but pick some uncertain goal like connecting the farthest corners of your neighborhood, or if that’s too easy, doing so more quickly.  Not something certain, but something with a fifty-fifty chance of failure.  If success were defined by avoiding failure, playing checkers with two-year olds would demonstrate your presumed eminence. The point is not to chalk up vain victories, it’s to try hard, learn a lot, and obtain more than a mere minimum of satisfaction.

Those who soar in weak or difficult conditions or in low performance craft need not feel deprived or deficient. And the same for those who are just starting out! Better to enjoy making the most of what is NOW, and lay an essential foundation for terrific adventures still to come. Success that comes from pursuing excellence is at your fingertips every moment, and leads to greater pleasures (and safety) on every subsequent flight.   No one can ask for more.