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7 Life Tips From a Female Combat Pilot

by Vernice Armour

Life is the greatest adventure of all. Something so big, and yet a blink in the cosmos. We are all capable of seeing the best in life and going along for the ride. Relish in the little moments, not just the big. We need to break through our obstacles and overcome the challenges to be our best selves. How do we do that?

Here are my top inspirational tips to help you get gutsy around your dreams.

1. Life is about living to the fullest and having fun in the process – look at life as a big juicy orange and squeeze all the pulp and juice out of it.

We all have those special moments in life that you never forget. Whether it be a baby coming or going, we all hold these memories dear to our hearts. We don’t always give enough credit to the in-between moments. The destinations mean so much to us, but the journeys are just as precious.

Every moment is fleeting, so don’t forget the little ones.

Put your feet in the sand and feel it squish between your toes. See the flowers in front of us, and the sounds of nature in every moment. Life is not a squeaky-clean experience either, but it is always exciting and spontaneous.

2. Do what average people do and you’ll have what average people have. Choose to be extraordinary!

Every person has talent. What are you doing when you lose track of time and realize it has been hours that felt like minutes? Do more of that. Then do some more. Follow what you feel. It will lead you to your authentic self who is brilliantly unique. The true you is extraordinary.

3. Turn fear into fuel

I remember flying through Iraq and being shot at by enemy fire. That was real fear. Most fear we experience in life isn’t as bad as it seems. Don’t let fear derail your mission.  What’s one thing you’ve always wanted to do but have been afraid of?  Do it! What steps can you take to make it happen this year? Take them!

Routines comfort us and make us feel calm and at ease in our everyday reality. We eat our favorite meals and watch our favorite television programs. It is good for you to try new things, no matter how small. Change up your routine just a little and feel the energy flow. Try that new class you have been meaning to try. Reach out to an old friend you have been meaning to call. Be the best you that you can be.

4. If they say it can’t be done, prove them wrong and be the first to do it.

If things aren’t going the way you hoped, recommit to your personal mission in life. This usually starts with what you’re passionate about.

It is a challenge to get over the obstacles we create for ourselves. You need to develop a Breakthrough Mentality and break through those walls. No one is keeping you inside them but you.  

It is all within your power to change your circumstances. If you are not enjoying something, then stop doing it. Follow your passion. There is not enough time in life to dwell on what is not going right. Use your time to do the things that bring you joy.

5. Never underestimate the opponent.

The other guy – your competitor –  may well be a real obstacle, even if he doesn’t seem like it.

6. Surround yourself with positivity and people that bring out the best in you.

You are a product of your thoughts and environment; people around you shape the way you view situations. Your perspective shifts by changing your outlook. Sometimes, however, you need to change things happening around you to help shift the mindset.

7. Success is not a final destination.

After you accomplish a mission, keep the momentum going. Honor the past and move into the future without dwelling on either one.

It is important to just be. Don’t overlook relishing in the little in-between moments. There is no time to regret the past or to worry about the future. Be here. Focus on the now. This is all you are guaranteed anyway. There is no such thing as reaching the final destination in life; it is all a journey that we take moment by moment. 

The Takeaway

Just remember, you are in charge of your life. Opportunities don’t go away – other people take advantage of them! You must make the moments happen. Seize every second and find your happiness. Life is too precious to worry, enjoy every second you are given.


Vernice “FlyGirl” Armour is America’s first African American female combat pilot and a leadership speaker and consultant.  She is author of Zero to Breakthrough.

Featured photo by Moyan Brenn

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