I’ve just published the latest book in my serialized autobiography called, In Search of the Meaning of Life (An Autobiography): Book Thirteen – Overcoming Challenges about fulfilling a childhood dream of mine to fly jets one day. Here’s the book description:
“I’d always wanted to fly jets and be a fighter pilot ever since I was a boy, yet at some point along the way I’d given up on my dream once I knew fighter pilots needed 20/20 vision to be accepted into the United States Air Force and I wore glasses. It turned out that my aircraft of choice, the F-4 Phantom, had a two man crew with a specialized navigator or Weapon Systems Officer (WSO) manning the rear cockpit, and the WSO could wear glasses. In addition, the WSO could do most everything the pilot could do, to include flying the aircraft – so I was hooked! I decided right then and there to apply to become a WSO.
While I could dream of flying Phantoms all day and night, the reality was I was as far away from making that dream come true as I could possibly be. Had I known at the time the immensity of my achieving my goal, I wouldn’t have pursued it, so in that case it was best I remained fat, dumb and happy to the entire process of what I needed to accomplish to earn the privilege of turning my dream into my reality. What I didn’t and couldn’t have known at the time, was that the process of selection and qualification was more rigorous than I could have ever imagined. Every step of the process from beginning to end was graded and evaluated, and the standards were set so high that a significant number of applicants were washed out of training at every milestone along the way. Only the very best made the grade to progress through the training pipeline and of those who did qualify to fly, fighter training slots were reserved for the best of the best.
Had I known how astronomical the odds were of succeeding at my quest, I might have reconsidered, but I pressed on undeterred like Don Quixote tilting at windmills. The only advantage I really had was the fact I’d come from a background of adversity and hardship forged in ‘The School of Hard Knocks’ for many years, and the one thing I’d learned was to never say never and never give up no matter the odds. This, in the end, was the best skill I had in my proverbial tool kit at the time, and it was this attribute of mine I had to draw from time, time, time and again. Never give up on ‘your’ dreams either, for dreams are given to dreamers, and your dreams are worthy for the simple reason they’ve been given to you – not to remain dreams – but to be turned into your reality! Carpe Diem, seize the day and live your dreams! Don’t be discouraged, never give up and one day you’ll live your dreams just as I did all those years ago! Cheers! Mark”
Here’s the Kindle link:
Here’s the paperback link:
Author Page – Mark D. Jones: