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  • Dyfrig Gibbs

Why Shimoda Pilot

flight training blog

For those burdened with an obsession with aviation, there is a book that will probably have been influential at some point in their past... that book is, of course, Jonathan Livingston Seagull. Its author Richard Bach, a keen aviator, captures the beauty and freedom of flight in this novella about a seagull who is enchanted by flight and becomes obsessed with learning all he can about flying and becoming the best he can possibly be at it.... breaking through the many limits previously accepted by his fellow gulls. His journey becomes one of self discovery and enlightenment. I read and was inspired by Jonathan Livingston Seagull aged 10 and immediately after I discovered Bachs subsequent book about flying called Illusions. It became my bible. It is Richards story of a meeting between himself as a barnstorming bi-plane pilot and Donald Shimoda, a reluctant messiah. Don Shimoda became my superhero. My peers had Batman and superman, I had Shimoda, an enlightened being and wise teacher who was also an immaculate pilot.

These days I have absolutely no illusions of messiahship, but the messages Richard conveyed in that story struck such a chord with me back then - and they continue to have strong resonance within my life today now.

My wife, Bella, is close to setting up a "swear" jar for every time I say "Argue for your limitations, and sure enough they're yours" and "Impossible is nothing"

But my favourite quote, and one that I whole heartedly believe is;

"You are never given a wish without also being given the power to make it come true.

You may have to work for it, however."

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