Photo by DDP on Unsplash

I recently did a podcast interview with Andrea Biwer and Marne Diethorn from the Veteran’s Back to Work Boot Camp in Des Plaines, Illinois.

During the interview, Marne Deithorn, who is Vice President of Human Resources of Rivers Casino in Des Plaines, Illinois said this with respect to a person being hired during a job interview:

If you have the right aptitude, you will have the right altitude.”

Marne Diethorn, VP of Human Resources, Rivers Casino

Marne went on to say “if you have the right aptitude, the sky is the limit.”

Your “aptitude” as a person is defined as “the capacity to acquire competence or skills through experience and training.” 

An altitude is defined as “the height of an object or point in relation to sea level or ground level.”

Marne’s quote made me think about something.

I have a pilot’s license (private pilot, single engine, land) for fixed-wing aircraft) and when I fly, I am the pilot-in-command of the aircraft.

The pilot in command of an aircraft is “directly responsible for, and is the final authority as to, the operation of that aircraft.” (FAR 91.3)

In an airplane there is an instrument called an “altimeter.”

An altimeter “is an instrument used to measure the distance of an object above a fixed level.”

An altimeter actually measures heights above particular air pressure levels.

An altimeter compares the pressure of static air outside the airplane to the standard pressure of 29.92 inches of Hg (mercury) of air at sea level.

Air is denser at sea level than aloft, so in an airplane, pressure decreases as altitude increases.


You are the pilot-in-command of your own professional life.

You are directly responsible and are the final authority for your own professional development.

As pilot-in-command of your own life, how can you increase your professional altitude?

  1. Change your trajectory. A trajectory is defined as “a path, progression, or line of development.” An airplane takes off and leaves the runway with the nose of the airplane pointed in an upwards direction towards the sky. Change of the angle of the trajectory of your professional life to point in a positive, upwards direction. You change the angle of the trajectory of your life by focusing on developing new professional skills from a positive emotional state based on positive emotions such as curiosity, enthusiasm, excitement, etc. Changing your trajectory helps you decrease pressure and increase your own altitude in your own professional life.
  2. Create lift. As you change the angle of the trajectory of your life, create lift in your life. In an airplane, the difference in pressure between the bottom surface and top surface of the wing results in more pressure at the bottom and less pressure at the top, pushing the wing upward, creating lift. You create lift in your life by committing to developing new skills and making your own professional development a priority in your life. Creating lift helps you decrease pressure and increase your own altitude in your own professional life.
  3. Follow the Updrafts. One way to create to create lift in your life is to follow the updrafts. In meteorology, an updraft :is a current of rising air created by heating it.” An updraft is mass of warm air that become less dense and exerts less pressure than the surrounding region, so it will rise. Airplanes often hit updrafts created by weather and are pushed quickly in an upwards direction. You follow the updrafts in your professional life by creating a plan of action that focuses on taking small achievable steps towards the end goal of increasing your own professional education, skill sets, work project experience, etc. Following updrafts helps you decrease pressure and increase your own altitude in your own professional life.

Increasing your own altitude with the right aptitude creates a positive impact in your professional life.

Out There on the Edge of Everything®…

Stephen Lesavich, PhD

Copyright ©2023 by Stephen Lesavich, PhD.  All rights reserved.

Certified solution-focused life coach and experienced business coach.