Ten Thousand Hours

This is an interesting inspirational words from Iman Supriyono, an Indonesian strategic finance specialist, especially for me, you, or anyone who is starting a new life with family and children, or anything that needs long-term undertaking. What is that? Ten thousand hours. Going through ten thousand hours to then be considered worthy? Yes, just like that.

The analogy is an airplane pilot. Opinion of most people, pilot is a prestigious job. The huge salary is one of the indicators. Why big salary? Of course it’s because of the high demand of skills and the risks embedded. The fate of hundreds of passengers inside the plane is definitely in the pilot’s hands. Not to mention the risk to his own safety. Sorry to exaggerate a bit. I know the fate of our life is actually in God’s hands 🙂

Moreover though, there are many technical aspects that require the perfection of expertise. For example, a Boeing 737 speeds at 300 km per hour when its wheels touch the tarmac on the airport runway. The situation would be more difficult than driving a giant bus with a capacity of 150-200 passengers at a rate of 3 or 4 times the speed of a normal car. It takes a tremendous skill. So it is really really fair if such an expertise is rewarded with high salary.

Iman then compared Boeing with a smaller one, Pilatus PC-6 B2H4 plane that he once took while disbursing a consulting piece of work in Kalimantan (Borneo). A dragonfly-like plane with a propeller on the nose was only able to carry a maximum of 9 passengers. The required runway was about 250 meters long. The surface could be just grass. Compare with the smooth, asphalted 3-km runway needed by the Boeing 737.

What about the salary on that small plane? Certainly a huge disparity when compared with the salary of huge aircraft pilots. The prestige of both is quite at a gap. Small aircrafts usually only fly in inland cities. Then the question is, why would anyone want to be a pilot with that condition?

It turns out that a new pilot may fly a big aircraft after having locked about 10 thousand hours of flying with a small plane. More than three years equivalent to a normal job. So being a pilot of a small plane (low-paid and less prestigious) is a journey to go before becoming a big aircraft pilot (with high salary and prestige).

Is it so hard to do? Not really. It’s a kind of reasonable journey. Other jobs are more or less the same. Indeed, high flying hours are always needed for success in any field. Ten thousand ‘flying hours’. You want to succeed in which field? Building a family with the dynamics inside? Ready to sail through 10 thousand flight hours?

A husband. A dad. A bank worker. Loves to share in writing about the art of being a dad for the kids.


  • Diana

    That is an interesting way to look at it and I also never knew pilots had to put in that many hours on a small plane before upgrading to a bigger plane! It sounds like a lot of work, which I guess is what parenting is! haha!

  • D

    Very interesting way to explain all of this. Although I’m not a parent you do have a point in the work area about the ‘flight hours’ and ‘salary’ compared. Have in mind though these things also differe from country to country too! Thank you for this interesting piece.

    D xo, from Live Dream Create – D

  • Jess

    Ten Thousand Hours sounds like so much, but it does make me feel better when I have to fly somewhere. That said I have 2 kids and for sure have put in my flight hours!

  • Joleisa

    What a creative thinker! And you definitely also have a way with words. The analogies are significant in getting the points across. Thanks so much. I enjoyed reading this piece as I did the one before.

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