Achieving True Happiness in Life: Become a Pilot

Starting the journey to become a pilot at EuroPilot Center is a true exploration of self-discovery, purpose, and ultimate happiness. Let's get deeper into how each stage of training aligns with key psychological theories, shaping not just skills but also the very essence of being.

Integrating True Self and Wholeness

Becoming a pilot isn't just about adventure or novelty, it's a transformative journey towards self-actualization and understanding one's true purpose. Like a compass needle finding its magnetic north, our students discover facets of their personality they never knew existed. It's almost like finding a hidden fascination for celestial observation while flying at night – unexpected yet exhilarating.

Carl Jung's concept of individuation resonates deeply. At EPC our personalized training approach ensure that students don't just learn to fly, they discover facets of their personality and strengths they may not have realized before. This is crucial in achieving true happiness. 

Through our famous PELICAN assessment, our students’ motivations, their readiness and openness to learn are verified in a unique fashion, paving the way for tailored training experiences that foster self-awareness and growth. For example, where the initial dream of becoming a pilot seemed almost unreachable hence overwhelmingly satisfying and guaranteeing a strong sense of happiness in life, during the training students may discover their desire to teach or find a new passion in a more technical or legal field of the aviation industry.

Freedom and Self Discovery

Interestingly enough, the freedom experienced in the skies, serves as a strong catalyst for profound self-discovery and personal growth, drawing from Abraham Maslow's famous hierarchy of needs. It’s not just about defying gravity, it's about defying limitations we impose on ourselves. 

Picture yourself at 30,000 feet, realizing the only limits are those you set in your mind – talk about a mind-blowing realization here.

Achieving self-actualization through flying signifies a deep understanding of one's desires and purpose in life. This journey unfolds as students progress through various stages of training. For instance, during our immersive simulator sessions, in-flight exercises and scenarios, students not only master technical skills but also confront personal fears, gaining confidence and resilience along the way. Since its implementation 15 years ago, EPC was (and still may be) the only training organization in Europe with Scenario Based Training (SBT), which has meanwhile shown to be critical in achieving self-actualization.

Flight Training as Personal Transformation

All of this may sound pretty intense but don’t be alarmed, the rigorous training at EPC doesn't mirror Mr. Skinner's principles of operant conditioning (reward and punishment). While learning skills and attitudes is crucial, EPC's emphasis has always been on Bloom's Taxonomy whereby we strictly adhere to the 6 levels of learning (see below).

Description on how EuroPilot Center, SoCal Pilot Center applies the Taxonomy of Bloom into the training program.

"It has always been our goal to ensure EPC students fall in love with the process of growth." 

Kay Vereeken, Founder & CEO EPC.

This personalized approach (based on Kolb’s Experiental Learning Theory) ensures that the training of each student is tailored to his/her learning style and motivation, which fosters a hyper sense of enjoyment and fulfillment in achieving goals. 

For example, all EPC instructors are trained to objectively, but continuously identify and measure personality characteristics and motivation levels, including positive or negative changes in these parameters. This is achieved through our in-house developed software ( which supports our instructors to quickly adjust the desired training methodology for an individual student. All this with the sole purpose to guarantee a positive and transformative learning experience. 

As it is known, each person learns new skills or adopts attitudes in different ways. Therefore we don’t believe in a large scale training operation whereby students must fit into the schools’ single-sided training philosophy. There is simply no “one size fits all” concept in education. Trying to convince otherwise, only demonstrates that the individual needs and successes of the student don’t matter and the driving force is financially oriented.

Challenges, Meaning, and Responsibility

The challenges and responsibilities of flying resonate deeply with Viktor Frankl's existential psychology, particularly in terms of finding meaning and purpose. 

To understand this, compare it with the urge non-aviators usually have, to find meaning (or see things) in the shape of random clouds. For pilots the shape of clouds have a very meaning; and understaning it serves a very important (safety) purpose. It’s not just about navigating turbulence, it's about navigating the existential clouds of life. You could almost think of it as therapy with wings – you confront fears, gain insights, and emerge stronger, all while flying at high speeds.

Consequently, mastery in aviation signifies a deep connection with one's life's calling, which directly influences overall happiness. EPC’s training isn't just about technical proficiency; it's about instilling a sense of responsibility, competence, and purpose. 

For instance, during our Advanced Upset Prevention and Recovery Training (UPRT), students learn not just to avoid and handle undesirable events in the aircraft, but also to manage stress, anxiety, and fear while all together building psychological resilience and a strong sense of agency.

Achieving Milestones and Embracing Growth

The psychological benefits of achieving milestones and overcoming challenges in aviation are profound, reinforcing motivation and goal-setting theories' significance in personal growth. EuroPilot Center's structured training program ensures that each milestone achieved is not just a technical feat but also a psychological triumph. From mastering complex maneuvers to navigating real-world scenarios, students not only gain competence but also develop self-efficacy, intrinsic motivation, and a deep sense of accomplishment.

In other words, EPC’s training isn't just about ticking boxes like with many other training organizations, it's about ticking off personal milestones and embracing growth

Each achievement isn't just a notch on the pilot's belt, it's a victory. Imagine your first commercial passenger (or cargo) flight as a novice pilot on a large jet, after years of intense training? It doesn’t require a lot of imagination to understand how much happiness this will bring to you. Every milestone achieved during a your future career will come with a bigger challenge, but also with a stronger sense of growth and a deeper sense of accomplishment. And the best part is: “Pilots never stop learning.”


The journey to become a pilot at EuroPilot Center is a symphony of psychological transformation. It's about discovering one's true self, finding purpose, embracing challenges, and soaring towards a life of wholeness and happiness. Each aspect of training, from self-discovery to responsibility and achievement, intertwines seamlessly with psychological theories, creating a holistic and enriching experience that transcends mere technical proficiency. 

So, buckle up and get ready for the ride of a lifetime – both in the skies and within yourself!

Article by: Kay Vereeken, Founder & CEO of EuroPilot & SoCal Pilot Center (IG: @europilot)



Ready for the next step?

Join us on Sunday May 19, 2024, for the EPC Ope­n House at the Antwerp Airport (sign up HERE). You will learn about our training programs that give­ provide dual certificaton. We also offe­r two additional scholarships worth 25.000 EUR each and ways to finance your Aviation Training. Our open house is a gre­at chance to find out more.