Revisiting the Courage of Captain Sully Sullenberger

As members of the sandwich generation, you may have your hands full with the challenges of parents growing older and kids growing up. But that’s no reason to neglect what you need.

Perhaps there’s a goal you’ve wanted to reach for a long time – start a small business, rekindle an old friendship, run a 5K? When you think about working toward a goal and the inevitable changes that go along with that, you may wonder: How do I access my strengths? What can help me grow? Who will I be then?

NEW YORK - JANUARY 05: Captain Chesley B. 'Sully' Sullenberger III attends the premiere of 'Brace for Impact' at the Walter Reade Theater on January 5, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images)

There are a lot of people we can look to who have had the courage to reach deep inside and make something happen. Take, for example, Captain Chesley (Sully) Sullenberger, the pilot who landed the passenger jet on the Hudson River. Bravery and humility – often at the heart of fairy tales – are qualities that can inspire all of us to be the best that we can be. And, with the doom and gloom of the economic crisis, we want to feel hopeful again.

Learn to be as prepared as possible ahead of time. Sullenberger was ready. He’s a former air force fighter pilot, an expert in safety reliability methods and has 40 years of flying experience. Although you may not need training for an emergency landing, you can become equipped for what lies ahead. If you’re making an important presentation at work, setting guidelines for your kidult who can’t find a job and is moving back home or talking to your dad about giving up the car keys, learn as much as you can about the issues. Research the subject, write out talking points and get feedback from those whose opinions you value.

This week on the blog we’ll be writing short vignettes about people whose names you probably recognize. In their stories, you’ll find practical tips about drawing on your own strengths to create the life you want. Try on these strategies and see how they can work for you.

If you want to read more about Captain Sullenberger and his remarkable act of courage, sign the email list to the left of this post and download our free ebook, Courage and Lessons Learned. And if you would like to stay in touch with him, you can follow Sully on his Facebook page.

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