Sully: Miracle on the Hudson

tom-hanks-spitting-image-pilot-sullyThis post is in anticipation of Clint Eastwood’s new thriller – starring Tom Hanks as “Sully” – that opens this weekend. It’s a plane-crash drama with a happy ending. Lately we haven’t had enough happy endings. And who doesn’t want to feel hopeful again?

On January 15, 2009, Captain Chesley Sullenberger made an emergency landing in New York’s Hudson River after US Airways Flight 1549 struck a flock of geese. All 155 passengers and crew survived the ordeal, and Sully became a national hero.

With what’s going on in the world today, we need real heroes more than ever. Bravery and humility, often at the heart of fairy tales, are qualities that can inspire. The crises you endure may not be as dramatic as having to brace for a crash landing. But there are lessons we can all learn from the crew and passengers about staying calm and pulling together:

Value support. Reaching toward others can help you make it through what seems like an impossible situation. When in an emergency, hold out your hand to a stranger. And confide in family, friends or colleagues as you work through difficult circumstances. Guidance and an objective opinion from a therapist will provide comfort as well as  insight and direction.

Express gratitude. A passenger on one of the rescue rafts grabbed Captain Sullenberger’s arm and said “thank you on behalf of all of us.” Moments like this create a lasting impression. Saying thanks makes others feel more valued. And sharing appreciation gives both you and the receiver a greater sense of connection and meaning.

Recognize stress. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is common after a life-threatening event. If symptoms like anxiety, depression, irritability or flashbacks persist, consult a mental health professional. Regular exercise, proper nutrition and rest will nurture your body. And you’ll find that practicing meditation and yoga can nourish your mind and spirit. Get involved in what gives you pleasure as you create balance in your life.

Be prepared. Sully was a former air force fighter pilot and an expert in safety reliability with over 40 years of flying experience. Do you try to be ready for what lies ahead, whether it’s setting guidelines with your adult child who’s moving back home, delivering a career changing presentation, or having a conversation with your dad about giving up the car keys? Look at being prepared as an investment in your emotional bank account. You’ll be developing personal skills and resilience that you can count on in times of need.

Although a double bird strike disabling two engines is highly improbable, we all struggle with problems we don’t expect. We’re here to support you. If you log on to Her Mentor Center and click the blog and resources tabs, you’ll find articles that can guide you through the challenges you face.


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