Looking for a speaker for your next safety conference? Dave Sanderson shares his personal story of how he survived the “Miracle on the Hudson” plus gives attendees tools they can use when a tragedy hits.

Three ways you can improve your odds when that “plane crash”​ moment hits by Dave Sanderson

 “Let me not pray to be sheltered from dangers, but to be fearless in facing them. Let me know beg for the stilling of my pain, but for the heart to conquer it.” Rabindranath Tagore

The ability to assess risk, especially in time of a crisis, and keep your mind about you is one of the key reasons I believe I survived the plane crash known as the Miracle on the Hudson. After I hear the explosion while sitting in Seat 15A, I looked out the window and saw the fire coming out from underneath the left wing. I didn’t know what happened until later but that is the moment I started to access all the different risks that I may have, which included not only getting out of the plane but initially just surviving the initial plane crash.

One of the lessons my father taught me when I was a young boy was to assess the risk verses the reward of any decision. I had many “learning experiences” while he taught me but he put me in many situations that I had to assess the risk of the opportunity and manage the consequences of the decision. I believe these early life lessons gave me the knowledge and certainty to assess the risk throughout my life, improve my odds and ultimately survive that day on the Hudson.

Have you ever had something happen in your life that you didn’t plan for, never expected or wanted? That happens to most people sometime during their life. I talk about how everyone has that “personal plane crash” moment, that moment when something happens and you have to make a decision how to handle it then how to respond. I believe the second way you can improve your odds when you are faced with that moment is through awareness. One skill I have learned and practiced to improve my awareness is the skill of sensory acuity. That day on the Hudson River, if I was going to have a chance of surviving the plane crash, I had to hone in on all my senses. I had to achieve optimal awareness. I learned that skill set many years ago and practiced it throughout my business career and it not only paid off in my sales career but in the most critical life or death situation.

What will matter most to you in the end? If you were suddenly faced with a possibility of dying, what would you do with the time you had left? In short, what would be most important to you? When I worked on the security team for Tony Robbins, Tony told me that the one skill he valued most in his team was the skill of anticipation. When I was with him, one of the reasons I believe he and I got along so well was that I could anticipate his next move. I had the power to understand what was important to him NEXT! I believe the third way you can improve your odds is through the skill of anticipation. Anticipation is something I practice with just about everyone in my life. That day on US Airways 1549, anticipation was a primary skill that saved the day not only for me, but for all of us. If I hadn’t learned how to anticipate through the moments in my life, that day and my life may have had a very different outcome.

The next time you face that critical moment, whether it’s a business crisis, an issue of safety in your office or manufacturing plant or personally, remember to assess the risk, go into a state of awareness and anticipation and you will improve your odds of a positive outcome when your personal plane crash moment hits.

For more information on Dave Sanderson, or to book him to for a keynote or workshop presentation, click here.




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