The Three Lessons of Ric Elias

Today’s Karen Gately blog focuses on Ric Elias, and his three important life lessons. Ric experienced (and luckily survived) something truly awful – a plane crash. Ric had a front-row seat on Flight 1549, the plane that crash-landed in the Hudson River in New York in January 2009. We look closer at the things Ric learned from this experience.

In a short video filmed at a TED convention (which we’ve embedded it at the bottom of this blog), Ric shares what went through his mind as the doomed plane went down. Sharing his terrifying and life changing experience, Ric makes a powerful point about our ability to dictate the quality of our lives through the choices we make.  By focusing on what really matters the most to us, letting go of the need to be right, cherishing our relationships and pursuing our passions we have the ability to choose to live full and happy lives.

Listening to Ric reminded me of how easy it can be to get caught up being busy; how easy it can be to forget to make time to enjoy our interests and the people we love.  My promise to myself is to find the time to garden, to make beautiful beaded necklaces, to learn to use the sewing machine my husband bought me.  I’m lucky because I love my work, but variety is the spice of life – so I plan to put away my laptop, turn off my phone and hang out with my family doing more of the things we enjoy.

Karen’s much-loved garden.

Ric also reminded me of losing my Uncle a few years ago to cancer. While I wish with all my heart that he hadn’t suffered in the way he did, I am also grateful for the lessons I learnt from his experience. Watching Uncle Tim’s courage and determination to win the battle for life helped me to understand how precious the opportunity to live is.  He taught me the courage it takes to pursue our dreams, to confront our fears and step outside of our comfort zone is within all of us; all we have to do is choose to access it.

I hope you take the time to listen to Ric’s story and get as much from it as I did.  It was nice to be reminded that the choices we make every day, about how we spend our time, how we react to circumstances, and ultimately how we choose to feel dictate our happiness and the lives we live.


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