Family Relationships

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Monday, June 07, 2010

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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Blogger Mary Jane Hurley Brant said...

Captain Sully had lots of courage and he saved the lives of all those people.

My daughter, Katie Brant, had enormous courage and she was my hero. She was self-possessed and intelligent. During the early days of her diagnosis of a brain tumor (anaplastic astrocytoma) and treatments, as an undergraduate at The University of Pennsylvania, she enrolled in a medical school class to research her own brain tumor then picked her oncologist accordingly. She was engaging, spirited, and charming. Katie was also beautiful and light-hearted especially when she kidded me about my “Deep Thoughts” then laughed hysterically when I gave her another one.

Katie faced Sisyphean challenges with the chronic return of the tumor undergoing five brain surgeries, two stem cell transplants, and a life-time’s dose of chemotherapy, radiation therapy and several experimental therapies. She agreed to undergo the experimental ones because she felt the data might help young children with brain tumors often saying how little children and their families had it far worse.

Her optimism and confidence left no room for insecurity and nothing and no one ever stopped her from consciously exploring what was really important to her life’s purpose. That takes courage, too.

Katie was her own woman, lived and worked in New York City, and landed her dream job as National Director of Corporate Marketing for UNICEF before her health deteriorated and she returned home with her dad and me where she established her own non-profit foundation, Katie’s Kids for the Cure. Many days she worked long hours from her bed, too sick and exhausted to be walking around. Few people even knew because Katie wasn’t given to having everyone else feel bad because of her plight.

Katie was the sweetest, most loving and confident woman I’ve ever known. She helped anyone who needed her. She was deeply loved by absolutely everyone who knew her, especially me. Yes, my daughter Katie was my hero. She lived the life of a modern day saint and I suspect that one day she will have that title and not just in her mother’s heart but in the world’s heart, too.

Mary Jane Hurley Brant, M.S., CGP
Author of When Every Day Matters
(Simple Abundance Press)

1:57 PM  
Blogger Mary Jane Hurley Brant said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2:03 PM  
Blogger Nourishing Relationships said...

Thanks for sharing your daughter, Katie, with us Mary Jane. We hope you will want to be a part of our Virtual Book Tour program and tell us more about your book.

6:41 PM  
Blogger Mary Jane Hurley Brant said...

I would love to know more, please keep me posted.

And thank you for a sweet spot to talk about Katie.

6:55 PM  
Anonymous Wayne Farley said...

Capt. Sullenberger was well prepared for his unfortunate incident of striking birds just after take off. His ability to remain calm throughout the entire ordeal paid off, and at the end of it all, he was so humble. A true American hero!

3:06 AM  
Anonymous Joanna said...

Yes, he was amazing and must have really drawn upon his existing knowledge and experience. We never know when we might need to draw upon our own and can be encouraged that our life'e experiences and knowledge build us into the people we are today. This is why I believe it's an invaluable investment when we build truth and values into our children.

7:28 AM  

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