Three things I learned when my plane crashed
One of the most impressive presentations on TED Talks, by Ric Elias
Imagine a huge explosion, while you are flying at an altitude of over a thousand meters. Imagine a plane filled with smoke. Imagine an engine making noise kra-kra-kra. Scary.
I had a unique seat on the plane that day, I was in the 1D seat. I was the only one who could talk to the flight attendant. I immediately looked at them, and they said, "No problem, we must have hit some birds." The pilot had already returned the plane and we were not too far away, Manhattan was visible to the naked eye.
When only two minutes passed, three things happened at the same time. The pilot steered the plane along the Hudson River (this is not usually the way the plane makes landing). He turned off the engines. Imagine now, being on a plane where there is no noise at all. And then, he said only three words. These were the three most emotionless words I have ever heard in my life: "Get ready for a collision!".
I no longer needed to talk to the flight attendant. I could see the terror in her eyes. Life was over.
Now I want to share with you, three things I learned about myself that day.
I learned that everything can change in an instant. We have our wish lists, we have lists of things we want to do in life, and I thought about all the people I had wanted to meet but had not done, all the bridges I had wanted to build with people, all the experiences that I had wanted to have. As I thought about all this, I later became obsessed with an expression, which is: "I collect bad wines."
Because if the wine is ready and the person is there, I open it right away.
I no longer want to push anything into my life. And this sense of urgency, this sense of purpose has really changed my life.
The second thing I learned that day is that, I have lived a good life, a life full of goals and I have constantly tried to improve in everything I have done in life. But, on the other hand, I have constantly allowed my ego to interfere. And I felt remorse for the time I had spent, for things that didn’t matter, with people that mattered.
I thought about the relationship with my wife, with friends, with people. And then, as I reflected on this, I made the decision to eliminate negative energy from my life. It's not perfect, but it's much better.
I have not had a quarrel with my girlfriend of three years and I feel very good. Now I no longer try to be right, I just choose to be happy.
The third thing I learned, and it happened as the clock in my mind was counting down the seconds, 15-14-13, and I saw the water approaching and I thought, "Please explode", I do not want this plane to become a thousand pieces as I have seen in documentaries. As the plane approached the water, I thought, "Wow, death is not that scary." It is almost as if we have been preparing for it all our lives. But it was very sad. I did not want to leave. I love my life. And all that sadness came and took shape in a single thought, in a desire: “I do not want to leave, because I want to watch my children grow up.
About a month later, I was at an artistic performance of my daughter, which is in first grade. And I started crying like a little kid. And everything had all the meaning of the world to me. I realized at that moment, that the only thing that matters in my life, is to be a good father. After all, the only goal I have in my life is to be a good father.
I was given a gift that day when I did not die. I was given the gift to see into the future, and to come back and live differently.
I want you to stop for a moment and think, how many things are you not doing because you think you will be in this world forever? How would you change your relationships and the negative energy in them? And most of all, are you the best parent you can be?
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