The 15th anniversary of the Miracle on the Hudson will happen this coming January, on January 15, 2024. There will be events surrounding this crystal anniversary of an event that still resonates worldwide. A 15th anniversary signifies the dazzling splendor of a lasting happy event. Crystal is fragile and easily broken, so it reminds us to nurture relationships to prevent them from breaking down.
One of the events that will happen on January 15, 2024 is we will be launching the third book in the trilogy of books I have written. My first book, Moments Matter is focused on the skills I used that day before, during and immediately after the Miracle on the Hudson. From Turmoil to Triumph focus is the lessons and moments I learned from my mentors before January 15, 2009. Our next book, currently titled, The Limitless Life, is focused on the lessons that I learned on January 15,2009 and shortly thereafter that helped me bounce back and grow out of a traumatic life experience.
As I began to develop the content for The Limitless Life, I have gone deep into my journals and heart about what I learned and implemented. During my TEDx talk, Bouncing Back, I was limited to sharing only a couple of these strategies. So, if you have read my current blogs, I am now sharing some of those lessons that I had never shared in public and even with my close friends and family.
While doing my long walk on Saturday, I listened to a song that triggered something. That trigger was so strong that I started to get emotional. When I returned, I stopped by my office before I began the chores, looked in one of my journals, found something I wrote a few months after the Miracle on the Hudson, and realized why I got emotional.
If you know my story, you know I was working for Oracle at the end of a three-day business trip on 1/15/09. The last person I spoke with was my client in Brooklyn; he and I have become close friends. When I got home the next day and stopped by the office to check in, my manager asked me if I would go to Michigan next week for another meeting with my prospective client. My VP, Gene, told me I didn’t have to go, but I knew I needed to for several reasons.
When I was asked this, two of my kids were with me, and I said yes. Ultimately, that was the right decision for me, my family, and my company, but I knew at that moment I had to develop an exit strategy out of Oracle as I felt like I was only like a number to them.
The moment that feeling became a must was on Thanksgiving Day, 2013, when I was working to close an opportunity to meet the quarter-end deadline for Oracle. I was working while others were enjoying their holiday. Shortly after, I left Oracle, feeling like I was just a number.
A few years later, I had lunch with my former VP, Gene. He was now an SVP. We were discussing his son’s athletic endeavors. And during that conversation, I asked him how things were going in his new position. As this discussion continued. we discussed me possibly coming “home” to Oracle.
As I thought about it, I thought about how I left and felt. I remembered something I learned from my mentors, mother, and father as I thought about it. And it was one of the pathways I began after the Miracle on the Hudson that helped me to bounce back.
Reconciliation begins by making your mission so big that you don’t have time to think about anything negative.
It was time to reconcile with Oracle and anyone else I had challenges with.
Reconciliation is about restoring the right relationships in your life. People will challenge you and treat you poorly in life. Things happen for a reason and a purpose, and they will serve you if you approach them positively. I often did not, but it was time to restore that relationship with Oracle and all the others I had in my life. That is why I returned to Oracle to drive revenue for them and to restore that relationship and be reconciled finally.
When I looked at my journal last weekend, I saw the notes I took about the day I spoke at a Presbyterian Church on Palm Sunday. When those two boys came up to me and called the picture of God’s Hands holding up the plane a miracle and the other called me a miracle man.
I am not a miracle man but in that moment, on Palm Sunday, the boy saw a miracle in that picture. He was waiting for another miracle the following Sunday. The day that the world was reconciled by a miracle.
Over the past 14 years, I started to look at the people and situations where I left dissatisfied or hard-hearted. I have worked to identify each of them and make them right. Some of those are no longer with us or want to have a discussion. That is OK, and I am good with that.
But I have found a pathway to creating opportunity out of uncertainty is to identify those who have treated you poorly or wrong and reconcile with them. Try and restore the right relationships and it will open many avenues you may have never had.
Once you do this, not only will you start to create opportunity out of uncertainty in your life, but you will start to create your own flight plan for your future. And have a mission so big that you don’t have time to think about anything negative.
Last week I retired from Oracle, happy, fulfilled and reconciled.