Podcast Ep. 53 – Where are the Chances of a Life Time? Pt. 1
Larry Olsen June 8, 2021
In what has come to be known as the “Miracle on the Hudson” the plane landed safely on the water, Dave opened his eyes to find that he was alive, but his life was changed forever. What were the learnings that occurred for all of us from this unimaginable crash and what did the crash have to do with his understanding of what his life was meant for? https://davesandersonspeaks.com/
Larry Olsen [00:00:07] Welcome. I’m Larry Olson, and what’s on your mind once set, it delivers your life to change the outcomes we want. We must change. The plays were running. Join us at Mindset Playbook with real people. Real talk for real insight.
Narrator [00:00:28] Today’s episode is sponsored by a Pernille in Achievement Exploration company whose approach to professional development enables clients to gain insights and perspectives to live, work and engage with more success.
Larry Olsen [00:00:46] Well, I want to welcome everybody to Mindset Playbook, and I thank you for taking your time and investing it in yourself. Got a very, very exciting program today that I know you’ll find not only fascinating, but tremendously insightful. On January 15th to 09, US Airways flight fifteen forty nine rapidly descended towards the Hudson River. The plane was going to crash. And during the final seconds of your life, what would you do? And what has come to be known as the miracle on the Hudson, the plane landed safely on the water. Dave opened his eyes to find out that he was alive, but his life was changed forever. I want to welcome to Mindset Playbook podcast, what you’ll find to be an amazing and most fortunate man. Dave Sanderson is “Book Moments Matter”, details the lessons learned from the Miracle on the Hudson and how one defining moment can create a lifetime of purpose so you can create your own flight plan for your future. Dave, you’ve not only had a very personal experience with the crash, but it quickly became global so that we could all vicariously experience it as well. What would you say was your biggest learning from Dave before the crash? To Dave after the crash?
Dave Sanderson [00:02:17] Oh, thank you very much, Larry, for having me on today and very timely because I just got back from the Jersey side of the Hudson River yesterday. I was up there for the first time since all this covid situation started, was very, very emotional to see how things were going up in that part of the world. So I appreciate you having me on. I you know, as I look back on that day, there’s a lot of lessons I learned in a lot of things that were revealed. But I think the one major thing that really came to me is, is that I had to become less judgmental than what do I mean by that? And really came to light actually about four or five weeks after that situation. But I was in a in the green room with some other passengers and crew after we were on Good Morning America and some of the passengers that went into a very excited and rage, the situation and daily, I like pretty much probably pretty much everybody else like what’s wrong with this guy. But then I found out later he was going through a divorce and he lost his job. And then I start thinking, man, I judge this guy before I knew what was really going on, he he started associating the plane crash with all the devastation in his life and he sort of let it all out. And I judge him immediately without knowing that. So I think the biggest lesson I had out of that is become less judgmental and that’s open so many different avenues of my life by just changing that one belief system. Wow.
Larry Olsen [00:03:40] Had you even thought of yourself as being judgmental before this kind of aha moment,
Dave Sanderson [00:03:45] there was a selfish, judgmental, but as I fall back on things, it cost me a lot. I was judgmental. I mean, I grew up in the sixties and seventies and with some preconceived ideas. You know, I as I look back on, I probably made some poor judgments, poor choices based on being judgmental. Some people I probably didn’t know what was going on in their life. So I you know, I think we’re all going through that situation. We see something besides things are pretty quick to make a decision. I just tell people that I want to learn as I step back, calm down and start assessing things before you respond. Actually, what my blog was about this week is the difference between reaction and respond. I think all the times we all react instead of being have the opportunity to respond, which is a totally different outcome.
Larry Olsen [00:04:30] And what do you see as the biggest difference between reacting and responding,
Dave Sanderson [00:04:36] reacting in the moment? I think you don’t think about it if this comes out and you’re responding. You know, I learned a hard lesson from a very candid and a learning experience and started actually probably his eighth or ninth grade for me because I was a very good athlete and I snapped at a referee in ninth grade and got a technical foul. And my coach told me I need to calm down. And I still had that fire because I felt like every game was game seven. I was I grew up is like this is what could be our last game. So but I learned at that moment, as I had, I was triggered people to trigger me. Right. And I had people who go in the reaction that we’ve seen this in the last year in emotional get aggressive instead of stepping back for a few seconds and say, OK, what’s the best outcome for me? But for this situation, it has changed a lot of the way that I’ve approached this last year. Likewise, I think was a great learning experience for me.
Larry Olsen [00:05:31] Absolutely. Yes. That’s so key to all of our lives is the reaction is generally based on past experience and the moment to step back and say, how do I want to respond? It creates that ability to reconnect with the frontal lobes, kind of cut off the fight flight and think. And it sounds like having that opportunity to think has kind of given you a new perspective on how you look at life.
Dave Sanderson [00:06:00] I agree that actually, I think played out that day as the plane was going down because I think a previous life, I would go back in my history if I would have reacted in some of the outcomes, may not have been as well executed as possible. I, I put the game plan together as we were going down. I had the game plan in my head. And I love that. I love that I had my so I knew how I was going to respond. So I took the time before, how am I going to respond? And then I tell people all of a sudden things start changing very quickly when you hear that kind of a dynamic situation. But I had I think I had enough maturity at that point to step back and take at least take about two or three seconds. OK, how do I respond to this? How do I respond to this? Because I think I think if people would react instead of responding that day. Myself, maybe some others may or may not even be here to talk about it,
Larry Olsen [00:06:51] may not have gotten out of the plane, huh?
Dave Sanderson [00:06:54] I think that’s that’s what. I remember one vividly that helped me, you know, help somebody else would help me get myself stable in that situation. I think that hopefully that helped out with that. But the situation
Larry Olsen [00:07:08] now, let’s let’s you said most people in that situation that was a little casual, you are about to die. So that is a pretty significant situation that would get all of our attention. Fair enough.
Dave Sanderson [00:07:23] I agree.
Larry Olsen [00:07:24] And and what I would I am very fascinated about I think all of us recognize that at some point this thing called life is going to be over as we know it. And in the meantime, we’re attempting to make it as miraculous of a life as possible with all the challenges and setbacks that we get, but most of them are not on a life and death scale like yours was. Could you just take us through a little bit about what took place that first off, got your attention, that this is serious? Because you, from what I understand, have been flying a lot in your life. And and then how did the preparation, as you mentioned, kick in, so that wasn’t all reactionary?
Dave Sanderson [00:08:13] So, yes, the first moment I thought it was probably something going on, but not serious when I heard the explosion, but at that point I still think it was serious because we most planes, if not all planes, have at least two engines. So at that point in time, no one on the body, no one on the plane knew at that second or something. Later on, we found out that both engines got hit simultaneously, which is another part of a miracle. But so everybody thought, OK, we’ve got another engine. But it was really hit me where I knew it was a serious situation when the captain said his words, this is your captain brace for impact. I never heard that on a plane. And that one got my attention. And because at that point in time when I said I looked out the window and we were starting to cross over the George Washington Bridge, which we found, I found later, we only cleared by roughly four hundred feet. So it was a it was a close call right then and there. So it’s that moment in time is when I had a I prayed the second had to get a game plan together, because if I did survive, which didn’t look like I was going to anyway, but if I did, I had to have a game plan because now, you know, all you can see in front of you is water.
Larry Olsen [00:09:20] OK, let’s let me pause for just a moment. Your first strategy or the play you had based on the mindset that was created when you heard Brace for Impact. Was to pray, yes. Couldn’t have been a real long prayer. Do you mind sharing with us if it’s not too intimate with what your prayer was?
Dave Sanderson [00:09:40] Why pray for three things? First thing I pray for? So the dude was up front, man, just give me down and just give me down. The second thing I pray is the last person I spoke with who was my clients in Brooklyn to call my wife and let them know that I did love her. The third thing is I prayed to God to forgive my sins because now we’re within seconds and I do what I can to help you. I make a little joke out. I do anything. Which you mean, God damn right, we’re going down. I want to go up and it’s not looking good. So I better get things straight really quick. Right. I think it’s interesting. The people I talked to have been in life threatening situations. Get to that point. I see it. You see, it may not see that white light yet, but you see it right. And it’s like I don’t get I don’t get things straight right now. I’m going to have to talk things. Time to get things straight.
Larry Olsen [00:10:24] Why do you think it takes that kind of experience for a lot of us to recognize we need to get things straight?
Dave Sanderson [00:10:32] Well, I think of course, I think right now the days and far and a lot of people, the media and other people, but so much pressure on you not to believe or have a question about faith. And I think but it’s amazing because if you look at the major face, whether it’s Christianity, Judaism or Muslim or Buddhism, they all have a greater belief. And there’s one there’s one being someplace. Yeah. So what’s really amazing to me that I think is a lot of pressure on people to say, I’m not cool if I actually say my faith and living out my faith or I say just the opposite, that, you know, I think I’m pretty good because I, I have to have a face when something does happen, I have something to fall back on. There you
Larry Olsen [00:11:14] go. There you go. So you said your prayer and then take us from there.
Dave Sanderson [00:11:21] I said your prayer. Look out the window one more time. We we’re going straight in. But my head down. And at that point and the most often asked questions I still get is what was that last minute like you now you’re 60 seconds away, OK? Nothing’s going to happen in 60 seconds. You’re going to be alive, dead or mangled. Right. It’s pretty much the options you’re going to have. So, you know, and I tell people what happened to me was the movie of my life passed through my eyes. I saw things with clarity. I tell people euphoric. I saw it’s such such clarity, what my life was made up of. I saw myself as a little kid playing ball in high school with my wife. I mean, it’s just amazing. And I contrast that with somebody who I spoke with who survived the earthquake in Haiti. She and I had the opposite for Charlotte, like we had the ability to talk. And she said the same thing when things were crumbling around her. And she’s going down. It’s like she saw her movie of her life. So I think I know it’s like that for everybody, Larry, but I think here’s my belief. If you do have a belief there’s something bigger out there, you probably that’s probably one of the first thoughts you have is this. This is my life. I now I know what my life is made up of.
Narrator [00:12:35] What fantastic insights we are getting into in this episode, if this resonates with you and is provoking and of value, please consider the best selling book of “Get a Vision and Live It” by your host, Larry Olsen at Aperneo.com. His book has been an inspiration to many of Mindset Playbook’s guests. And you’ll find everything you need to live the best version of your life. Now, the results you’ll get will absolutely amaze you. Find the book at a Aperneo.com, in the shop. And now let’s get back. You won’t want to miss what’s to come in this episode of Mindset Playbook.
Larry Olsen [00:13:33] Did you have any regrets?
Dave Sanderson [00:13:35] Not that second. No, I did not. It came to my mind was positive gotcha. And I didn’t have any negative thoughts at all. I mean, as I wish I would have done this or I was just now was later on, right. When I said I wish I had more time with my kids. But that wasn’t that sick because you’re 60 seconds. And I tell you, that’s the slowest 60 seconds of your life you can imagine. You could see it coming, heaven sakes. Yes. Come on. It’s going right there. It’s facing you right there. And you see it. And I think a lot of people, unfortunately, don’t have that opportunity. Sometimes death comes so quickly or people or situation happen when, like, a car crash just happens, right? Yeah. Or this time,
Larry Olsen [00:14:17] Dave, maybe sometimes when we face the inevitable that there would be a moment when we’re not here. We have so many escape routes, we have so many other places we can go where we don’t have to attend to it, but you didn’t have anywhere else to go.
Dave Sanderson [00:14:34] But yeah, I yeah, I agree. I think my mom passed away so quickly. I don’t know if she had that that kind of situation or not because she she passed away of a stroke. So she just went very quickly. But in a situation like this is you know, I sort of equate this is something like I talk to somebody because I lived in Ohio, in the Midwest all the time in my life. We have tornadoes and now I live in hurricane now. So there’s a real there really is a difference because the tornadoes, they just come. I mean, we are in what he came by our house. Right. And I think the storms you have no time for. But in a hurricane, you know, it’s done. Yeah, right. If you have time to plan, but you better get the plan together pretty quick, right? Yeah. So I think that, you know, I was I was fortunate that I had a belief that I had a faith that that and one of my thoughts was, I mean, if I if I do pass away, I would go to a better place and my wife will be a multimillionaire. So you know these well taken care of, right?
Larry Olsen [00:15:40] You took care of her? Yes.
Dave Sanderson [00:15:43] She would have been able to pay off the house, which was the last thought that I had for impact. I hope she pays off the house. That’s been one of our big goals. We’ve never been able to accomplish it.
Larry Olsen [00:15:51] I got you. I got you. That’s fantastic. So you. As I understand, you were you were very successful in some of the major Fortune 50 companies and you ended up finding yourself. Transitioning out of that what what occurred where you felt you needed to make a transition?
Dave Sanderson [00:16:17] Well. I do pretty much the next day, and but I did have a plan, but the next day when I got back to Charlotte, I still didn’t know whether my company in a plane crash because I, I had not heard from them and my wife had not heard from them. I found out later that, yes, the corporate travel people did alert them. But so I went in and took off my daughters with me. And I have lost all my clothes and I’ll sweat as well as, you know, I’m OK. And my managers first, my direct manager, not my vice president, direct manager, said, you’re going to Michigan next week, right? Get out. I knew at that point where I was a no, I was a number first. I said I’m just a number. Somebody else would have been in that seat the next day if I died, OK? So I said, OK, I know he cares about me or not. I know my vice president because he told me I didn’t have to go. I gave my vice president credit. He said, you don’t have to go to jail once I did go. But I knew at that point, but I just didn’t have a plan. Right. Fortunately for me, as I think, you know, I had spent I was still, at that point in time, had a security for Tony Robbins. And Tony did call
Larry Olsen [00:17:25] and tell us how you got before you share anymore. Tell us how you ended up getting into security for one of the top. Guru’s, if you will, in how the brain mind behavior elements all come together, how did that occur?
Dave Sanderson [00:17:44] I was just volunteering at one of these events because I do all of them and I volunteer and I paid my own way. But at least in the end,
Larry Olsen [00:17:52] you were a fan before?
Dave Sanderson [00:17:53] I was I was a fan. I did my events. I got a lot of outcomes. Volunteer pay back be a part of the energy. Right. Or for me, as why life turned out for his former wife and a situation which I helped her with. And she said, have you ever thought about doing security as a slobbering handout brochure event? So, you know, she’s the one who put me back in the Green Room with Tony and need to start getting trust with me. Right. OK, the next several events and months. And I just sort of grew through the process of security team security. And then after my mentor Bill passed away, he asked me I’d be the head of security and I took it on. So I I was very blessed to be able to be around that. I tell people that I think I look back. You know, it was unintentionally intentional, intentionally was at the event, things that happened unintentionally, right. So I mean, I’ve had a situation in my life situation in my life. I put myself in those situations where I’m around people and I have no problem talking to people. So I guess I’m here to learn. And if I learn and they see some value, I can add it all of a sudden they may take me on. So that’s that’s what happened. And so you go back to January 15th. Tony was the only one to call him in the hospital. And I called. Wow. And there was a video out there moments after you and I spoke. You can go out and see the video about our conversation. But he asked me, he said, when you get to L.A., call me. He did. I was traveling. Right. And I was going to L.A. because I was doing all the body and all these TV shows and stuff. Right. So I did exactly what Tony said. I hit L.A. and he was in Palm Springs in about two and a half, three hours. Larry, I got to doctorial course on the mindset and how well I did the really the in-depth stuff that you may or may not get at the events, but the one on one. Right. And one of the things that Tony said is you you need to take this and do something with it for good. You move out to get out of the corporate world. How am I going to do that? Because I’m making so much money. Yeah, yeah. I had a game plan together and it took me a few years, but the game fine together. But all of a sudden I was ready to execute and I called my wife and she gave me a go ahead. And that was the biggest thing I’ve ever had in my life. She did not want me to leave. OK, you like she liked the lifestyle. She liked the benefits. There’s some risk involved and there’s risk now going on my own and. Right. And that’s what happened. So, yeah, basketball. I mean, this is one question I get a lot is how do you make the transition in corporate life to doing what you’re doing and being on stages and all of a sudden speaking all over the world? I’m like, you know, it wasn’t just like pixie dust and sunshine, just it happened. Yeah. You got to have a game plan. Right. And one of the things I talk about in my talks process saves lives. You have to have a process that you and I talk about that I said you have your physical life like it was for me that day and it might be your financial life. And if you have a process on how to handle money. I’ve been there. I know. Right. Or how about your relationships? You have a process of how to deal with relationships. Biggest pain in people’s lives. The pain of relationships, if not money, it’s relationship. So I was very fortunate to have somebody who took interest in me and became a great friend. And at that point, my new mentor, after Bill passed away, gave me great coaching and thought process and mindset on how to do it.
Larry Olsen [00:21:15] You brought up Bill a couple of times. Who is Bill?
Dave Sanderson [00:21:18] Bill was my first actual I would call my mentor. I met Bill in nineteen eighty four actually was May of nineteen eighty four. When I meet him I was an assistant. The second I was a second assistant hotel restaurant manager Howard Johnson in Charlotte, North Carolina. So that means I was the guy working second or third shift. I was a new boss. I knew nothing right away. But it turned out to be a blessing for me, Larry, because working that second shift, Bill and his wife Bonnie, would come in every night. At first, I thought was just good old folks drove a pickup truck or a flannel shirt. Know North Carolina, good ol boy, until I found out after he gave me a couple of movie passes. I did take your girlfriend to the movies on me. Now, I was making not making much money. I was like, great, right. Free movie passes. Right. But then I found out that he owned the movie theater. And I found out later know 80 movie theaters and restaurants throughout his career in the Carolinas. Wow. And the nickname he had was the Sam Walton of Charlotte. But you never know this guy. But on December twenty third, nineteen eighty four, he we had a situation that he got me involved with the ask, you said, do you mind if I give you some advice and mentor? You do not even know what it meant. When I grew up in a small town, Larry and I grew up in the 60s where you respected elders. There wasn’t a question, right? Yeah. Nowadays there’s questions on that back then. So I said, of course, thank you. So for 14, 30, 40 years, he mentored me and he was telling me stories on all these. I go to a challenge and he’d give me a story on how he solved it. Back in his early career, he started this movie theater business in nineteen twenty nine. Right, for the Depression. Yeah. And he built this thing up during the Depression. So I knew what he was doing. But it wasn’t pixie dust. The sun, John. Right. And he’s going through a war depression family. I mean so fast forward to nineteen ninety seven. After my mom passed away and I after we buried her he asked me to come over to his office in Charlotte and I went over. Bill was eighty two, eighty three, eighty four somewhere in there at that point and he sat down and he gave me, I walked over to his desk and he first he says I will let you. I got lung cancer now Bill smoked two packs a day. OK, so he started nineteen twenty smoking. Probably going to catch up to you but then he went over to his desk, got these, these, these bunch of papers and sat down and he said, I want you to have this and what are you. Because these are the notes I took when I met you said that would be in nineteen twenty nine and how to be a successful business. I want you to have it. Wow. It’s the last thing you want. Things that you’re not going to die with you. OK, ok, so I didn’t do anything next. I mean I put in what I did do anything wrong. I’m an idiot but I tell people what I want to what the greatest learnings I had out of the plane crash and the reason I think I didn’t die, even though I think we all executed. OK, there is there’s execution involved, but I had to fulfill that promise, yet I couldn’t die without fulfilling that promise. Yeah. So I think if you look at the underlying things, yes, there’s there’s physical things and emotional things that mind set things. But ultimately came down. I had the full promise that I had fulfilled and that’s what my mission is now fulfill that promise because he gave me this gift and now I’m going to give it I will leave it to my goal is to with a million people next year. So you’re given me a gift right here to be able to share this. And I’m looking for two people who want to who want to learn this, who want to. I did the emersed and I will show them how to do it. Like Bill showed me.
Larry Olsen [00:24:53] I’ve been that’s that’s really something. So so he was kind of an Earl Nightingale. But but behind the curtain.
Dave Sanderson [00:25:00] Yeah, he is a businessman, right? OK, here’s a business man in small town at that point, small town, Charlotte, North Carolina, right? Yeah, I know his first movie theater was he was a part owner. And I’ve been over there here in Charlotte. I’ve seen it is still there, not open. Of course, we’re not open right now, but. Yeah, and it’s like so I you know, he he’s one of those guys, I mean, just a crusty old guy, but he had a big heart and I think he was looking for somebody OK that he could trust. And I think he saw me that somebody would not let this guy is take because we sit down to talk. We go we go to the right steakhouse and we go have ice cream. I give him a problem we’re having. And all of a sudden he sort of give me the story and all of a sudden the story has a lesson. Yeah. And that’s what my books about this next book, which I’m redoing is about that is about these lessons that he taught me in a way that I could absorb it. But I came out of that is my mom and dad taught me the same things, but I didn’t listen to them. Sure. Right. Typical kid. You’re going to be in my realize they were teach me the same things, but he had a way to bring it out. Right. And then Tony took another level that he gave me the distinctions on these lessons, OK? They were dismissed by proximity is power. I know things like that. And I could add insurance. Right. So you look at situations, proximity is power. I put myself around people who have who could I can help or they can help me all of a sudden. So, I mean, I would very, very blessed the intentionally unintentional people I bought. They would associate with
Narrator [00:26:46] continue with Larry and Dave for part two of their interview, where you’ll learn how to move from unworthy to worthy. What happens in your life when you change can’t to can and the power of knowing why you are here in this life.
Sign up for our insight-driven NEWSLETTER T.I.P. "The Inside Perspective”
The Inside Perspective offers insights for achieving more of what you want in life and work through bi-monthly T.I.P.’s, articles, and videos.