Some Life Lessons From Asiana Flight 214

While the reasons for the crash of the Boeing 777 at the San Francisco airport last Saturday center around pilot error, there were a number of life principles demonstrated that led to the minimal loss of human life on the flight. And like life, they show what we need to do in those instances when we don't have control over the major circumstances of a situation. These same principles are important for each of us as we attempt to navigate our way to a successful (and safe) life journey. They include:

  • Surround yourself with competent, knowledgeable, and wise people. The flight attendants of Flight 214 are being heralded as heroes for knowing exactly what to do in the emergency. They didn't have to think before acting-it was instinctual. In the same way, we need to constantly be building relationships with people who know how to handle life's twists and turns. It may not be our life they save, but it could certainly be lots of stress, pain, and the consequences of poor choices.
  • Constantly evaluate your situation. Fire was breaking out on one side of the plane and passengers were quickly directed to the opposite side. Are your daily choices leading you on a direction to greater success and fulfillment... or are you in danger of being harmed by not paying attention to what's going on around you?
  • Leave the baggage behind.I was amazed to learn that modern aircraft like the Boeing 777 are designed to be able to evacuate everyone on the plane in 90 seconds-as long as the people aren't carrying any luggage. A few people tried to get off the Asiana flight with some carry on baggage, but most knew their lives were more important than any material possessions. Too many of us move through our day carrying all kinds of mental baggage-worry about things out of our control, anxiety about unfinished tasks, or even thoughts about strained relationships. When we choose to handle these things and get them off our mind, or realize how distracting they are to being present in the moment, we are free to move more quickly and clearly through our day.

In all this celebration of the survivors, I would be amiss if I did not say how heartbroken I was about the two teens that lost their lives. May their loss remind us of the need to make the most of every moment.