Ric Elias was born in Puerto Rico is the co-founder and CEO of Red Ventures (based in Fort Mill, South Carolina) from 2000, a marketing company for online customers, ranked 4th on the Inc. 500 list in 2007, which employs more than 1,800 people and has offices in four states.
Armed with his favorite motto, “What got us here won’t get us there”, Ric Elias is constantly finding new ways to improve the company’s model, while maintaining its unique culture.
In this video, Ric Elias has more than five million views. In January 2009, he was finding himself on seat 1D on Flight 1549 (a US Airways aircraft), the plane crash-landed in the Hudson River in New York.
While nobody died due what has been described as a “miraculous” landing, the passengers were sure that they were doomed as the plane plummeted towards the water, barely clearing the George Washington Bridge. On march 2011, he explains on TED his thoughts he was having during the time the airplane was about to crash and three things he learned that day.
He has described the horrifying situation in a video uploaded by public speaking website TED, telling of his terror upon hearing an explosion and a “clack-clack-clack-clack” sound from the engines mid-flight.
“Imagine a big explosion as you climb through 3000 feet, image a plane full of smoke.”
Sitting at the front of the plane, he was able to communicate with the flight attendants who told him not to worry and that they’d probably just hit a flock of birds. However, when he noticed that they had became scared too he became convinced that his time was up. “I could see in her eyes. It was terror – life was over,” Ric Elias said.
Mr. Elias spoke of the eerie feeling of the plane falling to the ground without a sound – the engines had been turned off as the jet headed towards the river and the only words spoken by the pilot were “brace for impact”.
He said he longed for the plane to blow up instead of being smashed into pieces upon impact. The thought of dying was not as frightening as he had expected.
“Dying is not scary, it’s almost like we’ve been preparing for it out whole lives. “But it was very sad. I didn’t want to go. I loved my life.” However, he said that the situation has made him re-evaluate his life and become a better person. “I was given the gift of a miracle of not dying that day. I was given another gift of being able to see into the future and come back and live differently.”
Here are the three main things he learned during Flight 1549:
- I regretted the time I wasted on things that did not matter with people that matter.
- I no longer try to be right; I choose to be happy.
- I no longer want to postpone anything in life. That urgency, that purpose, has really changed my life.
A month later, he finds himself at his seven-year-old daughter performance:
“I realized at that point, by connecting those two dots, that the only thing that matters in my life is being a great dad. Above all, above everything else, the only goal I have in life is to be a good dad.”
After having a near-death experience, Ric Elias concluded at TED:
“I was given the gift of a miracle, of not dying that day. I was also given another gift, which was to be able to see into the future and come back and live differently. It was the perfect near-death experience. I challenge you to imagine your life if the same thing happened on your next flight.
How would you change?
What would you get done that you’re waiting to get done because you think you’ll be here forever? How would you change your relationships and the negative energy in them? And more than anything, are you being the absolute best parent you can be?”
Also, the relation with his employees within his company has change “I needed to let go of the fear of failure. In every employee meeting, I try to create a global consciousness of how lucky we are. We’ve become a very happy company.”
Watch more amazing documentaries, like: Around the World in 80 Faiths, Programming of Life, Programming of Life 2: Earth, Why We Breathe, Vanishing of the Bees, Sleep Paralysis and Ghost Visions, You Can Heal Your Life, The Shift or Living Luminaries: On The Serious Business of Happiness.