Lessons I Learned From Conquering Death
Posting the TED talks last week (specifically Ric Elias) got me thinking about my own near-death experience almost two years ago. I got into a car accident that should have gone horribly wrong, but somehow I’m here today.
It had been raining all day and the pavement on the highway was soaked. I was rushing to get home and traffic was moving well, so I felt comfortable pushing the speed limit. Then, before I knew it, I saw a wall of brake lights as I rapidly approached a pocket of dense traffic. When I tried to slow down, another car cut me off and blocked me in my lane. I had nowhere to go and hydroplaned out of control.
I will never forget the next few seconds of my life. My car slammed into the rear bumper of the vehicle in front of me and literally threw my car spinning through the air. I sat back in the chair with my seatbelt on, and as I waited for impact all I could think about was, “Shit, I’m dead.”
I landed on a large embankment on the side of the highway. I hit the ground, spun into a tree, and spun again into a metal fence in someone’s backyard. The entire car was totaled and crushed around me. I sat in shock for about 30 seconds before I opened the door and walked out of the wreckage. I was then rushed to the trauma center by ambulance where I had numerous tests and examination done.
After two hours of x-rays, ultrasounds, and a CT scan, however, they found absolutely nothing wrong. No scratches, no bruises, no bumps, no broken bones, no whiplash, no marks of any kind. The staff said they’d never seen an accident that bad and for the person to come out without serious injury or death — a damn miracle. Even the paramedics on scene admitted when they pulled up to the car, they thought “This is going to be bad.”
I wanted to share this story not to show that I’m some kind of bad-ass, not to brag how I survived unscathed, but to share the most important lesson I learned from all this. A lesson that forever changed my outlook on life:
“Carpe Diem” – Horace, Roman Poet
That quote was spoken over 2000 years ago and it still stands true. The concept that life is unexpected and you never know what will happen, so start living today. Do what makes you happy and achieve the life you’ve always wanted. Don’t complain about how everything sucks and you’re not where you want to be. Do something about it.
“Go for it now. The future is promised to no one.” – Wayne Dyer
There’s no shortcut on the road to success – it takes hustle and persistence. That’s the secret of how most of the world’s successful people have made it. They didn’t let their fears deter them from following their dreams and they busted their ass to get where they are today. They worked harder than their competition and pushed themselves until they reached their goals.
- Afraid of being social? Push yourself to talk to new people.
- Terrible posture? Consciously remind yourself and fix it.
- Overweight and out of shape? Work out and eat right. Your body deserves it.
- Want to be a good musician? Practice long and hard.
- Want to date a great and interesting woman? It won’t happen sitting around. Go out and find her!
The unforeseen happens every single day. Stop the excuses, stop the procrastination, stop the complaining, and go after what you want. You choose your own fate. You can sit back each day and expect great things to happen or you can go out and make those things a reality. The question I ask you is:
Are you ready to change your life?