I was reading a book this morning where the author was talking about a near fatal car accident they had in their early 20’s and about how they’ve used this experience to inspire others, delivering key note speeches and so on. It got me thinking about the fact I often play down the experiences I’ve had in my life, partly because I’ve never wanted to be the poor me kind of person, but also because my work is about the people I coach, not about me, it doesn’t come from ego, however I also know that people want to work with people they can connect and identify with.
I’ve had many different significant traumas in my life, each of which I aim to turn into a positive somehow and I like to think I do this through my work, however, maybe now is time to start sharing a bit more, because maybe it will inspire others too. As someone commented to me earlier today, my trauma has given me a great appreciation of life and the people around me and that is special.
The reason this story got me thinking, is because I went through something similar, it was a rainy evening, Tuesday 10th July 2001, I was heading home from a Norwich City pre-season friendly at Dereham Away, I was in my early 20’s and I too had a near fatal car accident, and it changed my life.
I remember waiting for the emergency services to arrive and cut me out of the car, somehow managing to stay calm, I was incredibly lucky as an Ambulance just happened to be going by and the Norwich City Doctor was also one of the first on the scene. Being cut out of the car was pretty scary and it took a really long time as you can imagine, while I was waiting, the lovely lady paramedic waited inside the car with me, holding my hand the whole time and I remember asking her if I was going to die and hearing something along the lines of ‘we aren’t sure yet…’ it wasn’t what I was expecting, but I took it pretty well, as let’s face it, there wasn’t a lot I could do about it. The other words which are stuck in my head are ‘I don’t care what you do, just get her out now…’ I knew then that this was getting pretty serious.
Luckily for me, they did get me out, I had many broken bones, including two broken legs and a smashed up hand, but I survived and I feel incredibly grateful for that. The recovery was long, I had to use a wheelchair sometimes and crutches for a long time, 6 months or more, so long that I started to doubt if I would ever be able to walk unaided again… it is funny what your brain can tell you.
So why am I sharing this?
I think nearly dying gives you a different perspective on life, it teaches you that life can be short and it is a precious gift. It made me brave, determined, motivated and driven, it also taught me not to take anything for granted and it taught me to value now and what is important in life.
It made me start living life more fully and if I wanted to do something, but there was no one to go with, I went alone, life is too short to wait!
It made me follow my dreams, I travelled the world alone, created two businesses which I love and I worked hard to achieve the things I really wanted. All because I’ve chosen to live my life as fully as I can and on purpose, not let it drift by passively, my main driver is happiness and fulfilment and I help others with this in my work.
When you nearly die you realise you can’t just sit back and wait for things to happen, you need to take action and be brave in pursuit of your dreams. Just before Covid, I was about to fulfil my next dream of travelling the world while remotely running my business, something I had been working towards and creating for many years, it almost happened and I will always know I took that brave decision to do that, but I’ve also got on with life here in the meantime, making the best of now, whatever that may look like, I believe having a dream and a plan is important, but we also have to be flexible too.
When you almost die, you learn to say yes more than no!
So using my experience to inspire you, I want to ask you three questions: Firstly are you happy? Secondly are you living your life fully and on purpose? And lastly what is it you really want to say yes to?
As always, please do get in touch with any comments, I love to hear from you, or if you would like to see how coaching could support you to live a happier more fulfilled life do book your free discovery call.
Until next time,