It seems hard to believe, but it was 20 years ago today that my life was changed forever by one old guy’s decision to run a red light at a downtown Salt Lake City intersection. An intersection I just happened to be riding my motorcycle through at the time.
While the crash and the nine months of surgeries and physical therapy that followed were more than a little unpleasant, two decades later I can look back on the ordeal in a surprisingly positive light. Though I can’t really recommend a near-fatal motorcycle accident as a way to change your life, I can tell you that this crash course in what really matters definitely worked for me.
In order to spare you from having to learn the lessons my accident taught me the hard way, I thought I’d share some of the insights I gained from this painful introduction to my own mortality. It’s a three-part series I’m calling Crash Course:
n Lesson 1: Playing It Safe
This may seem odd coming from a guy who nearly died while participating in what some would consider an inherently dangerous activity. But my motorcycle crash ultimately left me convinced that a life without risk is not worth living. While it may be possible to avoid a certain amount of pain and suffering by never leaving the safety of your living room couch, such a play-it-safe approach looks more like existing than living to me. Understand I’m not suggesting you take crazy risks here. Just encouraging you to let your life be guided by what you want, not what you’re afraid of.
n Lesson 2: Don’t Wait
Okay, I’ll cop to the fact that I can be a bit of a procrastinator. But time and again the Universe has made one point abundantly clear to me: Life Is Uncertain. So if there’s something you’ve always wanted to do, don’t put it off. Because it’s entirely possible that that “some day” you were waiting for to finally live out your dream may never come.
n Lesson 3: No Regrets
After my accident, a very wise man told me something that still guides my life to this day. He said that, on their death beds, old people never regret what they did, only what they didn’t do. While I may not get to everything on my ever-expanding list of adventures before my time comes, I plan on doing all I can to leave this life with very few regrets.
Next Time: How To Make Hollywood Celebrities Envy You