#2: What I learned from my accident in Panama
Hello and thanks for tuning in to We Live to Build podcast number 2.
Today I want to share what I learned from my accident in Panama back in 2013.
Don’t worry, I’m fine now, but it was a scary time back then.
To hear the full story, I urge you to listen to the audio I shared on our About page at welivetobuild.com/about.
For those of you who are just joining us, I urge you to go back and listen to Episode number 1 first to get an idea of what we are doing here.
What I learned from the experience ultimately set me on a path towards entrepreneurship, which made me the man I am today.
My experience with my brother in Panama was amazing, until my concussion.
After being fired from my job in China, I was shocked and confused.
I had spent 10 months working my ass off to develop the HR management system, teacher training program, and curated a massive library of 1000s of pieces of educational content our teachers could quickly access from a local network I set up.
And my thanks for making the private school a better place to work and study was getting the boot without a second thought.
The sad part was the owner (my boss) was an American like myself.
So much for Americans sticking together.
But I digress, let’s get to the lesson I learned.
When the accident happened, I blacked out.
During that precious minute, I could have been run over by a car that wasn’t paying attention.
I could have broken bones, been paralyzed, brain damaged, or even dead.
But none of that happened.
Even though it took me a year and a half to quote “fully recover.” I’ve never felt like the same person in that my personality changed.
It was almost instantly noticeable, probably due to the hard hit I sustained…even my mom remarked on it as soon as I returned to the US a few days after the accident.
Despite all this, I feel like the accident made me a more patient, calm, considerate, and generous person.
I was determined to make sure I didn’t waste my second chance at life.
From that point in time moving forward, I was going to focus only on how to improve myself so I could do the thing I’ve wanted to do my whole life: help others find their passions.
I feel like Panama completely challenged my understanding of life and the world and made me become more focused and passionate about the things I love.
My accident taught me that life is short, and even if we are enjoying our life, we could die at any time, so we must make sure we not only enjoy life, but plan for our future, and don’t forget to tell others we love them.
I now tell my friends and my family and everyone that I love them. I mean I did before the accident, but now I do it more. I am more much affectionate with people because we need love and support in our life to be happy.
Humans are very social creatures, and a lot of evidence shows us from scientific experiments done over the years that isolation can cause death.
I know it’s hard for some people to be so direct with their feelings, but I hope one day you’ll come to realize that love and emotions are a wonderful thing to be shared with others, not something to be hidden and kept to yourself.
Life is long, and hard, and mostly unfair, but that doesn’t mean we can’t strive to be better humans and treat others with kindness because we don’t know what they are going through.
Think about your parents or your grandparents.
Call them, maybe they feel lonely because you’re not living with them anymore.
Call that friend, don’t text, CALL!
Call them, hear their voices, do a video call, meet them face to face if you can.
I know during this time with the virus, it’s hard to meet people, but do your best to rekindle those connections and allow people to feel your love, because what you’ll get back is their love, too.
What I know of humanity is that we all crave to be loved and accepted.
So, remember, life is a marathon, not a sprint.