6 things I’ve learned by cheating death 3 times
Had I been born earlier in world history, my time on earth would have abruptly ended at 18 …… and then again at 25 .....and yet again at 27.
In truth, like most of us, we risk and maybe cheat death each day as we do normal things like drive to work, run on the road, walk across the crosswalk, fly in a plane or ride a bicycle.
We don’t know on any given day what adventures and potential tragedy could await us.
By age 27, I had cheated death in very specific ways, 3 times.
This taught me several things. Some I heeded, took note of and lived my life wiser.
In far more cases, what I learned has not translated into behavior that I practice……I practice far far less than I know.
Do you practice everything you know?
I submit to you that …..to know and not to do is really not to know!
Is that true or false?
Either way .....I’ll leave the exploration of knowing but not doing is really not knowing …….for another blog.
Let me acknowledge that I am aware there are many areas where I am yet to turn knowledge into wisdom.
I agree with Michel de Montaigne who said, “You can be knowledgeable with someone else’s knowledge, but you cannot be wise with someone else’s wisdom.”
Wisdom is more of an individual journey.
For today I want to offer 6 things I’ve learned…… and DO practice as a result of cheating death 3 (that I know of) times …...so far.
Additionally, may I assume your curiosity is just high enough that you also want to know the things I think I know, but don’t practice with consistency???
I’ll share those below as well.
I was born in 1971 in the sleepy town of Astoria, Oregon. (The town is famous as the location for the epic cult following movie Goonies from 1985. I’m proud to be a Goonies’ town kid).
My family lived for short periods in Guam and Moses Lake WA, and finally settled down as I turned 8 in the land of milk and honey (to me anyway), that being the bucolic Willamette valley in rural Gervais, Oregon. Land of strawberries, blackberries, boysenberries, blueberries, hazelnuts and peppermint. Agriculturally, if it can be grown, chances are, it grows in Oregon.
My 3 noticeable escapes of death by 27:
Age 18. I got caught in a propane flash fire out in a peppermint field. I was life flighted to the hospital with first, second and third degree burns on my face, hands, legs, just about everywhere a cut-off pair of jeans doesn’t cover. Crazy enough, I did survive and sustained virtually zero burn scars.
Age 25. Burst appendix. Emergency surgery, left with some very extensive scarring internally as well as externally. The scars mess with my mojo still, but again, happy to be alive!
Age 27. Gall bladder gone bad. Removed.
Each one of these events was traumatic for me and shoved life and its fragility right in front of me to take stalk of.
What dodging death three times by 27 taught me:
Suck the marrow.
Most of our fears are not founded in truth.
Anything is possible.
Hard work works.
Desire is kingpin.
These 6 things defined:
Suck the marrow. I borrow this term from Henry David Thoreau. I love the term.…. and I submit that the term is ALL in the eyes of the consumer. Meaning, sucking marrow is the yummy part of the bone …..and the degree of marrow you suck can only be determined by you for you by you. Not me for you or you for me. Make ‘it’ .....whatever it is for you…. what you pursue, remembering to keep fear at bay ..…whatever fear is for you.
Live deliberately. I again borrow this term from Thoreau. Deliberately means intentional, conscious and purposely.
Most of our fears are not founded in truth. Period.
Anything is possible. I offer the formula (AP = d+D x HW). AP = Anything is possible. f=function. d = desire. D= Discipline. HW = hard work.
Hard work works. (this assumes you are also working smart).
Desire is kingpin. On a scale between 1 and 10 with 1 being no desire and 10 being high desire, if I don’t desire something at least an 8,9 or 10 on the scale, there is risk for chickening out.
Are you still reading this article?
If so …..here is the list of things I’ve learned because of cheating death 3 times …. but don’t practice as well as I’d like.
People don’t think about you as much as you think they think about you …..so put yourself out there and take risks. Don’t fear looking dumb.
There’s always those out there who want to pull you down, won’t forgive you or are just going to be turds, period. Forgive them and keep going.
Discipline pays off. Period.
Learning, reading, education (however that shows up for you) is magical.
Knowing isn’t necessarily doing.
My way doesn’t mean the right way.
We don’t see the world as it is, but as we are….and therein can lie problems.
Bad choices made don’t mean the end of your life.
There is magic in the belief and practice of reciprocity.
You run the show…don’t allow others to do so.
Being proactive makes the difference.
You create your world.
We can do more than we think.
We can achieve goals we didn’t think we could.
We must fight against the inclination that we are not built for discipline, but for novelty and excitement.
Exercise really is a drug. It is.
You can fail and get back up…and you must.
Writing is therapeutic…call it whatever you want…and write a book or blog or journal or whatever.
By re-teaching, you really do learn so much more.
Whether you have cheated death or not yet needed to, there is much to learn in life …. And even more so, there is much to practice in life …...for most of us practice far less than we know.
Challenge: Pick an area where you know, but don’t practice …… and take it on …...with intensity!