How My Near Death Experience Inspired Me To Reach Out To The World

This Friday will mark the two year anniversary of my near death experience. I was on my way to work like any other casual day when all of sudden my lane was cut into half by another car who had swerved into my lane. I turned left and then right in an effort to save myself but the momentum of driving at 65 mph on the highway and the sudden change in direction caused me to smash in to the left guardrail and then the right guardrail causing me to spin in a circular motion as I struggled to gain control of my car.

As I was spinning, I wasn't sure what to think. 

Is this it? But I haven't achieved anything yet!

I didn't tell my family that I loved them today. I'm not even 25!

I hit the brakes as fast as I could because I thought for some reason it would prevent me from flipping over the bridge. I also figured that if I stopped, it would somehow limit the force of impact I would get if a car was to smash into me (it was a highway after all)


I finally stopped and took a second to examine myself before bolting out of the car because I didn't want to burst into flames. 

At this point I was in so much shock and I was amazed that I was standing still. 

I had no whiplash and no injuries!

Just shock! Pure utter shock and to top it off I noticed a familiar guy walking up to me to ask if I was ok. The closer he got, the more familiar he became to me. My college friend lets call him Adam approached me to apologize profusely because he had caused the accident! Shock on shock!

I immediately lost it and started going off on him. Telling how how he could have killed me but then something strange happened in the midst of my shock. 

I realized that I was alive and that I wasn't injured

Yes my car was totaled but it was just a car and insurance would most likely take care of it. 

I was alive! I had survived! So I thanked God for sparing my life and softened my voice towards Adam and then I asked him how he was which surprised him seeing as he was the one that had just hit me. 

I immediately thought about how much his insurance would go up. How much shock he must feel as well. I stopped thinking about myself and wanted to make sure he was ok. It turns out that Adam had a faulty brake and that since it was drizzling, there wasn't as much friction between his tires and the road. Hence the slippage.

on August 22, 2012, I gained perspective and resolved to go about my life only doing things I wanted to do! I would chase after my dreams of writing and building content to inspire the next set of leaders who would be able to speak to all sorts of different types of people all over the world. My wanderlust and restlessness had been affecting me for a while at this point (after all, I am a TCK).  However, this experience made me realize that I needed to stop thinking about moving and go ahead and make the move I had always wanted to make.

I gave myself less than a year to quit my job in the software industry and jet off to New York City to pursue my dreams while getting my MBA and so I did.

Sometimes we need to step back and reevaluate what we consider important to us in life. In that moment, I realized that my car wasn't important. My life was and is important. The impact I could potentially have by telling stories and inspiring others is what matters to me. What matters to you?

Tomorrow is not promised. Yesterday is history and Today is what you have so seize your moment and go after your dreams. You never know what could come out of it. What is the one thing you have been holding back from doing? 

Tayo Rockson

Tayo Rockson is a storyteller, cultural translator, and brand strategist for change-makers on a mission to use his difference to make a difference.  He is a 4x TEDx speaker, the CEO of UYD Management, and the host of the As Told by Nomads podcast. In addition to that, he's been named a "Top 40 Millennial Influencer" by New Theory magazine. His book Use Your Difference To Make A Difference is based on how to connect and communicate in a cross-cultural world.

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