Staring death in the eyes can wake you up to life.
A colleague of mine is the CEO of a high-tech company in Palo Alto, California. Tom has a black belt and teaches kids karate on weekends. He lived for two years in China and speaks fluent Mandarin. He loves going to museums and learning about just about anything.
I was inspired for many years by how Tom was able to do so much with his life. I always wondered where he drew his energy from. A few years ago, I decided to ask him.
“I used to sit at home and do nothing all the time. I failed most of my classes in high school and was very involved with drugs,” Tom replied.
“One day when I was seventeen, I was driving drunk and crashed straight into a tree at forty miles per hour. I was in a coma for three months. The doctor told my family he didn’t think I would survive. I spent two years in a hospital bed wearing a body cast, not knowing if I would ever walk again.”
“That gave me a lot of time to think,” Tom continued. “I vowed that if I ever got out of that hospital, I would make the most of my life.”
Anthony Silard is the president of The Global Leadership Institute and the author of the Simon & Schuster book The Connection: Link Your Passion, Purpose, and Actions to Make a Difference in the World. To receive Smile, It's Monday every other week in your inbox and a free copy of Anthony's new audio CD, "The Surprising Source of Your Passion", enter your email here (1-step only).