A long time ago, a family member was in a near fatal accident that continues to impact her life to this very day. As you can imagine, it was a devastating blow to our family, as it was obviously unexpected, and she was only in her early 40’s when it happened. There is a lesson to be learned in any situation especially in a case like this where someone’s life could have been cut short.

I believe that the way to live life is to use the bad things that come at us to reshape our thinking and motivate us.

If you think about it, what’s the alternative? You can get down on yourself and end up in a negative state. Saying things like “Why did this have to happen to her?” or “Why does this crap have to happen to me?”. This type of toxicity paralyzes you. Self-criticism creates limits around your goals, belittles you and erodes your peace of mind.

I know it’s easier said than done to keep out the bad thoughts, since we as humans are prone to self-criticism and negativity, but there is always something to learn from these experiences.

When something bad happens to me – whether it be in my personal life or my business – I try to pull out a lesson. I then keep that lesson in mind for the future and to help friends, partners, anyone by telling them what I encountered.

So, what is the lesson with my family member?

It’s this: Life is precious.

You are going to die.

I am going to die.

I am not trying to be dark, but it will happen.

There are days that I get caught up with returning phone calls and just working that I forget what I have in my life. I forget that life is a journey that must be traveled but not ignored for the destination.

Are you guys guilty of that?

If so, this is a reminder that we must enjoy the journey.

It’s a reminder to laugh more; To smile more; To be around those that you love and love you; To communicate and offer value to others; To recognize and honor your emotions.

For me, it’s a reminder to live my life on my terms. Not to be trapped by dogma. Not letting life “just happen” to me. But rather, controlling what will happen and directing the energy from my emotions into constructive action to make a difference in my life and in the life of those I care about.

Are you living life on your terms? Let me know what you think in the comments.