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  • Writer's pictureOlivier SE Courtois

Five Lessons I Learned From Being Immobilized After My Accident

In early January, I broke my ankle and thumb on my way to the airport. As I mentioned in a previous article, I was immobilized with two casts and then had surgery. Six weeks later, I was able to remove the casts. Still, I can't walk. In two weeks, I should gradually be able to put my foot on the ground with the help of crutches. This episode allowed me to meditate on the concept of resilience, and here are some valuable lessons I'll take away beyond the physical healing.


1 - Acceptance and paradigm shift: there's no point fighting the situation. Accepting the accident as a divine message or, at least, as an opportunity allows you to put constructive rather than defensive mechanisms in place and to let go. This paradigm shift enables you to approach the problem as a game and a challenge. It brings new ideas and perspectives.


2 - Adaptability and alternative strategies: immobility affects all aspects of daily life, both private and professional. It requires a radical lifestyle change. At first, everything seems insurmountable. Then, it gets easier. You find unsuspected resources and alternative strategies for coping with almost any situation, even the most mundane: shaving, climbing stairs, carrying objects with two crutches and a hand splint, compensating for a client's absence, etc.


3 - Patience and perseverance: time horizons change dramatically, but determination remains. Immobilization has forced me to review my plans and priorities and to see them in a more distant dimension. Urgencies are no longer urgent. This is an opportunity to cultivate a paradox: how to stay focused on ambitious objectives while releasing pressure on deadlines. You realize that too much pressure on deadlines creates the opposite of the desired effect.


4 - Gratitude and humility: in situations like these, you realize that independence doesn't exist; we're all interdependent. This doesn't mean you can't look after yourself to avoid dependency, but "independence" is only possible thanks to the collaboration of others: my spouse, a neighbor, relatives, or colleagues. So you learn to appreciate what and those you take for granted and develop the muscle of collaboration. You're also more available to help others with the means you have.


5 - Goal Setting: I owe all my positive energy to my ability to set professional and personal goals. This horizon of possibility triggers a quest process in me. Everything is a pretext to prepare myself for the next stage: the next quarter, the current year, the next three years, etc. Of course, the future never happens. But the pleasure is in the preparation, game, and conquest as much as in victory!


Thanks to life, and thanks to you for reading!

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