It is my crazy belief that, and I know I will ruffle some feathers when I say this, the use of the word ‘accident’ is, in most cases, a cop-out. In fact, I am not sure if there is any such thing as an accident. It is just a word we use when we don’t want to take responsibility for our choices, or we don’t understand the cause-and-effect nature of this world. They’re fighting words, I know.

If you are ready to go on a journey with me this week, then buckle up, because it may get a little bumpy. This all may sound weird coming from the man who refers to himself as an accidental author. Let’s think about how we use the word, ‘accident’. I accidentally said the wrong thing. Really, was it an accident? Did insulting words just randomly jump out of my mouth? I think not. I had a car accident. Was it really an accident, or was someone not paying attention on the road or to the traffic? I accidentally dropped and broke a plate. Accident, schmaccident, I was distracted. I am an accidental author. No way, I made a choice and though it may have been unlikely, it was definitely not accidental.

You may not believe this, but about 2 minutes after I had just started writing this blog, a friend called me on the phone. I asked her how she was and her exact words to me were, I am not so good, I have recently had two car accidents. I had to hold back my amazement and I asked her if she was okay, she said she was. I then asked her about each ‘accident’, and she explained the first one happened when someone incorrectly entered a roundabout and sideswiped her. An accident, really? No way, the person driving the other car was not concentrating, so it was not an accident, it was inevitable.

The second so-called accident happened in a VW Beetle she had borrowed. If you have ever driven a VW bug, you will know the pedals are very close together, and it requires practice, concentration, and focus to drive the car successfully. Instead of the brake, she inadvertently put her foot on the accelerator and drove into a fence. I asked her if it was okay for me to use her story in my blog. She agreed and was very open about the fact that it was no accident, it was because she was not familiar enough with the car. She said, It was not an accident, it was a lesson I needed to learn.

I was fortunate enough to meet an amazing lady this week. Her name is Eva Sifis, and wow, what an inspiration. She has a business and a website called By Accident, and the subtitle is; Brain Injury. Building a new you. We had been connected by a mutual acquaintance, and we were immediately drawn to each other as she is By Accident, and I am Accidental Author. Her story of overcoming is inspiring. She was a professional dancer and then in 1999, as a pedestrian, was hit by a speeding car which carried her 40m, then flung her onto the pavement, where she hit her head rendering her unconscious and in a coma for one month. She ultimately experienced an acquired brain injury.

Eva had to learn to live again and do all of the things that we take for granted every day. She now inspires and equips people every day to use their adversary as their greatest superpower. Stay tuned for the book she is writing, as it will impact many lives. That event changed Eva’s life, for sure, but was it an accident? The driver of that car was speeding, and clearly not paying attention and so tragically, it was not an accident, but a devastating lapse in judgement. Are you getting my point?

As I went looking for a definition of the word ‘accident’, I found this: An unforeseen event that is not the result of intention or has no apparent cause. I have to admit, that definition in itself offers us a cop-out and excuse for our choices. I don’t believe any event is unforeseen by everyone. The driver of the car that hit Eva, if aware would have foreseen what could potentially happen. This driver was definitely intentional about the speed he/she was driving and what he/she were focused on. There was and is always a cause for every single outcome, experience, or event.

The main point of my blog is that we are responsible for our actions and the consequences that arise from them. We are also responsible for how we respond to and the things we take from the circumstances that are caused by other people or external reasons. This responsibility gives us incredible power to live a life that is full of joy, meaning, and fulfilment. In my podcast this week with Clint Hatton called Big Bold Brave, I was inspired by the story of a family, rocked by the tragic death of a son and brother, that decided to live a big, bold and brave life, in memory of a lost loved one. An incredible podcast I urge you to listen to.

This blog has been quite full-on and in your face, and for that I do not apologise. My goal is to live my best life and inspire other people to do the same. That being the case, we need to recognise there are NO accidents in life. There are lessons (sometimes tough ones), there are wake up calls (often startling ones), there are opportunities (to become better), and there are gifts (to guide you to great joy). Have a wonderful week and eliminate the word ‘accident’ from your vocabulary today.