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80-0mph in 3.7 seconds: My Wealth Realisation Experience

Aug 7, 2008
As a child I was told to save my money. The pennies were saved up religiously and credited to my post office account along with my birthday and Christmas money. For all of my youth I saved my money. In the days when you could get four sweets for a penny, that represented a big investment. I looked at every pound as four-hundred sweets.

Serendipity strikes at the most opportune of times. My first official payslip arrived when I was fifteen years old. This was courtesy of me getting my National Insurance number over a month early. I was still at school whilst earning a wage at a restaurant.

On my sixteenth birthday I convinced my parents that I needed a moped to get to and from work. Reluctantly, they agreed. My need to cycle and walk far ended on that day. I enjoyed my bit of independence and wasted no opportunity to drive around on my moped. It allowed me to get places faster and I was still saving money.

When I turned seventeen my family's reticence about me riding a bike on the road led them to all contribute towards a crash driving course. After five days of intensive driving instruction, I passed my driving test and my grandfather donated his second-hand Ford Escort to my cause - I was delighted.

Back then it was all about speed for me. I became ever more curious about how fast my car was. Spending my former years in an era where nobody that I knew wore a seat belt, I still had a tendency not to wear one, despite it being law. After all, I was king of the road and I could go faster than ever before, without fear of potential repercussions.

One day I decided to go and meet a friend who lived about ten miles away. It was a nice, sunny day. I rolled down my windows and turned up the music before setting off. For some reason I also buckled my seatbelt. I have no idea what made me put on my seat belt that day but I did.

Whilst cruising down a country lane I was overtaken by a chap on a motorbike. He left me in his wake, as though I was parked. I wasn't having anyone going faster than me so I put my foot flat on the accelerator.

I rapidly gained speed and swung around country corners with a reckless regard for safety. I have little idea of exact speeds or timings as I hit my final corner on that trip but it was probably around 80mph. I only saw the motorbike in front of me and wanted to keep up with it.

Suddenly, I went into a skid at a corner laden with gravel and lost control of the vehicle. My first reaction was to keep on turning the steering wheel to rectify the situation. After a second or two of that my wheels locked and took me careering across the road and into a tree and a ditch.

Fortunately, I did not hit the tree square on - it only peeled off the right-hand, front panel of my car. The ditch, however, was enough to send my car into a spin and I felt the sensation of rolling several times.

The car finished up over thirty metres past the ditch, with broken pieces and assorted contents from the boot of the car strewn in between. It was upside down, all glass had been shattered and the back of the car and the front, passenger side had been crushed. The only part of the car not to crush was the front, driver's side. I was suspended by my seatbelt to what was now the roof of the car - without a bruise, ache or a scratch on me.

Fortunately, nobody was hurt. The cost to my pride was great and the financial cost of buying another car took my life savings of over 800 pounds. When I finally released myself from the safe clutches of my seat belt and climbed out of the gap in the front windscreen, I stared at the carnage I'd left.

That day I lost my life savings and was spared my life. I slowed down that day and my perspective changed. My body is a vehicle and I appreciate the need to ease-off occasionally, for my own wellbeing.

I believe that given the choice of my life savings and my life, I would make the same choice every time. True wealth has a value unto itself.
About the Author
Adam Shaw is a traveller, writer and Health Consultant. He has spent most of his life developing skills in working with energy, people and dynamic, personal insight techniques. He now runs insight workshops to teach this knowledge to others. http://www.advancedserendipity.com
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