"My head hurts really bad and I'm scared." said my lovely wife, Kat, just before unconsciously sliding off the bed to the floor.
I managed to reach her in time to slow the fall, though I wasn't quick or strong enough to stop her descent. I let her glide softly to the carpet, arranged her body so she would be comfortable, got her some blankets to keep her warm and dialed 911.
There had been no warning, no symptoms, no way to prepare. She was the picture of health, then, five minutes later, she was nearly comatose.
We all have our moments, good and bad. Unfortunately, we tend to either overlook or exaggerate both instead of accepting them as ordinary everyday life. We hold ourselves accountable for bad things that were clearly out of our control and beat ourselves up over mistakes that should be forgiven. We do the same to others.
What if you could change all that? What if, instead of regret, your life was filled with acceptance, accomplishment and understanding? What would each day be like if your focus was changed to revealing the positive rather than dwelling on the negative? Changing to be Unstoppable is all of that.
Many of us require crisis to change our behavior. The entire concept of Unstoppable Life was a result of the authors undergoing just such a cataclysmic event.
She is a physically attractive woman, even after the tenth time she's turned 39, but that is not the source of her beauty. She is brilliant. Even when her ideas are ridiculously better than others, she makes people feel they are important and necessary. She possesses more understanding and love than a warehouse full of teddy bears. She is no saint, none of us are, but she is as close to an angel as I have ever come.
Just that morning we attended a weekly board meeting. She felt great. No issues or pains. We arrived at the meeting slightly early for Kat . . . which meant on time. She enthusiastically announced Earth Day. She is Green certified, or certifiable, your choice. She was vibrant, witty and together; typical Kat. Now, there she was, on the floor, trying but unable to communicate.
Dispatch sent an ambulance in a matter of minutes. They rushed her to emergency. An attendant, nurse or doctor, I don't remember which, congratulated me on quick action. He said that had she arrived fifteen minutes later she would probably not have made it. Their preliminary evaluation showed her to be in very serious condition with bleeding on the brain. They did what they could, relieved pressure on the brain and reduced bleeding, saving her life, then shuttled her to a nearby hospital where a neurological team was standing by.
After taking a cat scan, the neuro team decided to forgo immediate surgery in favor of wait and see. She was somewhat stable, but definitely had a hemorrhaging brain. Without further tests they could not determine the source of the trauma. The next morning, after running more tests, they discovered the root of the problem, and were strategizing what to do. My beautiful lady started deteriorating rapidly. They had no choice but to perform emergency brain surgery.
All the things we planned; the trip to Europe, visits to family, seeing the Grand Canyon, and jet-skiing vanished within minutes.
We could have done them, but work commitments, both hers and mine, always seemed to take priority. Business replaced outings, shows, and lunches together. Time was a commodity much shorter in supply than we had thought and once spent, time cannot be retrieved. Truth is, someone else could have done the work we instead chose to do. But, no one could spend quality time together for us. We ignorantly believed there would always be a tomorrow full of hours that we would spend together.
That assumption proven false, petty arguments no longer were important. . . where and what we ate, whether or not we worked out. Should we buy a new car to replace my aging steed? How could we expand and protect our business? Everything that seemed so big yesterday, was suddenly a molehill today. Priorities changed instantaneously.
We would not repeat the same mistakes. We would put more value on the here and now and less value on tomorrow . . . there might not be one. Instead of planning for work we would embrace fun, love and family . . . but only if she is still alive.
The above was written by Steve Sanders in the Intensive Care Unit waiting room, while Kat was undergoing emergency brain surgery.
Kat's near death experience forced the couple to reevaluate their own lives. Priorities became crystal clear. What seemed important before was far less important now. Activities, plans and relationships that had been taken for granted took on new, more important, meaning.
The couple of twenty years started writing notes, to make sure they would not forget their new direction. They did not want to backslide to the familiar. Writing it all down assured that they would not forget. After a few weeks of scribing, they realized they had written a book.
Kat and Steve Sanders, authors of the Unstoppable series, are ordinary people. They do not have doctorates or degrees in psychology, but they have been compelled by circumstance to change in ways that make life better. Successful entrepreneurs themselves, they were forced to recognize that monetary and business successes are a very small part of successful living.
They hope to pass on a bit of what they learned in hopes that others will learn to live better lives without having to experience similar calamity.
As Kat always says, "If the information helps just one person, it is all worthwhile."