Accident re-wrote my view on life
A high-flying job in the city, an abundance of wisdom and a self published e-book. On first meeting, it seems that Daniel Egurube has this thing we call life, down. But don’t be fooled, Daniel hasn’t arrived here without a few good lessons learned. He speaks with me about his view on life, his e-book and the night that nearly cost him his life.
“After my university friends and I had finished our exams, we had a big party to celebrate. We got wasted,” Daniel explains. ”I wasn’t able to drive home so my friend took the wheel. The car crashed and was beyond any repair. I was in a coma for weeks —including my nineteenth birthday.
Prior to the accident in 2002, as the son of an Ambassador, Daniel led a colourful life. His education saw him attend American, International and private schools in Europe, Africa and Asia.
In 1997, Daniel’s parents decided to send him and his older brother to Nigeria to complete high school. In 2000, Daniel went on to University to study English and Literature.
“As well as studying, I was part of an up-coming rap group. We made good music and even had radio airplay. I was loving life,” Daniel remembers. “My crew smoked, drank and lived the fast life. I got caught up in that. The night of my crash I didn’t drive because I was quite drunk, so my friend did. All I remember is waking up in the hospital.”
Daniel’s friends left the crash unscathed, but the collision caused Daniel to fly through the windscreen. He incurred a head injury and a chipped tooth. Fortunately, no bones were broken.
“It was a really trying time for my family,” Daniel explains. “When my mom— who quit work to look after me—remembers she cries. She served in the local church and some of our pastors would come and pray for me in the hospital. My dad was the ever-caring man and played a very supportive and strong role for us all. My mom recalls one night she was praying with our pastor friends. She says the nurse came in and said: ‘I think I can see his eyes opening!’”
Though times in the hospital were frustrating Daniel recovered in four weeks.
“During my stay, the doctors told me that my brain was submerged in alcohol and that there was only a one in ten chance I’d survive,” he says. “The doctors were amazed at how quickly my health improved; they said it was a miracle.”
Daniel was able to go home on the condition that he attended regular physiotherapy. As Daniel’s body entered the healing stage, so did his relationship with his parents.
“My parents weren’t aware of my lifestyle before the crash. But after the accident, all that changed. They had lost trust in me and I knew it,” Daniel says. “That opened my eyes and I had to come clean on everything. I learnt to be honest and not hide. That redefined the relationship I had with my parents. I also stopped going to parties like I used to and attended church more.”
After the crash, Daniel completed a BSc in economics in the Philippines. In 2007, he moved to Dublin to start his finance career. Two years later, Daniel moved to Birmingham to pursue an MSc in international business. In 2011, he made the big move to London and took up a role working in foreign exchange. But despite all the new changes in his life, Daniel never forgot all he learnt about himself and life in the days after the crash.
“After my accident, I started going a bit deeper into philosophy. I stopped writing content of a gangster nature with loads of cursing because I realised that wasn’t me,” Daniel confesses. “I started writing about what I was thinking, how I was feeling and my views on different things. I started to become more conscious and aware of myself by reading widely, and writing in such a manner.
“I’ve sought deeper meaning for things because I understand life and death. I particularly like observing how different people live their lives; how different they can appear on the surface yet how similar they all are at the core."
Two years ago, Daniel found himself at work writing down his thoughts in a word document. After good feedback from a few of his peers, Daniel wrote and self published his first e-book, The Unobservable Life. A collection of his personal thoughts and musings from his diverse experiences and encounters.
“This book is helpful in making individuals understand that life is more than what we see and touch each day,’ Daniel explains. ‘If we just believe that, then the way we relate with people and ourselves will be different. Appreciation increases; you have a sense of peace within and your outlook becomes clearer.”
Last year, Daniel created a spin-off blog called unobservablelife.com. He uses the platform to talk about everyday scenarios.
“I wrote about playing with my Goddaughter and experiencing her fears,” Daniel explains. “When she was younger, I used to throw her up in the air. Over time, she reached a point where she would cry, ‘No! No!’ I knew that she must’ve experienced falling and feared going through that again. I linked that to us as grown-ups, and that once we become aware of pain we hold back because we’re scared. And most of the time, our victory is right beyond this point but we can’t see it and even if we can, we don’t have the energy to go beyond it.”
Daniel’s blog has taken off with people from around the world commenting on how it has made them look at life from a different angle.
Daniel hopes that the book will not only continue to challenge people, but push their creative boundaries.
“Unobservable Life is not a feel good book, it gets into your head and challenges you to rethink what you’re doing. Your creativity will only be as good as your awareness — it gets better with awareness of yourself and the world.”
Download your copy of Unobservable Life HERE
Check out unobservablelife.com for more thoughts and inspiration
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“This thing doesn’t happen in boxes. Agreed, it may be easier that way……but easier doesn’t necessarily mean effective. Using boxes to capture life is absolutely ineffective. Furthermore, most of us are actually dynamic and variant in nature……a box cannot contain our essence. Rather, it tends to be a restraint and restricts the true shine of our personality, strength and character. We are much more than limitations put upon us. Right here is an issue common to life….putting others in boxes and having to deal with the realization that the next is just like us…..too big for the box we had early created and ascribed. An ever present complication this is. “ — Daniel Egurube, The Unobservable Life.