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I Almost Died While Skydiving. Here's What it Taught Me About Resilience, Fear and Life Amazing happens when you step out of your comfort zone. It all works out — it always has.

By Kartik Jobanputra Edited by Micah Zimmerman

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Imagine standing at the edge of an open plane door, the wind rushing past you, and the thrill of the unknown beckoning you to take the leap. Skydiving is the epitome of adventure, where we confront our fears and test the limits of our courage. During one skydiving excursion, I faced a near-death experience that would forever alter my perspective on fear, resilience and the pursuit of an extraordinary life.

As I ascended higher into the sky, a mix of anticipation and exhilaration consumed me. The plane door swung open, and the rush of wind instantly filled the cabin. The moment had arrived. With a surge of adrenaline, I propelled myself out of the aircraft, plunging headfirst into the vast expanse of the sky.

The initial euphoria quickly gave way to a heart-stopping realization — my parachute failed to deploy correctly. Panic surged through my veins as I frantically searched for a solution. Fear gripped every fiber of my being, threatening to paralyze me physically and mentally.

Related: 7 Reasons Why Entrepreneurs Should Go Skydiving More Than Once

But amidst the chaos and uncertainty, a powerful realization emerged. I recognized that fear itself was not my enemy; it was my response to it that mattered. In that pivotal moment, I made a choice that would define my experience — I chose to embrace fear. I refused to let it control me. I acknowledged its presence but refused to succumb to its paralyzing grip. Instead, I channeled fear into fuel for my determination, transforming it into a powerful motivator that propelled me forward.

Through embracing fear, I discovered the true essence of resilience. Resilience is not merely bouncing back from adversity; it is the unwavering determination to rise stronger, wiser and more resilient than before. It is the refusal to allow setbacks to define our lives. In the face of impending danger, I tapped into an inner reservoir of strength. I maintained composure and clear-headedness, making critical decisions that ultimately saved my life. At that moment, I embodied resilience, defying the odds and triumphing over adversity.

This near-death experience was a wake-up call, a stark reminder of the fragility and preciousness of each passing moment. I realized life is not a guarantee but a fleeting gift bestowed upon us. It became clear that living in the present moment with unyielding gratitude and enthusiasm was paramount. I vowed to seize every opportunity, to savor each experience as if it were my last, and to approach life with an insatiable hunger for adventure.

Related: What to Do When Your Portfolio Bores You: Go Skydiving Instead

The skydiving incident became a transformative metaphor for life itself — an invitation to step outside the boundaries of our comfort zones and embrace the unknown. It taught me that the most extraordinary moments often lie just beyond the edges of our fears. By embracing new challenges, seeking growth, and venturing into uncharted territories, we discover our true potential and unleash the untapped power within us.

Moreover, this near-death encounter highlighted the profound significance of leadership in times of crisis. It is during moments of chaos and uncertainty that true leaders emerge. They remain calm amidst the storm, make informed decisions and guide others toward safety. This experience ignited a fire within me to step up and lead, to become a guiding light for others when they need it most.

Furthermore, this harrowing experience fostered a deep sense of empathy within me. It made me acutely aware of the universal nature of fear and vulnerability. We are all bound by our shared experiences of overcoming obstacles and facing our deepest fears. This newfound empathy allowed me to connect with others on a deeper level, provide genuine support and uplift those who needed a helping hand.

The lessons I learned from this near-death experience extend far beyond my personal journey. They serve as guiding principles for living a truly fulfilling and meaningful life. They remind us that in the face of fear, we have the power to rise above it and transform it into a driving force. They teach us that resilience is about bouncing back and rising stronger and more determined than ever. They inspire us to cherish each moment and embrace life's grand adventure with unbridled enthusiasm.

So, let my skydiving experience be a call to action — to embrace fear, cultivate resilience and live a life rich in adventure. Step outside your comfort zone, confront your fears head-on and seize every opportunity that comes your way. Embrace the unknown with unwavering enthusiasm, for it is in those thrilling moments that you will discover your most authentic self and unlock the extraordinary potential that lies within you.

Related: Do Effective Leaders Use Fear or Love in the Workplace?

Let this experience ignite a fire within you that propels you to live your life to the fullest, inspiring others to do the same. Embrace the adventure that awaits, and let your journey be a testament to the boundless heights of human resilience and the unwavering spirit of an indomitable leader.

  1. Seize the day: Remember that life is finite, and each day is a gift to embrace and experience all that it has to offer.
  2. You live daily but die only once – be empathetic, honorable and do the right thing. Be adventurous, healthy and abundant — it is the way to be — the universe has abundance. Don't let the scarcity mindset trick you into thinking otherwise.
  3. Cultivate empathy and honor: Foster understanding, compassion and kindness towards others, allowing you to forge genuine connections and create a world of support and understanding. Act with integrity. Do the right thing
  4. Embrace adventure: Step outside your comfort zone, explore new horizons and embrace the thrill of the unknown, for life is an extraordinary journey waiting to be embraced. Amazing happens when you step out of your comfort zone. It all works out — it always has.
Kartik Jobanputra

Founder & CEO

Benevolent by nature, Kartik is a diverse man of diverse and unpredictable choices, a serial entrepreneur. One may find him not just reading stoics or seizing the present like jumping off a plane. He is pro skydiver/licensed scuba. He doesn’t speak in hypotheticals and lives life by doing.

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