There is no hierarchy when it comes to trauma. We all experience different levels of trauma throughout our lives and having compassion for each person we meet is one of humankind’s best characteristics.

It is sometimes difficult to demonstrate this powerful trait as we are always in such a rush to get somewhere. This puts us into a survival mode of reacting rather than pausing and listening with compassion.

Just think of your morning commute to work in rush-hour traffic and how reactive that can be.

In many ways that was the story of my paralysis. It slowed me down. In fact, if I’m honest, it didn’t just slow me down, it stopped me altogether.

It has given me lots of time to reflect on life and observe life as it unfolds.

As I was leaving my last session in Jamaica before I piled my paralysed body on to the overnight British Airways flight back to London, I had a short, passing conversation with an athlete in the gym. The gist of it was about enjoying the process, not just training for the outcome goal.

This conversation came on the back of an email I got from an experienced athlete in England about how much he dislikes his sport and that he is counting down the days until Paris 2024 so he can call it a day.

I found this sad and tried to understand if it was the athlete or the sport that had manifested this mindset.

Or maybe it was a bit of both.

I have read plenty recently In the media around human first, athlete second, but is this really happening in our sporting system?

So I explained to the young athlete about memento mori. Now this is not for everyone as it is a very powerful exercise. It is simply contemplating your mortality.

I will forgive you if you stop reading here if this is not for you, but it is something I practice now and again to remind me how lucky I am to be alive and how fast life actually goes.

It helps me distinguish between alive time and dead time in my weekly adventures and when I am setting goals, be they sporting or life goals.

I see dead time as doing things that don’t align with my top four values in life, and alive time when I am taken actions that move me closer to those values.

If you are still with me, it is worth while working out what you value most in life and ask yourself if each week you are doing things that move you towards these values or is your time spent moving further away from them.

A simple memento mori will give you all the motivation you need to put pen to paper to discover your values.

I did this a few weeks ago. I said: “Okay David, you are 45 years old. If I live to 85 years old, I have 480 months left", and as I sit finishing writing this column, it is already less than when I started it.

It made me think about the top four things I value the most and if I am filling my time moving towards them.

Health, exercise, nature and calm are my top four. And if I am not filling my actions with activities that are moving me towards these, then I am on someone else’s plan, and this is when we usually feel friction in our life.

It made me worry about the experienced athlete with the gloomy outlook and if they were just living someone else’s dream.

That’s the thing with not knowing your values, you will quickly live someone else’s.

As I left the young Jamaican athlete to ponder this, I could see a light bulb moment in him.

“Wow David, I am going absorb this and do some journaling around my values and goals to make sure they are aligned.”

This is not just for athletes.

If you are feeling some friction in life, maybe it’s because your values are not aligning with your goals and daily actions.