Some people consider skiing to be a dangerous sport, which leads to accidents.  But what’s the true cause of these accidents?

A recent survey by law firm Irwin Mitchell of 1200 British skiers put their accidents down to a range of factors. The top 5 causes given by people surveyed were:

  • Going too fast on the slopes (27.5%)
  • Lack of experience, practice or training (23.5%)
  • Fault of another skier/snowboarder (20.3%)
  • Collision with another skier/snowboarder (17%)
  • Bad terrain (17%)

And it can look like these cause accidents, but these are all consequences or effects of something else.

For any of these to be true, they would have to be true all of the time e.g. 100% of skiers who go too fast have an accident, or 100% of skiers who lack experience, practice or training  have an accident.  Clearly this is not true.  In research, the phenomena is called the Streetlight Effect (or the Drunkards Search!):  looking in another place because the light is better there.  Or put another way, focussing on what turns up, rather than where it comes from.

So what’s the real cause of these accidents that explains the consequences 100% of the time?

Frate of mind – or what was going through the skiers/snowboarders minds just before the accident.  I bet if you asked each of the 1200 people questioned in the survey that whatever was on their mind showed up. I have friends teaching this same understanding to prisoners as I do with skiers and the prisoners get this real quick!  Hence, their misunderstanding is why they are in prison.

If you think your thoughts are real, then you will act them out, and the behaviour (accident) will show up.  Having an understanding that it’s just thought – and not at a conceptual or intellectual level (nothing changes when that happens) – means you don’t have to act it out, and the accident doesn’t show up.

We are designed to naturally self-correct, returning to a neutral state of mind, the moment we understand we’re revving up our own minds.

Skicology isn’t about processes, or tricks (such as positive thinking) that’ll put you in a positive frame of mind.  There’s nothing that can do that. Just hearing and understanding that your thinking in the moment shows up if you take it for real is enough to allow your natural self-correcting mechanism to kick in.  And nature hates a vacuum.  So, as one thought falls away, it’s naturally replaced by another.  Trying to force another thought (e.g. a positive thought) just clogs up how you are already designed to operate naturally.

The Head of International Personal Injury Law at the Irwin Mitchell who commissioned the survey, Clive Garner says “our research and interactive guide on the slopes is part of a campaign to raise awareness of injuries and the impact they can have on people’s lives, so that we can try to reduce the risk of people suffering accidents”.  And the biggest way to reduce the risk of accidents, is understanding the true cause of them, as I’ve set out here.  Looking at what shows up, because the light is better there, means that people will have more accidents and whatever is done as a consequence of that mis-understanding means accidents will keep showing up.

However, understanding the true cause of accidents is the biggest and simplest way to prevent accidents.  And any actions taken as a consequence of that, will naturally reduce accidents.

As Einstein said: nothing happens by accident

If you’d like to experience more of this understanding and reduce your likelihood of an accident (or another injury if you’ve had one) then book your first Skicology session here

Bon ski!

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