By Inspirational speaker Lorin Nicholson
As I reflect back over a lifetime of experiences dealing with the significant challenges, stresses and pressures of blindness, I often wonder how and why some of us manage to not just survive, but thrive and prosper through such daunting adversity.
To live and function in what many would consider a normal life is often considered an amazing achievement. Like the time 300 audience members clapped when I proved that I could do up my own shoelaces. Or those times when the people I’m having dinner with all go dead silent and stare while I pour my own glass of water. It’s as if they haven’t seen a man pour his own drink before… Haha! Plus I always love the look on the faces in the crowd when I rip out a song on the acoustic guitar during one of my keynote performances, especially once they realise I can’t even see the strings…Hang on, I can’t see their faces either!
Despite my outward appearance of positivity and optimism, each day constantly presents me with a series of obstacles to overcome, problems to solve and frustrations to manage. Like when the kids leave their gear right in the middle of my path; trying to determine what packet or tin is in the pantry; making sure I use milk instead of orange juice on my Weet Bix.
Then when my wife or taxi driver drops me off at the office, I struggle sometimes to navigate through the carpark, around the bollards, up the stairs, through a series of doors and occasionally find myself crashing into a brick wall or steel post that someone put in the way. Ouch! Definitely the hardest thing about being blind, that’s for sure!
Then I commence work in my relatively safe, controlled, predictable office environment, where the days puzzle continues to reveal its random pieces.
Whilst my journey is somewhat unique, I’m not the only one condemned to face life’s challenging experiences alone. We are all on this life journey, striving to piece together our own puzzle and achieve our own goals. So the question we must ask ourselves is; how do we measure our personal value and the degree of our success and achievements?
So often we question ourselves, underestimate our value and diminish our achievements, especially compared with those around us who appear to have it all together, all of the time. The daunting reality is that I will probably be blind my entire life, yet I must remind myself that my journey is my own. I cannot live another person’s journey. It’s not what you have that’s important, it’s what you do with what you have that’s important. I may not be able to change the challenges, but I can change my attitude. I can look for the positive. I can find the good. I can recognise the small successes along the way.
Even when the challenges and stresses of the day begin to cloud our thinking; amid the chaos, pressure and frustrations of everyday life, there are always positives that shine through. Like boots without shoelaces, bottles of water with a pop top lid, or that helpful person who took the time to see if I needed a hand finding my way to or from the office.
Yes I can dream big. I can aim high. But I must also be proud, and content at times, with the small milestones and achievements along the way.
As one of Australia’s most loved motivational speakers, Lorin’s optimism and passion for life is totally infectious, as he continues to inspire and empower thousands with the determination, resilience and vision to climb their own mountain. If you'd like to know more about Lorin CLICK HERE or call us on 1300 55 64 69.