Life Lessons From A Blind Blogger
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Anyone can teach life lessons because each one of us is enriched with different life experiences.
However, when it comes from someone who has to go through hardships and difficulties in life, it gains more value.
There are people who are not as fortunate to enjoy life by all means and senses. Nevertheless, these people are at par with others, or maybe even have an edge over others, when it comes to their spirit and courage of living.
I’ve the honor to host such a person on Aha!NOW as a guest blogger. He’s blind but he’s a blogger and an entrepreneur.
He’s an embodiment of strength, character, determination, and excellence of efforts.
He has become a source of inspiration as he motivates others who lose their hearts in the fight of life and the race for success.
Please welcome Maxwell Ivy, the prolific blogger from The Blind Blogger. He is sharing his pearls of wisdom that he acquired during his rich experience of life.
I admire his spirit to learn and to challenge himself. Though he started blogging off late, he is an entrepreneur for more than half a decade at MidwayMarketplace.
When he talks, he talks sense. So, without much ado, here’s over to Max to learn and benefit from his life lessons. ~ Harleena
When talking with Harleena about what to write about, she suggested the topic of inspiration or life lessons from a blind blogger. This is a relatively new topic to me.
You see, I never thought of myself as being an inspiration. I just saw myself as someone who was trying to build a business and support his family, who also happened to be blind.
Writing an inspirational post that does not focus on my website or blogging isn’t easy especially for a guy who only recently started seeing himself as an inspiration in the first place.
It’s only been in recent weeks and months that I have come around to the understanding that I am an inspiration because there are so many people out there who have no physical or mental disability and who still aren’t doing anything to improve their lives.
There are so many people, who are destined for much more. Many of them could have so much richer lives if they would just take that first step.
I want to share a few experiences or my life lessons in hopes that I can help you to move forward on your own path.
Your Health is Important
To start with, it has only been about eight years ago since I really started down this road of blogging. At that time, it was three years after my dad’s death.
My family has operated carnivals in Texas for three generations. My dad had started a small show consisting of about seven or eight rides.
All I ever really wanted to do was continue this business.
The carnival had folded due to not being able to pay our insurance premiums. We had had to join up with my uncle’s carnival.
This made things worse as we had always competed with them, and I knew joining up with them was the last thing my dad would have wanted.
I had lost my best friend and my games business was going nowhere. I would have been depressed if I had been able to admit that to myself.
Then, my mom convinced me to see a doctor. The doctor convinced me to have a sleep study. The study determined I had sleep apnea, and I was prescribed a CPAP machine.
Gradually, I started to regain my spirit. Most people do not realize how severe the side effects are for sleep deprivation.
My Life Lessons:
So, the first thing I would tell anyone who isn’t making the progress they want to is to get healthy.
See a doctor and make sure there isn’t some clinical reason for your lack of energy, passion, focus, etc. I am now a firm believer that your physical, mental, and spiritual health are critical to your success in life.
Choose Your Direction
Once I started getting healthier, I took a good hard look at my situation.
I figured out that my one remaining game booth was losing money. I then determined that there was no way to improve it without having to hire someone to help me operate it.
This was out, as the game was not making enough money to pay me and pay someone else too. I did not have the cash or credit to purchase something else.
I didn’t want to be on the Midway just to be there. Besides, the least fun thing to do in the world is to watch other people make money.
So, I decided the best thing for me to do was to park the game and pursue some other way of making a living.
I had previously helped family members sell surplus equipment. I felt like I had been good at it. I also felt I could use the skills I had used to help my dad with the bookings to recruit potential clients.
I actually had to convince my own family to let me do this. My mom was the worst.
It took about half a season finally to prove to her that there was no point in putting a game up when she had to buy my stock out of her food trailer.
My Life Lessons:
So, the lesson here is to regularly take stock of where you are and where you are going.
You need to look at the skills, abilities, and resources you have and see what you need to improve to make the next step.
Then you have to decide if these skills are the things you can learn or if there are any services that you can afford to hire people to perform.
Moreover, at the end, sometimes no matter how hard it is, you will have to decide that one dream isn’t going to happen and start looking for the next one.
Ask for Help
When I started the new business, I knew it was going to be difficult.
I had very little experience with the Internet. I knew nothing about building a website and had no money to hire someone to design one for me.
As a blind person one thing they start teaching you early on is to not be afraid to ask questions or ask for help.
I have to admit that when it came to blogging, I didn’t ask for much help in the beginning. It’s only been in the last couple of years that I have not only accepted help but actively sought it.
As a blind blogger, I depend on my friends a lot, and it sometimes takes me longer to accomplish a given task.
I know many people starting a new business are afraid to ask their friends and family for help.
Maybe I did not have a choice. More importantly, I didn’t believe I had a choice which is the same thing.
Sometimes I have to put a job off until my skills improve or until I meet someone who can explain it better or who is willing to do it for me.
My Life Lessons:
This is the most important lesson I have learned.
Are there people you know who you have thought about asking for help? Why haven’t you?
Have you thought that they would want to help you?
Have you considered that you are depriving them of the opportunity to be part of this something special you have in mind for yourself?
I probably have an advantage here because I’m blind. When you grow up losing your vision, the one thing that will be drilled into you is never be afraid to ask for help.
The only thing you hear more is be sure to look in the direction of the person you are talking to.
I have asked for and gotten a lot of help over my career as a website owner and blogger and now podcaster and Google hangout host.
Many times, I did not even have to ask, I just had to be open to needing the help. Amazingly, someone would show up to give me what I needed at that time.
I choose to think it is God. You can say the universe or higher power if you like, but you have to be open to it deep down in your heart.
And when it comes, you have to use the advice and be thankful.
So, go ahead and ask for help. Just remember to be thankful. To me the best way to show your appreciation is to use the information you get.
Take Baby Steps to Success
Harleena asked me to think about how I keep going, and what pearls of wisdom I can share with everyone.
I think it comes down to the fact that I know there are going to be certain things I cannot do for myself or that I cannot manage without help right now.
So, I figure out what I can do. I work hard at doing that job the best I can. I seek out teachers hoping to learn a way to accomplish it by myself.
But if I can’t do it, and I can’t learn how to do it, and I can’t find someone to do it for me; I just don’t worry about it. I concentrate on the things I can affect.
I believe that if you can’t do it all do what you can.
Too many people put off doing something because they get mired down in all the steps that are required and all the skills it will take.
You can’t know it all. You never will – and once you think you do, the world or the Internet will change.
My Life Lessons:
Achieving a big dream takes a constant commitment to taking small steps every hour, day, week, etc of your life.
If you think of it, then there is something you can do right now, which would put you one-step closer to your dream. Ask yourself what is that one thing, and then do it!
I don’t know if I got this from my dad. I learned many good lessons like that from him, and I can remember him often telling us not to get in a hurry and just do what we could do.
Maybe it was in scouting where I achieved the rank of Eagle Scout the first blind person to do that in the Sam Houston area Council.
They taught us teamwork, and you can’t become an eagle without taking lots of little steps that build up to the big one. I remember the courts of honor where we all got our latest skill awards, merit badges, or rank upgrades.
Never Quit – Keep Moving Forward
Maybe I learned it in college. It took me six years finally to get a degree in political science only to miss gaining entry into law school.
I then decided to go through a training program to work for the IRS. I worked for them for two years before returning to the family business.
Now that I think about it, all my life people have been teaching me to persevere. They have been teaching me to keep moving forward keep getting better. And so many people have taught me not to quit.
You will get lots of opportunities.
Some of them will be ones you wanted and actively chased after until you got them. Others will be surprises. They will come from people you didn’t expect and offer you things you didn’t even know you wanted.
My Life Lessons:
The key points are if you can’t do it all, do what you can; ask for help, and take it when you get it; be open to new possibilities and opportunities; and always remember you are only alone out here if you choose to be.
So I’m going from not knowing I’m an inspiration to someone who will write posts to encourage other blind people and even some sighted ones too. In addition, I am now exploring the possibility of doing coaching or public speaking.
My life is continuing to change and expand because I kept myself open to opportunities even those that are drastically different from my original path.
It means more work keeping two sites and two blogs going, but I’m finding myself energized by the process.
If you find yourself too tired to take action, then doing something or anything is exactly what you need.
Trust me, the good feeling you get from having done something to better yourself, will give you the juice to do even more.
That brings me to my final thought.
Your success depends very much on your positive outlook.
I am not going to tell you it is always easy to have a positive outlook. Some days it isn’t easy to see the rainbows or those silver linings everyone is talking about.
But you can find them if you tell yourself they are there and make the effort to really look for them.
I can tell you a few of the things I do that have worked for me. The first thing is – read good books. I split my reading between fiction, biographies, and personal development titles.
I often listen to an audio book while doing my exercise. If you aren’t a reader, then take a hard look at the TV shows and movies you watch or the music you listen to.
You want to take in quality entertainment. It doesn’t have to be uplifting, but it helps.
When trying to maintain a positive attitude, it helps if you aren’t polluting your spirit with lots of negativity. I only watch or listen to one hour of news a day.
I don’t spend hours listening to talk radio or following news stories on the net. I only go on social media to post status updates and to reply to email notifications.
Here again, I may be blessed by being blind because it’s not easy accessing most of the social media sites with a screen reader.
I try to avoid associating with people who bring me down. I don’t exchange emails or call these people on the phone.
And before you ask what if it is a family member who is negative, I will say that I live with my younger brother Patrick, and often I have to escape to my room or the garage to get away from him.
He is very passionate about certain news and political items. I know there are some people you can’t cut out of your life, but that doesn’t mean you can’t minimize their influence on you.
Recently, I have started to notice he is becoming more positive every day.
I learned, I lived, and I got better.
I hope you can find your own way to live, learn, and get better. I know most of this is not new.
I’m just hoping hearing it from me might help motivate you to take sustained action this time. If you want a little help, feel free to visit my new site.
I will be sharing more about my journey there. It’s also where you can hire me as a coach or public speaker.
I didn’t start out to be an inspiration. I thought I was just a carney kid who would make his living selling amusement park rides and such.
But it seems I am meant for much more. I love hearing from my readers. I especially love getting to know them. We can all learn from each other.
All of us have something to teach, share our life lessons, or show the world whether we know it or not.
Thanks so much for your time. I hope to hear from you soon. Thanks and take care, Max.
I hope you will leave a comment or share this post.
Share Your Thoughts –
What do you have to say about Maxwell as a blind blogger?
Did he inspire you? Tell us how and let us know which are your favorite life lessons in the comments below.
If you like this post by Maxwell, then please go to his blog and support him with your love, money, and social promotion.
Photo Credit: 123rf.com, Sweetonveg
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