If you have been following my blog for very long; then you know I’m all about taking action. My core belief is to do what I can as well as I can today and then do it better or do more tomorrow. But I know so many people who are waiting for things to be perfect, so I thought I would share some of my recent experiences and how the mistakes I made not only didn’t crush me but turned out to be even better than I had planned.
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Happy Accident No. 1
The first one is from last week’s video.
I had decided that it was finally time to start recording videos and posting audio for myself as the blind blogger in hopes of jump starting my coaching business and bringing in some opportunities for speaking engagements.
If you are at all like me, the first time you do something new you want it to be perfect. You want to appear professional and show people what kind of person they will be dealing with. Or in the case of a podcast you want to give future viewers and listeners an idea of what to expect from your upcoming episodes.
So, I made a plan. I prepared what I wanted to say. I decided what song I would use for the intro. I connected my headset. I tested the sound level. And I recorded the episode.
I did everything right but turn the lights on. 🙂 For those who don’t know, when I say I’m totally blind; that’s pretty much what I mean. I can only see enough to tell if the lights are on or not by turning my head and looking directly at the spot on the ceiling where the light fixture is. I forgot to do this even though I knew better. I also failed to check the light switch to find out if it was in the on position.
So, I recorded my video and uploaded it to youtube. I stripped the audio and posted it to podomatic. I wrote the blog post and started sharing it online. It was only then that I found out about the problem.
People couldn’t see the video
People started messaging me about my first episode of Leading You Out of the Darkness. The ones who could see it said that there must be something wrong with their internet or youtube. It was my friend and blogging mentor Adrienne Smith
who realized the problem and gave me the answer. She said she could see me but it was very dark. And that’s when the light bulb went on. pun intended but not planned. 🙂
Now, I could have gotten mad at myself. I could have ranted about what is a blind guy doing recording video. I could have said who would want me to speak to their group after seeing I couldn’t manage something as simple as making sure the lighting was good. In spite of the fact that I have recorded other great videos before I could have said all these things to myself and more.
But another thing my friends and followers know about me is that I am one of the most optimistic positive people anyone is ever going to meet. I have become this way because I have learned to look for the good in life. I have practiced the art of searching for and finding the positive in any person, situation, or event.
Living my message
So, I left the post up thinking lets just see what people think of what i did say. I felt strongly that it was a solid message in spite of the mistake on the lighting. And I thought that by leaving it up people can see that I live what i teach them to do. The first video wasn’t perfect, and episode two wouldn’t be either; but I knew that I would get better as I do more of them. And maybe it would encourage people to see my progression and transformation.
People still listened
I was impressed to hear that so many people watched or listened all the way through. They did this because they are my friends and family online, and they wanted to support me. Some of them even watched two or three times hoping to find some positive elements that they could share with me.
They liked my voice
A couple of my friends commented that I have a very soothing voice just the kind of voice they would want to hear on the other end of the phone, skype connection, or google hangout should they be looking to hire a coach. This was great for my ego, and i think it bodes well for my future as a professional life goals coach.
Did I do it on purpose?
A few people suggested that I may have even done it on purpose. They said with a title like Leading You Out of the Darkness I may have thought that recording in low light would make a statement getting people to envision my doing just that taking them by the hand and leading them.
But I’m far too honest to claim I did it on purpose. It was what I like to call a happy accident. I certainly didn’t plan to do it that way. I wanted my first episode to make a statement. I find when I do anything people are impressed that I’m doing it as a blind person. And when I do something really well, then they are blown away by what the blind blogger is achieving. So, if anything I was shooting for better than perfect. I didn’t get there, but that won’t stop me from trying every time I press record.
How it effected episode two
Actually, I think I was effected by this mistake more than I thought I would be. I say that because while recording episode two I not only had the lights on but recorded it during the middle of the day. And I also took far many more attempts before I was happy with the result. I usually only need a few tries to get a video and audio I’m satisfied with. This time I was up around 70 attempts before I pressed export.
Like I say all the time the key is to continue to make small improvements on a daily basis. If you keep taking the small steps eventually you will get there. You just have to accept that falling down is part of the process and not get mad at yourself or beat yourself up when you do. Juts keep getting back up and keep moving forward.
A step of faith
To show my belief that I would get better and that people would want to hear my thoughts. I submitted my audio feed to Itunes
And thankfully they have both approved my podcast. So, now you can subscribe to hear me being my uplifting self on your smart phones or other mobile devices. Isn’t that awesome? 😀
Happy Accident No. 2
I want to share one other experience where things didn’t turn out exactly how I planned but the result was as good as if not better than what I had in mind. It concerns the very first blog post for the blind blogger.
Yes another first time went wrong. I think we can both see a theme here. Yes, you aren’t ever going to be perfect but first times are going to be full of mistakes. Successful people learn from their mistakes. Unsuccessful people wallow in their failure and refuse to try again.
I had fought the idea that I was an inspiration for a long time. Me and my friends online had discussed it. They finally convinced me about a year ago that I have an important story to share and that people need to hear it so they can take action in their lives and become the person they were meant to be.
Yes we are getting close to the first anniversary for my new site and coaching business. I was finally convinced so I signed up with blogger and wrote my first post entitled I think I’m ready to be an inspiration.
Well, at the same time I was working on a new listing for an awesome park train ride in canada. I had a lot of photos that my friend Chelsea Stark was helping me to edit, label, and watermark. Somehow a picture of this ride’s train engine got posted to my blog instead of the image of me in the black shirt with the Mr. Midway logo on it that I had intended to use.
I don’t know if it was a problem with the software I use to write and upload my blog posts or if I just switched the file names; but it happened. I have this huge picture of a train engine on my blog post. Again I didn’t know I had done it until the comments started coming in.
The comments were excellent
And when people started commenting most of them didn’t even mention the train picture. Most of them were proud of me for finally accepting my role and starting the new blog. They commented on my courage or on the quality of the writing. I got as many replies to that post as I have for anything else I’ve written for the blog.
A few wondered why I didn’t start on Word Press knowing that if it were as successful as they thought it would be that I would eventually need to move it over later. it turned out they were right about my not liking blogger and outgrowing it or at least not wanting two blogs on different platforms.
Did I do this one on purpose?
Again people asked me if I had done it on purpose. A lot of people remember the old children’s book called The Little Engine that Could where the train engine made it up a big hill by continuing to say I think I can I think I can. So people naturally thought I was being cute and using that idea and the train engine photo to make the connection in readers minds.
Nope, I didn’t plan that one either. I actually tried to fix that one. I removed the photo and uploaded it again. But I ended up with the same photo. I decided that this was God or the universe trying to tell me that it was pretty special just the way it was.
Now again, I could have gotten down on myself. I was struggling with the idea of being an inspiration. In spite of having a successful blog on my other site, I could have easily said Max this proves you were right you are just a guy trying to make a living. I could have thought how am I supposed to motivate anyone when I can’t even get my first post right. I could have thought a lot of things. I could have even deleted the post or even deleted the blog. But here again my experience with finding the positive served me well.
Thanks to a lifetime of overcoming obstacles and constantly having to adjust to changes in my vision; thanks to being raised by a positive can do family; thanks to lessons I learned in scouting and in running the family carnival; and most importantly thanks to all my friends and fellow bloggers online I managed to move forward. I did the best I could and continue to do that every day.
You have had times in your life when you have accomplished things. You have at least one past success to draw on if you think about it hard enough. And you have friends like me online and in person who are ready and willing to help you along the way if you just take the first step. I say it all the time if more people knew how supportive the blogosphere was more people would have a blog or a podcast or both.
I have shared two experiences where things didn’t go exactly like I had envisioned them. I saw perfection in my mind and thought I had done everything needed to achieve a near perfect result. But things went wrong. I made mistakes. I had a few good laughs at my own expense. I commiserated with fellow bloggers who have also had those moments when their masterpiece turned out to have some smudges. I was able to overcome them and become even stronger as a result. And as it happens quite often the flawed result is just as good if not better than the perfection you saw in your mind’s eye. Its sweeter. Probably because its real warts and all as the old saying goes.
We all have challenges in our lives. Each of us has something that scares us to death. We want things to be perfect. But waiting for the perfect time or waiting until you have all the skills, talents, and other resources to get started just means nothing ever happens. I am not perfect. There are some things I put off in preference of things that are easier or less scary. But I only do that for a time. Eventually I decide to give it my best effort and see what happens.
As a life long fan of Charlie Brown and the Peanuts Gang I am reminded that no matter how many times Lucy has told him she would hold the ball only to pull it away at the last moment. That good old Chuck still has the ability to believe that today will be the day. This time he will not only get to kick it but the ball will sail through the uprights for a game winning field goal.
So, I hope you are taking action in your own life. In the comments I would love for you to share an experience with me where things didn’t turn out like you had hoped and how you either corrected them or got past them. And if you have fallen down and still haven’t gotten up again, I’d love for you to message me directly and share the experience with me. Perhaps we can get you back up on your feet and walking the path towards your own big dream or goal.
Sharing is caring
I put a lot of myself into my videos and blog posts. I hope you enjoy them and appreciate the hard work involved. If you do, then please show your appreciation by sharing with your friends, family, coworkers, and social media networks. You can share the blog post or on the youtube video. You could also leave a review on Itunes or Stitcher. Whatever you have time for will be greatly appreciated.
Well, that’s it for today. I’m tired out and ready for bed. I’ll go to sleep thinking about tomorrow and looking forward to seeing what my friends have to say about my work. I will be hoping to meet some new people and make some new friends. And I’ll be interested to see if I get any new or unusual questions.
I’ve said it before, but I’ll mention it again. I’d rather you ask me an awkward question than wonder about the answer. If its a question about being blind, then I probably won’t be able to give you a one answer fits all because there are so many different levels of visual acuity and people all deal with their vision loss in different ways. But I’ll do my best to share my own thoughts and feelings.
As I tell people on radio shows my email address tells you all you really need to know about me. It is email@example.com
So until next time thanks so much for visiting my site. God bless you and you take care out there, Max