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It is impossible to predict all of the challenges that life will throw our way. There is absolutely no point even trying to predict and prepare yourself for challenges that haven’t occurred yet. What is important is that with every challenge that you do face, resilience is built, lessons are learnt and opportunities arise.

At age 16 I lost 98% of my eyesight to a rare genetic syndrome, Lebers hereditary Optic Neuropathy. This sudden and traumatic event turned my world upside down and crushed all of my childhood dreams in an instant. This is by far the greatest challenge I have ever faced and there was absolutely no way of seeing it coming. I mean, I couldn't see anything after 'it' happened either, let alone the fact that I was losing my eyesight

The loss of my sight presented me with a range of different challanges that I was forced to learn the hard way. It was a rollercoaster journey that I was on, day by day adjusting and adapting to life with low vision. With every small challenge that I was able to overcome came another that seemed so much bigger. However, without realising at the time, this was slowly but surely building up my resilience for bigger challenges to come in the future.

Living life without being able to see with my eyes has taught me a lot of lessons. Although I lost my vision at age 16, I have discovered True Vision. I have been forced to see in a different way than I ever had before and have now realised that what you see is not what you get. I was no longer able to rely on my eyesight to provide me with information and so I began to see myself, the people around me and situations I was in much differently. No longer was I able to have pre-conceptions about anyone or anything. Being unable to judge a book by its cover helped me see from the inside-out instead of from the outside-in. Discovering True Vision and the power of our perception has been one of the most empowering life lessons I have learnt and I would never have learnt this without being hit with the challenge of losing 98% of my eyesight in the first place.

Seeing with True Vision has opened so many doors and presented me with opportunities to achieve goals I may never have set for myself if I had not lost my eyesight. True Vision has allowed me to have self-confidence despite being blind as well as the ability to identify qualities in people around me that can help me achieve those goals. Crossing the Kokoda Track, Water ski racing at 140km/h, competing in Spartan obstacle course races and travelling independently to help others discover True Vision for themselves are all things I would never have been able to achieve or may never have even considered without the challenge of losing my eyesight.

Be thankful for the challenges that come your way. What can be built, discovered and achieved from overcoming a challenge is much greater than the challenge itself. Discovering True Vision as a result of losing my eyesight has been incredible and I am passionate about helping discover their own True Vision because I truly believe you do not need to lose your eyesight to see. So, believe it or not, I am thankful that I lost my eyesight at age 16 because of what has occurred since and how it has shaped who I am today.

Find out more about Ben Pettingill

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