To Be Blind & Grateful
As a life coach and speaker coach, I’m a big fan of using stories and examples to illuminate and inspire. They make the abstract more tangible and personal … more relatable and real.
In last month’s newsletter, I talked in philosophical terms about how coming to the place where you wouldn’t change a thing about your life’s story can set you free. No more regrets. No more woulda, coulda, shoulda.
And no story illustrates this point better or is more inspirational than that of the great tenor, Andrea Bocelli. It teaches you and me how to face the tough times with courage, grace, and a life’s purpose that carries you through.
We recently watched the movie about his early life, The Music of Silence. It’s compelling in a number of ways.
As you may know, Andrea Bocelli is blind. He was born with congenital glaucoma that rendered him effectively sightless in one eye and able to see only a hazy outline of his world in the other … until he got hit in the face with a soccer ball as a boy and lost his sight completely.
He dreamed of becoming an opera singer. But after enduring a series of disappointments and setbacks, he became so discouraged he gave up his dream and became a lawyer.
He was even told by a professional opera critic that he didn’t have much of a voice and that he should find a job better suited to his talents! Imagine that.
There’s a lesson there for sure. Never let anyone else define who you are!
Bocelli was over 30 before his career as a singer ever went anywhere.
So, how do you imagine he thinks about his blindness and the trials and tribulations he endured?
In his words:
Every life’s a wonderful story worthy of being told.
Every life’s a work of art, and if it does not seem so, perhaps it is only necessary to illuminate the room that contains it.
The secret is to never lose faith, to have confidence in God’s plans for us as revealed in the signs with which He shows us the way.
If you learn to listen, you will find that each life speaks to us as love. Because love is the key to everything, the engine of the world. Love is the secret energy behind every note I sing.
And never forget that there’s no such thing as happenstance.
Mr. Bocelli is a beautiful human being. There’s no anger or bitterness … only a sense of divine guidance.
He’s grateful for everything that brought him to where he is now and the person he is now. I suspect he wouldn’t change a thing.
Being grateful comes in a couple of forms.
One is the spontaneous, sometimes overwhelming appreciation of the gifts given to you. It requires no conscious thought. It just bubbles up.
The other is a conscious practice, where you think about and meditate on all the things you’re grateful for.
On a personal note, I’m now at the one year mark of sitting down every day and writing in my journal 10 things I’m grateful for. I do it early. It sets a tone for the day and conditions who I’m being as I head into my work or play.
Look, if circumstances and luck were what really mattered in this life, Andrea Bocelli might have rightfully counted himself cursed. He might have understandably been angry. Indeed, the movie shows he went there on occasion.
But he came to see the world and his life’s journey as something to be grateful for … something to truly cherish.
And that’s when the door to possibility truly opened. That’s when he was able to bring the best of himself and his prodigious talents to the world.
My fervent wish is that you are able to see your life as unfolding perfectly … even when it really hurts. My wish is that you find joy and freedom and love in your wonderful life story.
P.S. If you’re not familiar with Bocelli … or you just want to treat yourself to some great music … here he is singing one of my favorite songs, the theme from one of my favorite movies … Cinema Paradiso.
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