Know Your Enemy
The key foundational truth, which will be the cornerstone of the rest of this book, is to know your enemy. I mean it only makes perfect sense, right? After all, how can you fight an enemy which you have not first clearly defined?
I will use myself as the example. Unfortunately for me, there are many enemies from which I can choose. The mother of all enemies for me also happens to be the one I have had to deal with the longest– blindness. I was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa (RP) when I was only five years old. There was a family history of this disease and I had been showing signs of diﬃculty early on in my childhood by my clumsiness I exhibited. Even though I still clearly recall many of the visits to eye doctors that were associated with the diagnosis, I cannot say for certain when it was that I was oﬃcially told of my situation and the serious impact it would have on my future. I do know that I have always had challenges with my sight. Diﬃculty seeing the chalkboard and reading in school were a constant thorn in my side. I did my best to hide my struggle with humor and was probably known more for being the class clown than being the guy who couldn’t see well. Ah, if I only had it to do all over again! I would have gladly exchanged the laughter for some understanding and real assistance. I often wonder how my life would have unfolded diﬀerently had I been brave enough to take on the enemy of blindness, or back then just the diﬃculty associated with poor sight.
The best that I can recall, I was a senior in high school probably about 17 or 18 years old at the time when my parents had a discussion with me. It was this time that my parents had a serious heart to heart with me about making better choices and finding my way in a world knowing the loss of sight would continue and put me at a serious disadvantage.
I could have done much better, to say the least, to prepare myself for what was in front of me. But sadly, I did not. Denial was a huge part of my existence for much of my life. In fact, I dedicated an entire chapter to it in my first book, “Power In Perseverance.” This again, was rooted in the fact that I failed to reach out and make real connections with anyone who had already faced and overcame similar challenges. Oh, how helpful that could have been to me!
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