What an inspiration it is to hear people who have come through major adversity, have a very positive outlook on life, and have a major influence on people’s lives.

When we meet and hear these people it raises questions –

“How would I deal with the situation if it happened to me?”

“How do I deal with difficult situations?”

“How am I seen by others?”

What sort of role model am I?”

I had the privilege of meeting and hearing Steve Cunningham speak at the Annual Coaching Circle Conference in April, 2012.

Steve became blind at the age of 12. He previously was a highly active person who loved his football. Over a matter of months he lost his sight which was devastating for him.

As a result he was very low in spirits and lacking in confidence. But with the combination of support from his Mum and others (including his Uncle who took him to a Premiership Football Club training ground where he met the Goalkeeper), an innate inner strength and resilience, he transformed into a highly driven and positive person.

Towards the end of his school years he was told that it would be appropriate for him to have a career in something like basket weaving or selling match sticks. However, he wanted to go to college and do a Business Diploma. So against his school’s advice he did the Business Diploma and passed.

With determination and not taking ‘no’ or ‘you can’t’ for an answer he broke barriers. Steve changed being perceived as ‘Steve with a disability’ into ‘Steve with great ability’.

He went on to set a world blind land speed record in a V10 Dodge Viper, a world off shore power boat record, and to become the first blind man to fly around the UK in a light aircraft.

Steve has passion and drive. He cites’ (excuse the pun) his strengths as being positive, not giving up, and being a listener. He cites’ his negative points as not always listening, a bulldozer, being impatient to get results and not knowing when to stop.

For more information about Steve and his business see his website – www.blindvision.tv it is well worth a visit and he has certainly influenced me.

Steve’s Mum once said to him – “You’ve gone blind for a reason.”

Following on from that quotation here are some things to consider that came out of the session for me and may be helpful for you to reflect on –

What is your passion?

What or who is your inspiration?

Who is your support or what is your support mechanism?

What sort of role model are you to your family, friends, colleagues, and people you meet?

Do you have self belief?

Do you have commitment?

Actively listen and don’t always take ‘you can’t’ as an answer.

How can you and I continue to have a positive outlook and impact on other people’s lives, no matter how humble or insignificant we might feel we are. We can all have a positive impact on others.