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I had dreams, expectations and plans. But all ended when a black curtain covered my world. At 31 years old, a retinal disease brought complete blindness. And hope for happiness faded into the fog of fear.

I looked through the window of life and glanced at the only thing left: the ability to make choices.

And how sweet. The freedom to make choices was the gift wrapped in promises for a new tomorrow. For the good choices brought a colorful glimmer into my darkness.

And in that physical darkness, I chose to see the best of life. I discovered these choices that dispelled the sound of sadness and added a melody of joy into my days:

Often, what you see has nothing to do with eyesight, but with what the heart chooses to hold.

What you dream has little to do with what you learned, but everything to do with the passion you embrace.

The plans you have don’t involve the path ahead, but the steps you choose to take.

The lessons you learn don’t have meaning, until you choose to teach others what you know.

The amount of love you need isn’t important unless you choose to love the way God loves you.

The mistakes you make will haunt you until you choose to forgive other’s errors too.

The climb to the top will be lonely, until you choose to cheer others along the way.

The friends you make will be just people, until you choose to enrich their lives and turn them to the gems that adorn your own life.

Obstacles you encounter will stop you until you turn them into tools that sharpen your tenacity.

Pride will deceive you until you taste the truth of humility.

Gloom will overcome you until you choose to control your thinking.

Challenges will discourage you until you tap into your creativity.

Self-pity will win, until you choose to help a friend in need.

Hunger for wealth will bring despair until you first choose the richness of God’s love.

Loneliness will taunt you, until you choose to see the beauty you hold inside, celebrating who you are

Your words will echo into emptiness unless you choose to express kindness.

Facing adversity will sink your ship until you’re anchored with courage.

And finally, the legacy you leave will fade into the horizon of time unless you first choose to cherish that which you cannot see. To relish in treasures money cannot buy, to delight in moments too quickly passing by. Choosing to savor the “I love you’s” you often hear. And to choose to accept a life sprinkled with inevitable broken dreams, failed plans, mistakes made. But in the end, no matter the sad or happy moments, the valleys and mountains, with rekindled passion, you still chose to see the best of life.

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Although completely blind at 31 and touched by unthinkable tragedy, Janet Perez Eckles has become a best-selling author, international speaker, writer, columnist, radio host, personal success coach, master interpreter and Christian ministry leader.

Janet’s skills as a personal success coach have helped thousands soar to personal triumph. A free 30-minute coaching session with her is just a click away:

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