Imagine waking up blind. One moment you can see, and in the next moment, your vision is made up only of childhood memories. At the tender age of 16, this became a reality for Ben Pettingill when overnight he lost 98% of his eyesight to a rare genetic syndrome, Leber's Hereditary Optic Neuropathy.
While the shock, then the grief of losing one's eyesight cannot be discounted, once Ben processed his new reality, he realised that he had to make a choice that would define the rest of his life. Ben believed that a blind man could see, and his miracle was the activation of ‘True Vision' and 'Limitless Vision'. Vision enabled through purpose, perception and empowered decision making.
Like many people living with a disability, Ben is faced with challenges every day. He is also faced with choices every day. We all have the power to be intentional with our energy and we can create positivity from adverse situations. In Ben's case, harnessing the right mindset, and developing resilience has been paramount to his happiness.
Ben is the guy who water-skis with direction through an earpiece, coach’s basketball teams without being able to see the ball, and has even driven a car! He is not limited by circumstances and his potential is infinite. Ben is also the co-founder of Challenge on Purpose, who form teams to participate in a variety of challenges that tests both you physically and mentally whilst raising funds for organisations close to your heart.
He is currently the only legally blind person in the world to have competed in a Spartan obstacle course race, untethered, and water-skied the Southern 80, the fastest water skiing race in the Southern Hemisphere.
Overall, Ben views life as an oasis of opportunity to learn and grow. While he may not be able to see physically, what he can see is that ‘life has no limits' other than what we impose on ourselves, and it is up to us to create the life that we ‘see' for ourselves.
As a speaker, Ben's energy is infectious, and it is hard not to walk away feeling empowered to live your best life, regardless of the obstacle’s life throws your way. Ben is passionate about sharing the tools he has used to build resilience and to ‘see' opportunity even in the face of adversity.