I wanted to make it $1.99, but Amazon wouldn't let me go that low. Here's why I did it.

They keep telling me I can't...

It seems that throughout my life they have always been telling me I can't.  I can't go to a normal school, I can't ride bikes or horses or climb trees or set traps or bale hay or bake pies or play hockey or snow ski or water ski jump or travel on my own or be lead singer in a rock band or rescue a handicapped person from a burning building.  They told me I couldn't, but I did!  Sure, I wasn't always world class, didn't always win the gold medal, but I could always try, and usually did more than "they" thought I could, even when my results were marginal at best.

They also told me that to be a successful, independent, totally blind, inspirational keynote speaker I should write a book, if I could.  I could, and I did.  Then they told me that if my book was going to help my speaking career I needed hundreds, if not a thousand reviews on Amazon but that I probably couldn't do it.  Well, when someone tells me I can't, I feel it is my responsibility to show them that I can, because if I can, you can, and that has always been what I want all of you to know.  You can!

To succeed in this quest, I need your help. I have the book as affordable as possible so that I can sincerely ask you to considering writing a review for me.  It doesn't have to be about the whole book but if you can review a chapter, or a picture, or a caption, or even just a title you'll be making a difference.  One word, one line, one paragraph... any contribution at all will help me help more people and that's the goal.

Speaking of more people, please be sure to like and share this post.  Maybe my $3 book can help someone in your network, and that would be awesome.

btw, here's the link, http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=B017AUT2OM



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The First Lesson of Inner Vision

Inner Vision isn't just some magical thing that jumps up and saves us in our moment of need.  If that were true then we would all already have everything we want, be happy on our terms and sleep easy every night with no worries what so ever.  That, unfortunately, is not reality in this world, and may never be totally achievable.  The reality is that we will always have challenges and always be in the heat of the battle, however, as you make more and more of your goals reality, the quality and meaning attached to the battle will improve.


The issue I want to talk about here isn't your ability to win the battles, improve the quality of your life and, consequently, your challenges.  I want to talk about the one most significant issue that most people lose sight of as they face the challenges in their daily lives. 


I find that most, in fact almost all, people are focused on the problem, while the secret to success, to progress, to that continual progress toward our ideal life is not solving the problem but being laser focused on why we want that resolution.  That is the secret question.  Why are you fighting your particular fight.


Brilliant rhetoric for those who don't have a story to tell but a fantastic launching pad to tell you a story that I hope will change how you think forever and lead you through the adventure of your life with the ability to reach those milestones that matter to you, on your terms.


Please let me tell you about my early experience with Why.


At the age of six, I was separated from my family, my home and my world when I was placed in the Ontario School For the Blind, some 550 miles from my home.  Up until then I had what I thought was a normal life. I did everything my brother did, helped my Mom, went hunting with my Dad, played with my pals, climbed trees, rode my bike, NORMAL.  Then I was taken away. 


I didn't like being separated from my life.  I had fit in.  I was part of it all and loved it.  Now I was being treated like a China Vase and wasn't me.  I wanted to be part of the real world, not this rarified existence that separated me because of some minor inconvenience like not being able to see.


Could I have explained these feelings to you with such clarity back then?  No, but that doesn't change reality.  The most important thing in my mind at that time was to find a way to go home. 


Fortunately, I was a brash, active, mischievous kid and that led to the greatest opportunity of my life, but only because it gave me a means to an end.  It gave me answer when other people asked me WHY.


In my second year at the Ontario School for the Blind I was recruited for the wrestling program.  I know now that my teachers saw it as a way to channel my exuberance but within a short time, at my first tournament in fact, I saw it as something completely different, and that made my life possible.


At that first tournament, I got to compete against kids who could see.   To me that represented the real world.  that represented the world I grew up in.  That represented, if you will, my ticket home, if I could succeed, in this "sighted" arena.


I never lost my focus of that.  Every match, every tournament, every medal, every championship, every trophy, every time I got on the mat became a chance to prove I deserved to go home, to live in the real world, to be a "normal" kid again. 


From the outside looking in, everyone thought I was obsessed with winning, with glory, with the spotlight, but that would never have been enough to keep me on top for all those years.  I had a bigger reason and staying focused on that kept me on top. 


It took a decade but I made it home, I got my chance in the sighted world and the rest, as they say, is history, not that there weren't more challenges, but I had the chance to face them on my terms.


My question to you is:


Do you know why you are in your battle?  Why do you want to achieve that goal?  How will it change your life, or the lives of the ones you love, and why does that matter?


If you have a clear understanding of the answers to these questions, and you keep your focus there, then your Inner Vision can guide you, elevate you, raise the bar in your life and give you the ability to clear it. 


Without that focus, everything will always be just a battle.  Knowing why will make the battle a quest, and that will carry you to your desired destination, and, in my opinion, prepare you for the next challenge as well.


Your world can be everything you want it to be, if you know why you want it to be that way.

The Reader Inspires the Writer

There is rarely a greater sense of satisfaction than to have someone publicly express appreciation for your work in a totally unsolicited, genuine and honest way.  This post on Facebook did exactly that, brilliantly.  I am inspired for yet another day, the mission continues...

"So, I was so inspired by Mr. MacFarlane yesterday that I actually went and picked up his book today! "Craig MacFarlane Hasn't Heard of You Either!" For those of you who don't really know me, this is a huge deal. I have not actually read a book in nearly 3 years. ( It would be 6 years if you don't include the books I was required to read in Junior High and Freshman year.) I am already on Chapter 3 and I don't want to put the book down. Mr. MacFarlane is a truly inspirational man. He shows so much pride and strive in life. He doesn't let anything hold him back from his goals and dreams. If you have not heard him speak or have not read his book, I advise doing so. He could change your life, I know he did mine. I wish I could be at least half the person he is today."

This was posted by a senior student after I spoke at Lewis Cass Seondary School in Logansport, Indiana.  The feedback from that day is becoming a tower of inspiration to me as it grows daily.  You can see this posting and the comments of so many more  at https://www.facebook.com/CraigMacFarlanehasntheardofyoueither.

I'd love to hear your comments too.

This is why I still speak at high schools

This is why I still speak at high schools.  On April 8th I spoke at Lewis Cass Secondary School and later that evening received this wonderful message  from a new friend on Facebook, Aubrey Kay Turner

Messages like this make it all worthwhile.

This guy, Craig MacFarlane, gave to school today and gave a wonderful inspirational speech. He has accomplished a lot in life. He showed the true meaning of never giving up. He also showed us that you can do anything you put your mind to. He has been blind since the age of two due to an accident, but he has accomplished so much even with his disability. He never let it get in the way. He has won a ton of awards and medals. He has met and became friends with many famous people like Steven Tyler, both Bush presidents, and Mario Andretti. He wrestled and ski's. He has a beautiful family. He is an amazing man filled with talent, inspiration, and determination. He taught us that if we put our mind to something do it and don't give up. He also taught is that we should make our own decisions. Dont do something else because they want us too. Do what makes you happy. I wish I could have heard him speak more about it. He is was very inspirational.  thanks to him. 

Why write this book...

From page 2 of "Craig MacFarlane Hasn't Heard of You Either!"

After every appearance, every interview, every workshop, every meeting, someone would invariably ask me "Where did you learn that?"  I thought my answer was always different, but I learned through the brutal honesty of my two friends, that it was actually always the same and that is where, in their words, I had so much to offer and needed to tell my story.

Actually, that is wrong.  What they said is that I needed to tell "my stories."  You see, my answer would always be something to the effect of:

{C}·         When I was pursuing the Blind National Skiing Championship I learned...


{C}·         Mario Andretti always reminded me...


{C}·         When I was preparing to jump at Cypress Gardens...


{C}·         Gordie Howe always told me...


{C}·         When I was wrestling I realized...


{C}·         When my father used to take me hunting with him I discovered...

That was when their message hit home.  I may be leading what I consider an everyday life.  I learned my lessons of success in some unique, sometimes dramatic, ways that profoundly impacted me and gave me the foundation to live this life that so many others find remarkable.  The principles of success are always the same, but the way we learn to apply them can be so totally different from one person to the next. This is not a "self help" book.  Only you can help yourself, but I do know that we learn in different ways and at different times. A message we failed to grasp in one form may totally inspire us in another. If even one of my stories can impact or inspire or just "help" one person find greater success, happiness or simply contentment, then telling my stories will be worthwhile.

I'm extremely proud of this page in my book

From page xxi of "Craig MacFarlane Hasn't Heard of Your Either!"

By George H.W. Bush

It is my pleasure to tell you about a truly remarkable person, Craig MacFarlane. I first met Craig in 1984 when President Reagan invited him to carry the Olympic torch through Washington D.C., on its way to the Los Angeles Games. Craig is a man whose own inner flame of determination, boundless energy and courage served as a point of light in countless lives. That is why we asked Craig to join our Reagan-Bush All Star Team during the 1984 Republican National Conventions. Each time, Craig carried with dignity and clarity, his inspirational message that through hard work, dedication, strength of character and purpose, we can all achieve our goals. Despite being blinded at the age of 2, Craig's accomplishments in a wide variety of sports are incredible. He exemplifies the kind of indomitable spirit that makes America great. Craig's career has continued beyond athletics. Craig MacFarlane has taken his message of P.R.I.D.E. - Perseverance, Respect, Individuality, Desire and Enthusiasm - to almost 3,000 high schools and countless businesses. Barbara and I are proud to call Craig a friend. I invite you to meet him yourself through the pages of this book and discover the fire within that can touch and inspire us all.

George Bush
41st President of the United States of America

Connecting to the Future

I have long been a proponent of the need to connect with people on their level, in terms and methods they understand and appreciate (especially when those are different from your own style) if you want truly inspired performance and results. I think this is just as, if not more, important when it comes to teaching and inspiring the next generation. Sir Ken Robinson illustrates this brilliantly, and hilariously, in this wonderful TED talk. I hope you can take the time to listen to it all but if your time is tight, just listen to the last 5 minutes, you'll get the message.


Another Reader Review

From Facebook via Terry Ableson

Well friends, I am reading Craig's new book for the second time, and am as inspired this time as I was the first time. I first met Craig in high school and we reconnected in the early 1990s when our sons became friends  Our families have spent many hours on hockey road trips and in arenas over the years, and I have often taken Craig's "abilities" for granted.

Reading this book again, has reminded me of so many good times; waiting for him at the end of his very long driveway back of Desbarats, and never thinking twice of how he made his way down the snow-filled drive by himself (or even considering going up to help him); asking him to tie Nate's skates day after day, and laughing when Nathan would shake his head yes when Craig asked if they were tight enough, and hearing Craig say "you trying to confuse the Blind guy again Nathan?" Craig has always been able to do everything and more than most people I know!

I have also been fortunate to hear Craig share his story at numerous events and have booked him myself for our provincial association (Ontario Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators), and as the keynote speaker at our Sault College Convocation among others. Each time I listen to Craig speak, I am reminded that ordinary people can do extraordinary things when they put their minds to it!

Craig's story of challenges, triumph, inspiration and success continue to inspire me . Each time I read one of his books, or listen to his story at an event, or just spend a few moments catching up, I am reminded of his integrity, persistence, enthusiasm, courage and passion.