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So Much For New Year’s Resolutions. We all seem to make them and then don’t follow through. Yes, me too! If you recall my first newsletter last year I said that my resolution for the new year was to send you one and only one newsletter and update each month. Sounded easy and reasonable. Then March, 2020 came along and the pandemic hit. Instead of sending out newsletters talking about speaking and other adventures I saw speaking events drop to zero and suddenly I was looking for other ways to generate an income while adjusting to a new lifestyle of no travel, not even out to the grocery store and other simple local places. I wrote updates as I could, but the one-a-month commitment went away. So, what is the lesson here? Not even the easiest New Year resolution might stand. We all put too much on these so-called resolutions and then we wonder why they fail.

NOT MY ADMINISTRATION. Check out this video.  Ass many of you know, I speak a lot on the subjects of Teams, Teamwork and Trust. This is my first video in the new year on the subject. It is NOT a political video, but I think ALL of our leaders should consider its content.

Let’s move on. I created a new video as mentioned above? Yep. That’s part of what happened to me last year. I learned more about creating them as well as creating other additions. The past several months have been educational for me. I am even now recognized by ESpeakers.com as one of their Virtual presenters. Check it out HERE! And yes, I have begun to see increases in upcoming opportunities which is great.

BLINDED BY FEAR, (or not). Over the past several months I began to realize that there was more to life than just speaking and telling my story. I realized that although I talked a lot about how and why I was able to escape from the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 I have not been teaching others how to accomplish what I did. As I have discussed many times, I chose not to be too afraid while walking down the stairs and even running away from Tower Two on that day. I recognize that, especially now, there are lots of us with lots of major fears. So, I began working on a course and coaching program that I call BLINDED BY FEAR. As with many things, even my course and teaching project have taken a direction change. Susy Flory and I have just begun working on a book that will teach more than I ever could in the course I planned. More to follow on this in the future.

WEB SITE UPDATE! If you haven’t visited www.michaelhingson.com lately, I hope you will do so now. Although we still have some work to do, the site has been updated, ESPECIALLY WHERE ACCESSIBILITY IS CONCERNED. In November of last year I found a most innovative and easy way to make my entire website accessible not only for blind people using screen readers, but for all persons who may have a disability. This is extremely important as now not only the Department of Justice here in the United States but the World Wide Web Consortium as well have determined that full accessibility is appropriate and important. Now, here in the United States as well as in several other countries, it is against the law for websites to be inaccessible. Read elsewhere in this newsletter about what I have learned, how I made my website accessible and how everyone reading this can easily and inexpensively make their websites accessible too.

THE BIGGEST CHANGE OF ALL. I mentioned above the changes I made to make www.michaelhingson.com accessible. Later in this news letter you will read all about accessiBe. For now, I want to tell you that earlier this year I was invited to join accessiBe, the company, in the senior management position of Chief Vision Officer. Yes, I still speak when invited, but now as I begin again to travel and tell my story I also have the honor to help educate people in a more substantive way about the need for internet access. This new position is fun, intellectually rewarding and already it is helping me meet and make new friends. How great is that? More on accessiBe later.

CONCLUSION. Was I right question lots of updates question let me say that Karen, Alamo the guide dog, Stitched the cat and I are doing well. As I love to tell people, Instacart and Grubhub “are our friends”. We made a decision early in this pandemic not to let fear overwhelm us. We have worked to stay safe and move forward in as strategic a way as we could. One thing we decided was that it was better to stay in and avoid as much as we possibly could any interactions that would lead to our getting Covid-19. The science really is clear. Wearing masks not only protects us, but it protects others. Also, staying in and away from groups helps. We didn’t go to any parties or any gatherings of any size for Christmas or for New Year’s. Karen and I now have received both of our Pfizer vaccinations. Even so, we choose to stay safe at home. We have now gone to one family gathering which was held outside and where most people also had been vaccinated against Covid-19.

As I said, we decided not to let fear overwhelm us and to recognize that while it is hard not to interact much it is safer to avoid contact when we can. Besides, reflecting on the updates I have given you here, as you can see I have been working to learn a lot and I’m now beginning to put that knowledge to work. Oh yes, there are those who knew a lot more about some of the things I’ve mentioned here than I and they knew about these things earlier. However, each of us has gifts, but each of us can learn new things as well. In no way has life been dull for us during the pandemic.

I’ll have lots more to talk about in future newsletters. I hope that you will find the material I will be presenting in this one to be helpful to you. As always, feel free to reach out with any questions or thoughts. Have a safe and good life moving forward. As Whoopi Goldberg says, “stay safe, wear masks, wash your hands and stay away from crowds”.

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