Blind Ambition

Accountability Contribution Resilience




Key Point: You can be blind and paint in vivid colors. I simply love John Bramblitt‘s paintings. This Texan artist captures color, shapes, light, texture and meaning like it comes from his soul. And I believe it actually does. According to a recent blog in, by the time Bramblitt was 30, seizures had rendered him completely blind, sending him into what he calls “the deepest, darkest hole” of depression. “All of the hopes and dreams that I had for my life; all of the plans for what I would do after I graduated school were gone. I was not only depressed, but in mourning. The life that I had, along with the future that I was planning, was dead and gone,” he says. “I felt like I had no potential; that basically I was a zero.”

For more than a decade now, the inspirational artist has received several honors and been the subject of much media attention for his gorgeous paintings created in spite of his so-called handicap. “In a way, I am glad that I became blind,” Bramblitt says. “This makes more sense when you stop thinking about adversity as an obstacle, and start viewing it as an experience—something that you can learn from and grow from.”

Recoding artists Pitbull and Ne-Yo have a song out called “Time of Our Lives,” and while I’m not sure I agree completely with all their recommended courses of action, as they pound out their lyrics, I love their third verse: 

[Verse 3 – Pitbull:]

This for anybody going through tough times

Believe me, been there, done that

But everyday above ground is a great day, remember.

And I’m reading Peter Bregman‘s Four Seconds. Bregman suggests we numerically code problems by severity, (for example, life threatened by war is a 10, a life threatening disease a 9)… You get he drift by the time we get to our “BIG” problems; they’re in a little more perspective.

This blog is dedicated to all the people I love and know and my readers who may feel tapped out, wrung out, in “Holland” way too long (see my previous blog), and just feeling s#!tty; no matter the reason. 

Character Moves: 

  1. Be inspired by Bramblitt… We can get out of deep depression and when we view our obstacles as an “experience,” we reframe where we are it. WE ARE NOT in competition to what we read on Facebook or see on Instagram. Those are snapshots in time, NOT representative of a whole life. Our living is exclusively ours and not for the judgment of our parents or friends. If we follow the Character Triangle; do it now, be kind, and give more… How can we really be “wrong” or “unsuccessful?”
  1. Just friggin’ PAINT! Remember what the great poet Pitbull says, “everybody above ground is a great day… Remember.”

Color blind in The Triangle, 


P.S. Please check out Jeff Hanson, an 18-year-old prolific Canadian painter who is also blind. It’s a WOW!

One Millennial View: Guys like Bramblitt truly do help you put things in perspective. An old college friend recently took a trip to Africa. When her family’s first of four connecting flights was delayed (with only a short layover between all of them), I got a text saying, “Well, we can’t go to Africa anymore.” Uh, what? That’s it? Because of an hour delay at the start of her journey, she was convinced the whole two-week dream vacation to Kenya would be scrapped? I remember that attitude making me sad and frustrated. Of COURSE the whole trip wouldn’t be cancelled, there would just be a few inconvenient, unexpected variables (an overnight layover in Houston, to be specific). I’m fortunate enough to have a pretty optimistic point of view with just about everything, but I know not everyone can see it that way… Especially if the hurdle is at the very start of a huge trip. In the end, I think if we roll with some punches and take a deep breath, we can likely figure out how to “make it to Africa” (like my friend eventually did). 

– Garrett

Edited and published by Garrett Rubis