I was born in Karachi, Pakistan at 10:00 PM on September 28, 1976. At least, that's what my parents tell me -- I really don't remember a thing before I was four years old.

My first recollection is of myself in kindergarten being separated from everyone else. I didn't know why I was separated, and it felt awkward and uncomfortable.

I was given my own special desk in my own special place, with my own special tools. But I was by myself, and everybody else was playing together and working with each other. Although I felt so special, at the same time, I felt so unloved.

I was being physically abused at school from peers, physically abused at home, and I was being sexually abused by two different people.

It seemed like every day some stranger would walk up to me and say "Why are you SO white??" I never really had an answer, which made me feel stupid. Some people came up to me with their hand right against my face and said "How many fingers?" which also made me feel stupid. I couldn't play sports, and so nobody ever picked me for teams. Some people tried to be my friends, but when I didn't recognize them, they thought I was being rude and that I didn't want to be their friend.

Classified as "gifted" I was offered to go to a full-time gifted school. But now I needed to take the streetcar, and found out that despite me showing my CNIB (Canadian National Institute for the Blind) card to the driver, the driver would often forget to call out the stops for me, and I would get lost, missing valuable school and social time. For this and other similar reasons, I withdrew from the gifted program.

In grade eight, I took grade twelve computer science at a high-school, and this was great on many levels. But socially, I didn't see my grade eight peers half of the time. Throughout high-school I ate lunch alone by myself. In grade twelve a female classmate asked me, "Who do you eat lunch with?" and I responded, "Nobody." "Well, you can have lunch with me and my friends," she replied. I was so stunned that it took until grade twelve for someone to ask me that that I was speechless and almost started to cry.

I spent most of my high-school years seeing a psychiatrist three times a week, skipping school and learning about technology, developing business ideas, and pursuing my personal growth journey. I started participating in extracurricular activities, traveling to a dozen countries abroad for leadership programs, and started living a more fulfilling life.

Having excellent skills and experience in technology (despite a lack of university education), I got amazing job offers in other cities. However, relocating was a huge issue for me. I had memorized Toronto like the back of my hand (going to every single subway stop at the age of 14 so I was familiar with it), but a new city, especially without the ability to drive, would take a year just to be functional.

Well, my communication abilities and speaking skills (from youth parliament and debating clubs) were exceptional so I got offered a position where I would be on stages promoting people like Tony Robbins before they came to the city. Of course, they didn't realize I didn't have a driver's license (a necessity for the position), and retracted their offer.

I needed to be a local entrepreneur first. After knocking on doors for a few years, myself and my business partner (50-year-old MBA best-friend) attained $1.5 million for one of my ideas. At age 24, I lived a six-figure lifestyle, and I felt like I was living the life of my dreams. Most importantly, I acquired and learned the skills to be business savvy, the confidence to know I can secure any amount of capital I could put to valuable returns, and the relentless desire to live a financially-free life.

The dot-com bubble burst, and technology wasn't for me anymore, so how was I going to be successful now as an entrepreneur in general? I soon realized that I needed people skills, and being a technical geek who was socially isolated and ate lunch by himself every day, how was I going to develop those people skills?

For three full years, I decided to go to as many events -- sometimes ten a week -- as I possibly could. That one sentence has a lot of depth to it. It includes many incidents where I had to budget twice as much travel time to make sure I didn't get lost and miss the event. It includes many times where I did get lost, and then walked aimlessly (before they had cell phones) for 20 minutes until I could find a busy enough street to hail a cab. It includes many times where I asked people to help me via a car-pool, and then they were a no-show and I was left stranded, missing the event.

It includes many times where I was very hungry but couldn't eat because I couldn't see well enough on the buffet-style table with bright glaring lights that were giving me a nasty migraine headache. And it includes the many times, before people would help me, taking about five minutes for people to understand the distinction of "partially sighted" as opposed to fully-sighted and blind.

I did so much personal development that nothing would stop me. I authored "A Dictionary of Distinctions" and it became a Canadian best-seller.

I leveraged my book to get on the speaking circuit, and did free gigs all over Toronto. Everybody told me how phenomenal I was, though I didn't get many big paying referrals. Speakers before me have done the free-speaking circuit nationally or internationally to get their name known, but how could I do that?

With a car, somebody can drive to five high-schools in a remote city of their province or state in one day. To do that with public transit is impractical from a time perspective (or from carrying 100 books and CD's and a credit card reader in my arms), and to take cabs exclusively, totally destroys the profit margins, if any, or multiplies the investment far too significantly. This also doesn't take into account the extra ten minutes it might take me to locate the office in a large school, or the extra five minutes to distinguish/find/ask for the right person in the office.

Frustrated, I resorted back to my technical abilities combined with my new distinctions of transformational living, producing The Love Movie. Seen by over a million people across 100 countries, this project got me 20,000 subscribers to my Ordinary Words newsletter. (Whether you have been following my life journey for five years or two days, I want to thank-you for reading.)

My passion for "inspirational entertainment" grew and I started producing several major projects. In one particular project, my partner said that "[my image] is hurting the image of his company" and therefore wanted to discontinue our working relationship. While I understood the marketing basis and arguable business necessity of that decision, it reminded me of when I was in grade six and one of my friends said to me "I don't want to be your friend because it is embarrassing for me to walk beside someone who looks like you."

So, sometime people ask me, and I sometimes question myself, "Am I really living the life of my dreams?"

This morning was like most mornings. I woke up (naturally) and did my empowering morning ritual of visualizations, incantations, and meditation. Then, I went to my to-do matrix which has about 150 items, 25 of which I am totally excited and passionate about. I start to work on an item, then the phone rings... Someone is calling me to tell me how much they love and appreciate me. I get a movie update from the UK from the guy working on my movie trailer, who also worked on one of Esther Hicks' videos. Then I get an e-mail from someone in Iran who tells me how much their life has transformed because of the work I do and never to stop doing it.

Then my breakfast gets delivered. Then there's a phone call about a another business I'm involved in that is going to the next level. Then I had lunch at my mom's house. Then another friend calls who wants to get together for dinner. Then I meet a random person on the street who tells me how much investment money they were able to acquire because of my e-mail suggestions...

The greatest feeling of all for me these days, is knowing that I've gone from a place ten years ago where I walked into a room and everybody moved away from me like I was a freak, to being in a place where I walk into a mall and most people are naturally attracted to my energy and want to be and interact with me, even if they don't already know me.

And then I have those dark moments. Even walking from my apartment to the subway for five minutes, in the summer heat, irritates my sensitive skin. In fact, if I don't put my hand over my neck, it will burn in five minutes. And so, sometimes I walk to the subway thinking, "I deserve a limousine and driver. Not because I want to show off, but because I deserve to experience the privilege and convenience of automobile transportation just as much as everybody else, especially when it is going to save me from burnt skin or skin cancer, and in the process, inspire thousands of other people." (I've had the sun-block conversation with hundreds of people, and needless to say that it doesn't work for me.)

When I visit other cities in North America (and am not as well recognized), the initial energy of the mass population is always a little surprising. Ten percent of the mass population still has energy of fear and self-concern directed towards me. The odd adult will still say something like "Do you glow in the dark?" I think to myself, "I liked Casper the Friendly Ghost better when I was in grade two, but why do I still need to deal with this level of consciousness? Haven't I grown beyond this yet?"

Sometimes I think to myself, for literally hundreds of women who have told me how much of an amazing and attractive man I am, how much of an ideal catch I am, and for all the transformational work I have done, and for the all the accomplishments I have, and for all the adversities I've overcome, why are there so few women who seriously consider being in a committed relationship with me? And why will women who are attracted to me not be willing to at least acknowledge it? Why will they even resist the consideration of them being attracted to me, like it is unconscionable?

As usual, the answers are deep within me. Everything is perspective, and I've transformed myself from night to day in so many ways. We don't get rid of the challenges in our lives; we just rise to a higher quality of challenge. I live the life of my dreams, because the quality of the challenges I experience in my life are deep, profound, transformational, and exactly as how I spiritually designed my life lessons to be.

Life is always full of ups and downs. By noticing the contrast and distinguishing the polarity of our experiences, we gain the greatest amount of pride and fulfillment. It's not where you are -- it's where you've come from, and more importantly, it's where you're going.

What are you up to in your life?

[)anish /|hmed

Author's Bio: 

Danish Ahmed is a blind, Pakistani albino. Really. That's who I am. He's an entrepreneur, inspirational speaker, and best-selling author of "A Dictionary of Distinctions."

Danish's vision is to help transform the lives of millions of people around the world through a new media genre: the convergence of entertainment and inspiration. For example, he produced "What is Love?" -- http://www.TheLoveMovie.com -- a three minute movie on the Internet, now seen by a million people across 112 countries. His greatest passion is working with projects like co-producing hit shows (such as I DECIDE and SHIFT), and now working on a feature-length reality-based biographical movie of his life called "an Ordinary Story"!