05/30/2009 05:12 am ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

The Ups and Downs of Living with Learning Disabilities

When you have the problems and issues that I do -- being born with a hole in my heart, living with VCFS and dealing with learning disabilities -- and you seem to be doing more failing than succeeding, sometimes you start to wonder if you should keep trying. You ask yourself what's the point? Why should I even bother? Well the fact is you should bother, because quitting is not the answer. The minute you fold your hand you lose in the game of life. One of the many points in living life is to prove people wrong to a certain extent, and to prove righteousness in yourself.

That is the reason I am starting a new weekly feature on called Triumph and Screwup of the Week. Each week I will write about something that I have done like leaving my keys in New York and having to take a taxi to work, and realizing once I got to work that my laptop was locked in my desk drawer, with the keys I needed to open that drawer in, need I say it...New York. I'll write about these "screw-ups" to show that they happen all the time to people with and without learning disabilities, and I've found that one of the best ways to live life is to have a sense of humor about them. But I'll also write about my triumphs: the obstacles I've overcome, the successes I've had, even the little things, like the fact that after I wrote one of my most recent blogs I spell-checked it and didn't find a single error.

One of the hardest things for people to do is to take criticism, and the reason why people take criticism so hard is because people tend to give criticism in a very harsh way. All criticism is in reality is when someone observes what another can improve on. People tend to take it in a way that they are the most terrible person in the world and are most of the time in denial about everything being said to them. Criticism is a way to learn to do better, at least that's how I see it. You may not like what you are hearing, but before you start to get mad you should think about it first and see if there is any truth to what the critic is saying. Truth lies behind everything that is and is not said.

I believe when somebody wants something they will get it. This is the first time that I have really worked hard at something that I have been wanting to create for so long, and after nine long years I am finally done with my book and things are finally falling into place -- they are finally happening for me. I have now had an article in Newsweek magazine, been on The View and Good Morning America and Morning Joe, and hopefully there will be many more. And I am sure there will be some criticism about my book. But I'll be ready to roll with the punches, and keep learning and maintaining my sense of humor along the way.

I hope you all will add your own triumphs and screw-ups to the site, and we can share our stories with each other and offer encouragement to one another as we all go through life.

Submit your triumphs and screwups!