Isaac tells the audience that he's going to share five facts with them. One of those facts isn't true.
1. I graduated at Harvard at 19 with an honors degree in mathematics.
2. I currently run a construction company in Orlando.
3. I starred on a television sitcom
4. I lost my sight to a rare genetic eye disease.
5. I served as a law clerk to two US Supreme Court justices.
Challenging them he asks, "which fact is not true?"
Then (while unfolding his walking stick) he shares that, in fact, "they're all true."
Yes, Isaac once starred on NBC's Saved By The Bell: The New Class.
He then asks, "did you struggle with my blindness?" Adding that "we make assumptions about so-called disabilities." For Isaac, going blind taught him "to live my life eyes wide open."
He then challenges the audience to confront "the awesome responsibility of being the creator of your own reality."
Isaac shared that "what we see is not universal truth." stating "What we see is a unique virtual reality. That is masterfully created by our brain."
Ending on the punctuation that "Sight is an illusion."
To further his argument that our sight is an illusion he discusses studies that have proven that "The way you feel can literally change what you see." Apparently a "hill appears steeper if you've just exercised."
What you see is a complex mental construction. "You create your own reality and you believe it." He believed this illusion until it broke apart. Sharing that "Sight is just one way we shape our reality."
Isaac states that "your fears distort your reality." Fear lulls us into inaction. When Isaac was diagnosed with his disease, he "knew" that blindness meant that he would live an unremarkable life. What he"knew" was also a lie, and a fiction born of his beliefs and fears.
Had he not confronted the reality of his fear, he believes that he "would have lived it." A self-perpetuating alternate universe of fear.
So how can we live "Eyes Wide Open?" Isaac believes that "It can be taught" that our reality "is learned" and that "it can be practiced."
He shared nine ways we can create our own reality:
1. Hold yourself accountable for every moment, every thought, and every detail.
2. See beyond your fears & recognize your assumptions.
3. Harness your internal strength.
4. Silence your internal critique.
5. Correct your misconceptions about luck and about success.
6. Accept your strengths and your weaknesses (and know the difference)
7. Open your hearts to your bountiful blessings.
8. Choose to see through your fear.
9. Know that "you are the creator of your reality."
Isaac shared that he "chose to step out of his fear's tunnel into terrain unchartered and undefined." To share his life with his lovely wife and four children.
He concludes by challenging us.
- What do you fear?
- What lies do you tell yourself?
- How do you embellish your truth and write your own fictions?
- What reality are you creating for yourself?
Isaac believes that his "blindness gave me vision." Concluding, "I hope you can see what I see."
Watch the full TED talk here:
Like this column? Sign up to subscribe to email alerts and you'll never miss a post.