Isaac Lidsky’s Ted Talk on living with your eyes wide open is a thought-provoking, intriguing exploration of the relationship between perception and reality. Are our lives as we perceive them in the realms of reality? Or do we build constructs of reality that are deceptive lies created by our own fears? According to Isaac; very much so. We register a great number of assumptions every day and we store them as facts in our minds, and this is harming our ability to live to our full potential.
What we see is personal
After going blind from a progressive disease, Isaac learned that in fact ‘what we see is not universal truth… What we see is a unique, personal, virtual reality that is masterfully constructed by our brain.’
It is a scientific fact that a hill appears steeper after you’ve exercised and a landmark seems farther away if you’re carrying a heavy backpack. We register our perceptions and assumptions as fact which in turn shapes our reality.
Isaac continues to explain how vision is only one way of building our reality. Another is fear. ‘Your fears distort your reality. Under the warped logic of fear, anything is better than the uncertain.’
Coined by psychologists as ‘awfulizing’, this thought process fuelled by fear is a huge driver of our realities. I’m sure I’m not the only one who slips into worst-case-scenario thinking which is usually utterly futile and self-destructive.
‘When you face a compelling opportunity to take action, fear lulls you into inaction, enticing you to passively watch its prophecies fulfill themselves.’
Having experienced this first-hand, Isaac explains how his illusions that blindness would ruin his life were a fiction born of his fears, but it was an existence he truly believed to be solid fact – initially.
How to take control of your reality
‘Your fears, your critics, your heroes, your villains – they are your excuses, rationalizations, shortcuts, justifications… Choose to see through them.’
Fear literally has the power to paralyze us from going after what we want. That’s a perceived reality affecting a genuine reality. By taking responsibility for our own true existence we can avoid a reality rooted in deceptive and disruptive fear.
Instead, ‘hold yourself accountable for every moment, every thought, every detail. See beyond your fears. Recognize your assumptions. Harness your internal strength. Silence your internal critic. Correct your misconceptions about luck and about success. Accept your strengths and your weaknesses, and understand the difference. Open your hearts to your bountiful blessings.’
Let’s stops getting in our own way and avoid living a reality of missed opportunities and unfilled potential and choose to live despite our fears and assumptions and build our own true realities rooted in gratitude, strength, and confidence.
What reality are you creating for your life?
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