Leadership, self-help, and inspirational books are always a popular purchase during the first few months of the new year, and 2017 is sure to be no different. In fact, after a year that saw the death of many iconic figureheads, continuing war in the Middle East, Brexit, and the most divisive and controversial U.S presidential election in memory, to name a few, it’s safe to say that many people will be seeking inspirational leadership and self-help books this year.
Thankfully, many of our motivational keynote speakers are also best-selling authors. One upcoming book that we’re particularly excited for—and mentally/emotionally in need of—is Isaac Lidsky’s Eyes Wide Open: Overcoming Obstacles and Recognizing Opportunities in a World that Can’t See Clearly. Part memoir and part self-help book, with a pinch of philosophical wisdom, Eyes Wide Open examines Isaac’s experience of achieving immense success, joy, and fulfillment while simultaneously losing his sight to a blinding disease to show us that it isn’t external circumstances, but how we perceive and respond to them, that govern our reality.
Isaac’s personal story is astounding. Inc. Magazine once proclaimed that “Isaac Lidsky may possess the most eclectic resume in entrepreneurship”. He played “Weasel” on the 1990’s “Saved by the Bell” spin-off series, graduated from Harvard College at the age of 19, and later graduated from Harvard Law School magna cum laude. He served as a supreme court clerk for Justices Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, started a tech company that sold for $230 million and transformed a struggling $15 million concrete subcontractor into an industry-leading $150 million construction services company in five years. Impressed yet? Perhaps most striking, Lidsky is only 37, and he is blind. He was born with Retinitis Pigmentosa, a rare degenerative disease of the retina, though as his bio makes clear, neither his youth nor his blindness has limited him.
Isaac was thirteen when he learned that he was beginning to go blind and twenty-five when he lost his sight entirely. He initially thought that blindness would mean an end to his early success and his hopes for the future. However, paradoxically, losing his sight gave him the vision to take responsibility for his reality and thrive.
A recent article from the Washington Post named Eyes Wide Open one of the top ten books on leadership to read in 2017, stating that “Eyes Wide Open not only shares Lidsky’s remarkable tale…It also provides life lessons on surmounting fears, avoiding assumptions, and responding to circumstances.”
Shawn Achor, fellow BigSpeak keynote speaker and bestselling author of The Happiness Advantage and Before Happiness remarks, “Isaac Lidsky has repeatedly chosen to take responsibility for his life and his happiness. In Eyes Wide Open he teaches us how—inspiring us to envision and create the lives we want for ourselves.”
Whether we’re blind or not, our vision is limited by our past experiences, biases, and emotions. Lidsky shows us how we can overcome paralyzing fears, avoid falling prey to our own assumptions and faulty leaps of logic, silence our inner critic, harness our strength, and live with open hearts and minds. In sharing his hard-won insights, Lidsky shows us how we too can confront life’s trials with initiative, humor, and grace.