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Friday, March 3, 2017


4.5 stars out of 5

First and foremost, I'll describe this book as a brief autobiography of a remarkably talented and successful individual. From the first page to the last, I was captivated and amazed at what the author has accomplished. Beyond that, I couldn't agree more with his premise that "Your life is not happening to you. You are creating it...tell yourself that others control your choices and you will choose not to choose."

He should know. He and his two sisters were born with retinitis pigmentosa, a degenerative disease of the retina, which was diagnosed when he was 13 years old. By age 25, his eyesight was totally gone. Instead of bemoaning what he no longer could see, though, he concentrated on controlling his own destiny. In this book, he describes how others can do the same.

Much of that process, he says, comes with the realization that we don't see with our eyes, but rather with our brains. "Living with your eyes open and living eyes wide open are very different," he posits - and outlines how readers can follow his example. The most meaningful take-away for me, I think, is that, "You will never control tomorrow, but you can always choose whether to act today, and how."

Each chapter has a different focus. Chapter 2, for instance, deals with tackling fear in the midst of crisis  (I can only imagine how terrified I'd be at the mere thought of losing my eyesight); Chapter 4 discusses the elusive line between "acceptance" and "surrender." Interspersed throughout are pearls of wisdom such as (one of my favorites), "When you assess your self-worth with reference to the judgments of others, you make a fundamental and costly will never find self-esteem in others' eyes."

Everything is laid out in an orderly, easy-to understand fashion, although the explanations in a couple of spots were so complex that by the time I finished reading I'd forgotten what the point was (that said, keep in mind that at my grandmotherly age and keep-the-show-on-the-road Aries mentality, I tend to have the attention span of a flea). I'd also expect that outer-directed folks who believe the world is conspiring against them and there's nothing they can  do to change things won't get it at all.

As for me, I found the book uplifting, motivating and well crafted. I thank the author and publisher, via NetGalley, for the opportunity to read the book in exchange for an honest review. 

Eyes Wide Open: Overcoming Obstacles and Recognizing Opportunities in a World That Can't See Clearly by Isaac Lidsky (TarcherPerigee, March 2017); 315 pp.

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