How do the expectations of others affect us? If we were told that there is an unlimited possibility in the world, how would we approach life’s hurdles?

In this article, you will meet a man who has become a great friend of mine through the Ever Widening Circles project. I can assure you he is one of the most motivational speakers I have had the pleasure of knowing.

As a toddler, Daniel Kish had to have his eyes removed because of retinoblastoma, a form of eye cancer. Despite this hurdle, Daniel never stopped pursuing his outdoor passions, which include climbing trees, hiking, and riding his bike. So, how does he do it?

Image: One of our favorite motivational speakers , Daniel Kish. riding a bike without sight.

Daniel Kish, completely blind and a retinoblastoma survivor, riding a bicycle using an entirely novel way of “seeing”. Courtesy of PopTech // Wikimedia

Daniel Kish is a friend to us all because his life’s work literally kicks down the door to what is possible.

If you have a brain (and we’ll operate with that safe assumption today) then Daniel’s example points to the fact that our capabilities are surely boundless.

From a young age, he began using sound to navigate the world with a form of “echolocation”.

Essentially, by making clicking noises with his tongue, he taught himself to “see” what’s around him.

It seems the real estate in Daniel’s brain that would have been used for visual information gradually formed in a novel way. The data it collected from a unique source was made useful—which really isn’t that surprising considering what we now know about the brain and its ability to adapt.

This way of using the brain is easy to find and is used with great success all throughout the animal world. So, with that in mind, it’s hard to understand why this capacity hasn’t been fully embraced by humanity as well.

Image: A collage of animal pictures including a bat, dolphin, hawk and tanrek that all use echolocation to better navigate the world, just as Daniel Kish, does.

Source: Wikimedia

But Daniel is teaching people all around the world this skill (he’d like to teach more) and we are all due for an “awakening” to this possibility for the visually impaired everywhere.

Daniel and I spent a couple of hours on the phone one winter night two years ago, and a friendship blossomed almost immediately. I came away knowing I had just spoken with someone who will eventually be known around the world as a “thought leader.” I simply could not believe his insights are not part of every blind person’s way of living in the world.

Since that first conversation, we have had many chats, from some unusual places around the globe. He is just as nice in person as he seems in the following PopTech Talk; authentic, extremely smart, and enthused to share his life’s work with anyone who will listen. It has been a privilege to get to know him.

Here is Daniel Kish from the PopTech stage, teaching us about the way he sees the world, and how his parents raised him to live freely and fearlessly in pursuit of his passions:

Via: Poptech 1

This PopTech Talk is not our only introduction to Daniel Kish’s work. He has been interviewed and written in over 150 major publications and broadcasts reaching over 2 billion viewers globally.

In fact, he was also featured in one of my favorite podcasts, Invisibilia. The podcast is truly a worthy listen, so if you have some time to spare, listen to this following piece from the episode titled “How to Become Batman.

These two pieces (part 1 and part 2) share details on how Kish’s unique upbringing in a world of possibility—instead of fear—enables him to live a life of hiking, climbing, bike riding, and teaching.

Have a listen:

Alternatively, can we stop putting expectations on others that limit their view of possibility?

If you are interested in diving deeper into questions like that, I’d suggest starting on the website that Daniel founded. He’s created an organization called World Access for the Blind!

I found the page explaining their unique approach extraordinarily relevant for all of us. Here’s some sound advice…

Image: Father and son on a go cart

Source: Dr. Lynda

Forget Everything

Forget everything you’ve heard about “the blind”, everything you think you know about blindness – even if you consider yourself to be a “professional.” Blind people have plenty to say about “professionals” … Especially, forget anything you’ve heard or read about “Ten Things To Do If You Meet A Blind Person.” This advice will probably just cause more awkwardness. Most of it is made up by sighted people anyway, and doesn’t necessarily represent a blindness perspective.

There’s absolutely no way to second guess the situation by imposing any pre-formed ideas. Even if you’ve known other blind people, don’t think you somehow know what to do with every blind person. The thing that often most sets us on edge is to hear “it’s okay. My (mother, sister, cousin, friend) was blind.” Blind people are as different from each other as any two people on this earth. There are no similarities among us that you can count on. Even the degree of vision or hearing or touch that we use can vary greatly among us. Most blind people do have some degree of vision, and even the very few of us who are totally blind may use our touch and hearing very effectively .. or, we may not. 4

I guess it’s my nature to take the 10,000-foot look on advice like that and see it as important to remember in every interaction we have.

We should probably forget everything we think we know about people from any walk of life, artificial category, or demographic.

15 minutes

Flipping Perceptions

How do you react when someone tells you you're incapable of doing something? For a lot of us, there are usually two routes we take: agree and shrink, or prove those words wrong. WCMX athlete, Aaron "Wheelz" Fotheringham, chose the latter and has spent years creating history and crushing stereotypes. Here's his story...

Read More

Inspiring stories like that of Daniel Kish can make us reconsider our “limitations”.

If you know a young person who may feel small in the face of some seemingly big limitations, share Daniel’s story with them.

We’ve most likely all had a spark of creativity and passion growing up. Did someone come along in your life and help you reveal that to yourself?

“The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your own riches but to reveal to him his own.” – Benjamin Disraeli

Imagine a world where we gave children the confidence to pursue the things they know and the skills they have innately, and then allowed the doors of possibility to remain open despite the limitations society would like to impose on us.

Daniel gives us a glimpse of what is possible when we believe in the impossible. Not a bad world!

~ Dr. Lynda

Want to see more positive news, fun, or insights? 

Enjoy a few more articles on great people like Daniel Kish by clicking on the button below!

Thought Leaders on EWC


  1. “Daniel Kish: Blind Vision.” YouTube. Poptech, 02 Nov. 2011. Web. 15 Mar. 2018. <>.
  2. “How To Become Batman.” Invisibilia. NPR, 23 Jan. 2015. Web. 22 May 2018. <>.
  3. “How To Become Batman.” Invisibilia. NPR, 23 Jan. 2015. Web. 22 May 2018. <>.
  4. “The Blindness Perspective and Our Approach.” World Access For the Blind. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Jan. 2016. <>.

Dr. Lynda is a dentist, artist, global traveler, and philanthropist who looks for potential and shares it with the world.

In this Circle

The Unexpected Ways Surfing is Helping Youth Heal

35 minutes

[ Conspiracy of Goodness ]

By Dr. Lynda

Life is tough, but it's a whole lot easier when we're around people who share similar experiences in a no pressure environment. Waves for Change is one of the organizations out there harnessing the power of sport and play to create environments where children are able to open up and heal!
Read More

Guerrilla Gardener Takes on South Central LA

15 minutes

[ Conservation & Sustainability ]

By Dr. Lynda

Meet Ron Finley; an amazing fellow who's come up with a better idea than battling over turf. How about using "turf" in a very old way! Take a look!
Read More

Why Would One Man Fill 600 Potholes?

5 minutes

[ Conspiracy of Goodness ]

By Dr. Lynda

Now here's an inspiring story of turning a personal loss into wonderful progress for all! Thousands of people die every year just because of the potholes littering India's roads. And after his own son lost his life, this father became the change the country needs. Just check out the impact he's having...
Read More

Building Futures One Plié at a Time

25 minutes

[ Art ]

By Dr. Lynda

In a place where violence reigns, girls are finding refuge in a surprising way—and it's all thanks to one amazing woman.
Read More

A Sanctuary for Costa Rica’s Strays

10 minutes

[ Animals ]

By Dr. Lynda

Territorio de Zaguates is providing care to nearly a thousand dogs that have been taken off the streets of Costa Rica. Their story is a testament to the impact the love and determination of one person can have on others.
Read More

Living Beyond Expectations: Daniel Kish

15 minutes

[ Conspiracy of Goodness ]

By Dr. Lynda

Despite not having eyes, Daniel Kish has taught himself to "see" with a human "eco-location" and he is teaching others. His story is a remarkable testament to what happens when we never get the memo about things that are "impossible" and instead make what we have work for us!
Read More

How Cecilia Chiang Changed Food in America

9 minutes

[ Conspiracy of Goodness ]

By Dr. Lynda

If you’ve ever enjoyed Chinese food in the United States, like potstickers and Peking duck, then we’d like to introduce you to Cecilia Chiang. She's the "Julia Child" of Chinese cuisine, and the story of how she changed the way Americans eat is as remarkable as her influence!
Read More

Old Cellphones: The Key to Stopping Climate Change

13 minutes

[ Conservation & Sustainability ]

By Dr. Lynda

Deforestation causes more emissions than all of the cars and trucks on our planet combined, so what can we do to stop it? Could the unlikely hero in this story be the old cell phone tucked away in your junk drawer? It is! Read on and you'll see problem-solving at its best!
Read More

Our Plastic Waste Problem: It’s Not About Perfection

18 minutes

[ Conservation & Sustainability ]

By Dr. Lynda

We all know that plastic waste is a huge problem, but what are we supposed to do about it? Turns out there's a lot we can do with just a few little changes!
Read More