Episode 237 – Unstoppable Lecturer and Dynamic Motivator with Dr. Rebekah Wanic

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Dr. Rebekah Wanic is all that and more. She grew up in Chicagoland and decided to major in Psychology during her undergraduate work. She continued her studies after moving to San Diego where she still resides today.

Rebekah and I talk about a number of topics from making and being responsible for your choices to reading Braille. Really, reading Braille as you will see turns out to be a quite fascinating and thought-provoking topic.

Dr. Wanic offers many thoughtful insights and absolutely wonderful life lessons we all can use. She is the epitome of unstoppable as you will see. She has faced challenges, and she has chosen to work through and overcome them.

About the Guest:

Dr. Rebekah Wanic is a dynamic motivator who thrives on pushing her boundaries and those of others. Fueled with a passion for hard work and building relationships, she has worked with students, entrepreneurs and individual clients in the U.S. and abroad as a university lecturer and mindset psychologist. Originally from the Chicagoland area, she graduated with a B.S. in Psychology with University Honors from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign before moving to Southern California. There, she earned her Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of California, San Diego with an emphasis in applied social psychology studying the role of power in relationship health and the influence of mindset on social comparison outcomes.
Passionate about inspiring the success of others, she has worked as a professional development trainer and adjunct faculty advocate and the internal mindset coach for a company supporting emerging entrepreneurs. Currently, she is a university lecturer, conference speaker, and blogger in addition to working with individual clients on mindset mastery. Dr. Wanic has taught over 16 different psychology courses, ranging from introductory to graduate level. She has taught courses at several different colleges and universities, including National University of Singapore, Nevada State University, Columbia College South Carolina and several community colleges in the San Diego area. Dr. Wanic’s home university now is University of San Diego and she also teaches courses at San Diego State University and Nova Southeastern University.
Dr. Wanic is also an avid writer. Her work has appeared in academic journals and online publications, including Times Higher Education, Minding the Campus, and Spiked Online. She maintains two blogs, PsychSkeptics and Optimization Notes, aimed at social critique through a psychological lens and self-development. She has a novella set to be released early next year and is working on the manuscript for her next book. She and her twin sister recently created a podcast, Unwarp Reality, designed to help uncover the bias and manipulation in the mainstream media. In addition to her work, she enjoys being active with a healthy balance of reading, watching sports, and just relaxing.

Ways to connect with Dr. Rebekah:


About the Host:
Michael Hingson is a New York Times best-selling author, international lecturer, and Chief Vision Officer for accessiBe. Michael, blind since birth, survived the 9/11 attacks with the help of his guide dog Roselle. This story is the subject of his best-selling book, Thunder Dog.

Michael gives over 100 presentations around the world each year speaking to influential groups such as Exxon Mobile, AT&T, Federal Express, Scripps College, Rutgers University, Children’s Hospital, and the American Red Cross just to name a few. He is Ambassador for the National Braille Literacy Campaign for the National Federation of the Blind and also serves as Ambassador for the American Humane Association’s 2012 Hero Dog Awards.


accessiBe Links


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Transcription Notes:

Michael Hingson ** 00:00
Access Cast and accessiBe Initiative presents Unstoppable Mindset. The podcast where inclusion, diversity and the unexpected meet. Hi, I’m Michael Hingson, Chief Vision Officer for accessiBe and the author of the number one New York Times bestselling book, Thunder dog, the story of a blind man, his guide dog and the triumph of trust. Thanks for joining me on my podcast as we explore our own blinding fears of inclusion unacceptance and our resistance to change. We will discover the idea that no matter the situation, or the people we encounter, our own fears, and prejudices often are our strongest barriers to moving forward. The unstoppable mindset podcast is sponsored by accessiBe, that’s a c c e s s i capital B e. Visit www.accessibe.com to learn how you can make your website accessible for persons with disabilities. And to help make the internet fully inclusive by the year 2025. Glad you dropped by we’re happy to meet you and to have you here with us.
Michael Hingson ** 01:21
Hi there, and welcome to unstoppable mindset. We’re back again. Yep, you haven’t lost us yet. Thanks for being here to listen, we really appreciate it. And if you’re on YouTube, thanks for being here to watch. Yes, we are on YouTube, as well as all the places where podcasts go. And you are listening to unstoppable mindset. We’re inclusion, diversity in the unexpected meet. And it’s that way, because inclusion goes a lot further than diversity does. And sometimes we talk about that. And sometimes we don’t. And we’ll see with our guest today, whether we get to that or not. I don’t know whether it’ll even come up but it did. And so now it’s here. Anyway, I’d like you to meet Rebekah Wanic. Rebekah is a very dynamic individual in a lot of different ways. She’s a dynamic motivator, she pushes boundaries. She’s an author. She’s done a lot in the world of psychology and most important of all, she lives in San Diego, California, which makes me extremely jealous. So Rebekah, welcome to unstoppable mindset.
Rebekah Wanic ** 02:19
Thank you. Thank you for having me. It’s so great to be here to have this conversation.
Michael Hingson ** 02:24
Well, I lived in Vista for six years, so I know what it’s like, which is why I’m jealous. Yes.
Rebekah Wanic ** 02:29
And I appreciate San Diego so much coming from Chicago originally. Every day, especially in the winter is a nice one.
Michael Hingson ** 02:38
When did you leave Chicago?
Rebekah Wanic ** 02:39
I moved to Southern California in 2003. So right when I finished my undergraduate degree.
Michael Hingson ** 02:48
Well, I was born in Chicago, but we moved out when I was five. So I grew up in Palmdale, California, so about 55 miles west of here. So the weather was relatively similar to what we have in Victorville. Not totally similar to what we have in San Diego, but we cope.
Rebekah Wanic ** 03:08
You get more of the extremes than we do. We’re pretty insulated here on the coast. Oh, I
Michael Hingson ** 03:13
know. I think it’s still the best climate certainly in the whole US if not the whole world. We we didn’t get the extremes in San Diego that we get here. And in the winter. We don’t get the snow because we’re down in the valley. But all the ski resorts around us get the snow. We had two inches of snow one Saturday during this last year. And it was gone by the next day. So as I love to say the kids didn’t get even get a snow day.
Rebekah Wanic ** 03:39
But then you also didn’t have to shovel Right? Right.
Michael Hingson ** 03:42
When I’m not concerned about needing to have snow. I’m perfectly happy not to have snow here. It doesn’t really make a lot of sense to do that. I mean, if we get that much snow here, it must really be bad around us. Although, earlier this year, I heard that mammoth ski resort actually didn’t close their doors for the winter. Until August 6 of this year. Like a six they’re skiing. Wow. Holy Jamali, as Colombo would say, you know, that’s that’s kind of crazy. Well, why don’t we start? I love to do this with maybe you telling us a little bit about kind of the earlier Rebecca growing up and in Chicago, what life was like and all that sort of stuff?
Rebekah Wanic ** 04:30
Sure. Yeah. So the early Rebecca I think was a malformed version of the Rebecca that exists today. I was really lucky because I have a twin sister. So growing up I always had a companion to kind of play around with and she’s super fun interesting person so we it’s kind of a built in friends to go explore places with him and I also have an older brother, but you know, because he was a boy and a little bit older wasn’t as close with us. But we did a lot of the traditional Midwest growing up things. So most of our vacations were to go visit our grandparents up north in various parts of Michigan, which was quite fun. But I growing up, I had really bad asthma. And so as a consequence of that, I had to be careful being outdoors, I had to be careful going over to friends houses that had dogs, I had to be careful with exercising and everything. So I was kind of the sick one in the family. And my sister to her credit, had to put up with a lot of we need to leave the sleepover, we need to leave this event because she’d be dragged along with me whenever we had to go. And so I don’t like the cold as we were just talking about the weather. And as soon as I was able to sort of break out of the Midwest, which was after college, I don’t think I was mature enough to move away from home for undergrad. So as soon as I finished my undergrad degree, though, a roommate of mine got a job in Torrance, California, and she said she was going to go out to SoCal. And so I just was like, Well, you know what, I think I’ll move out with you. Because I knew I wanted to go to graduate school. And California has a lot of really good graduate programs. And at the time, when I was looking at psychology, some of the top programs were out here. So I just moved out with her lived and worked as a waitress for a year in Redondo Beach. And then, luckily was accepted to UCSD for graduate school. So that’s when I moved down to San Diego. And I’ve been here ever since, with the exception of a small trip to Singapore for a couple of years during COVID.
Michael Hingson ** 06:33
Wow, that’s interesting going to Singapore, what took you to Singapore, a
Rebekah Wanic ** 06:39
job, I got a really great opportunity to teach at their National University of Singapore, which is consistently one of the top schools in Asia. So it was really fortunate to be offered the position there. If the unfortunate thing was just the timing, because I went in November of 2020. And so I was mostly there during COVID. And there was a lot of restrictions. And so it was really difficult to kind of integrate and develop, you know, a social life when you don’t know anybody. And you’re in a totally new place. But it was still a great experience, I would say,
Michael Hingson ** 07:09
what’s your sister’s name, by the way, Liz, Liz. So you’re not identical twins.
Rebekah Wanic ** 07:14
We are identical for you. But
Michael Hingson ** 07:16
you didn’t have names that began with the same letter? No,
Rebekah Wanic ** 07:19
we are not saddled with that. But all of our names are biblical names. So my grandpa was a Lutheran pastor. So my sister and I have names from the Bible, and then most of our cousins do as well. What’s your older brother’s name? My brother’s name is Andrew. So he’s, yeah,
Michael Hingson ** 07:38
that’s fair. Okay. My late wife’s relatives, a lot of the girls had middle names of Lynn. Oh, Tracy, Lynn, Vicki Lynn and so on. So on. Chelsea Lynn and Chelsea is Tracy’s daughter Vicki was Karen sister, and Tracy’s mom. But Chelsea when she started having her two kids decided she did not want Lynn for their names. And she has one name Scarlet. And the other is Charlie. Charlie is Charlie Rose. And I forget what Scarlett who’s a year older as her middle name is, but not Lynne.
Rebekah Wanic ** 08:18
That Lynn Excellent.
Michael Hingson ** 08:21
But yeah, I you know, I remember Chicago a little bit. I don’t remember a lot of snow. But I remember school. I remember walking to the local candy store and doing some things around Chicago. And I was was blind back then as well. I was blind from birth due to being born prematurely and being given too much oxygen, which is something that happens. But, but nevertheless, you know, we survived. And it all worked out pretty well. So, and I had a lot of fun in Chicago. I was back there a few years ago. And it was in March. I was visiting cousins who still live there. I think they were in DeKalb. Okay. And it was a Sunday and it was the day I was going to be leaving to fly back out to California. But that morning, it was the morning of the polar plunge into Lake Michigan. Oh, okay. So Jimmy Fallon and Rahm Emanuel were to two of the people who were there. Rahm was the mayor at that time. And of course, Jimmy Fallon. And they were going to do the polar plunge and the reporters after they did it had a lot of not nice things to say about them because they said, these guys were dumb. They went into the lake dressed in their full business suits. And right around the same time they went in there was this woman near them who went in in her skimpy bathing suit so when she came out, they all went into the warming tent. You can imagine how long it took Fallon’s and the manuals clothes to dry and she was drying Oh time. I agree Sir Porter was not well planned was fun. But it was pretty cold. I think we were down. The temperature was I think minus, no, I guess it was like three degrees. So it wasn’t quite zero, but it was close.
Rebekah Wanic ** 10:16
Yeah, I was there last winter. It wasn’t really that bad of a winter, we didn’t have some of the extreme stuff. I remember one time growing up, it had rained, and then it froze overnight. So when we got to walk to school, everything was coated in ice. And on the trees, it looks really, really cool because it was kind of like crystals all over, you know, it was left to the branches and stuff. But walking on the sidewalk was not pleasant, because you just sort of slipped as you walked up a hill, you were slipping back down as
Michael Hingson ** 10:51
well, in May of 2001. So September 11, hadn’t happened yet. They had a late snowstorm. Now our house was on what we call a pie shape, lots of the driveway, went out to the street, and then came in 65 feet, and then the lat spread out so we could build so we could have a house. But it was I guess sort of terrorist. Our basement was a walkout basement. And then on the first floor, there was a deck that was built in it was over the place where you could walk out on the basement side to go outside. But as soon as you walk outside from the basement, you got to go down a hill. And that’s where I would take the dogs to do their business. There was not a fenced yard. But right at the end of what our property would be, it was kind of a small forest. And on one side on the other side was route 22, which was really noisy, but the snow came, which was no big deal. But the next day, the sun came out and melted some of the snow. So that night, the ice was as slick as glass, oh man, and I put on my boots and took the dogs out and went down that hill. Somehow I made it down. And I even made it back up. But then I decided after that I am not going to do that anymore. So I have a long leash, a flex leash. And I stood at the top of the hill and I let the dogs go down. And I didn’t do it.
Rebekah Wanic ** 12:19
Very smart.
Michael Hingson ** 12:20
It was I’d never experienced anything like that in the rest of the time that we had been in New Jersey. But that’s what what happened that day. It was crazy. And it was that way for a couple of days.
Rebekah Wanic ** 12:31
Wow. And that can be really dangerous. Because you don’t you don’t necessarily even recognize that all the ice is there. I did. Luckily for you.
Michael Hingson ** 12:41
Yeah, well, it was pretty treacherous. But I’m you know, the dogs didn’t seem to have any problem with it. Bless them. That was great. Yeah. Not i I’m glad I didn’t go go out anymore. But then I’m warmed up. And now all went well. But you know, it’s it’s it’s interesting, I love the United States, because we do get to talk about the weather and, and the fact that it’s so different throughout various parts of the country. I visited excessively in Israel in August. And they kind of can kind of can talk about the weather there because in the south or near the ocean or near the ocean, there’s a lot more humidity and less than the North. It gets as hot as it does here. I don’t know that they really believe that. But it does. We get at least as hot as Israel. But we don’t get the humidity here. But they talk about the weather from a standpoint in part of humidity, but they don’t have to worry about as much snow.
Rebekah Wanic ** 13:40
That’s true. Yes, Singapore is this. It’s pretty much hot there. Every day it rains somewhere every day. Not really a lot of seasonal variation, except in terms of the amount of rain that you’re getting. But for me, it’s I don’t like cold. I was happy to be in 95 degrees every day. Most people wouldn’t like it, but I loved it.
Michael Hingson ** 14:03
Well, you’re not doing too bad in San Diego. And as you said, at least you don’t have the extreme so on on any given day, you can go out to do cafe and have dinner. Yeah. Not suffer too much. So Halloween won’t be probably as cold for you as it usually is for us. It gets it gets cold at night and I’m afraid it’s going to do it again. The temperature was warm last week, but it’s cooling off. And I’m afraid by next Tuesday it will be cold.
Rebekah Wanic ** 14:30
Yes. Are you gonna dress up for Halloween?
Michael Hingson ** 14:33
No. The lady who helps me here doing paperwork and stuff my my assistant, my office worker, if you will, or my sidekick has five children, one of whom doesn’t like to go out and Trick or treat. He broke his ankle a couple of years ago so it really hurts to walk a lot. So he wants to stay with me if I’m not going to go out and do anything on Halloween. So I’m going to stay home we’re not even going to give out candy we’re going to close the door. Watch and turn off the light. Well, I don’t know whether we’re showing off all the lights, but we’re not gonna give out candy and we’ll watch a movie because that’s what he wants to do.
Rebekah Wanic ** 15:06
Oh, fun, that’ll be nice.
Michael Hingson ** 15:10
And he can play with the dog and the cat.
Rebekah Wanic ** 15:12
Awesome. I love Halloween. It’s my favorite holiday because my birthday is the day afterwards. So we would always when we were kids, my sister and I, you know, since we’re twins, we would have our, obviously a joint party together, but it’ll always be a costume party. So I just because I love getting dressed up and stuff. So Halloween is definitely a fun day for me. That’s
Michael Hingson ** 15:32
pretty cool. Well, that’ll be fun. Sorry, you’re going to dress up this year.
Rebekah Wanic ** 15:38
So this I mean, I’m teaching you know, I teach psychology classes. So I have to come up with something that doesn’t look too wacky in front of the classroom. So I will wear a wig of some sort, since I will take any excuse to wear a wig and then figure out what I’m going to tell the students I am probably I’ve probably figured out Monday nights. But this weekend, when I go out with some friends, I’m going to be Sandra Bullock’s character from the movie Speed. Okay, see how many people recognize it? Because I know it’s getting dated now. But obviously, people my age or older ones still understand it? Well, you
Michael Hingson ** 16:12
mentioned where you could always try to dress up like Hermione Granger from Harry Potter.
Rebekah Wanic ** 16:18
I don’t need that my hair looks like her.
Michael Hingson ** 16:24
There you go, Well, that is going well then just walk in with a wand and see if they figured out I actually
Rebekah Wanic ** 16:31
do have a Dumbledore one that I got from Universal Studio. Oh, I’ve all set.
Michael Hingson ** 16:39
So it’s an elder one, does it? Yes. Oh, good.
Rebekah Wanic ** 16:43
Well, as a professor, you know, you have to have the professor one.
Michael Hingson ** 16:46
You certainly do. Well, so you mentioned that you have a neuromuscular condition?
Rebekah Wanic ** 16:55
Yes, I do. And it’s one of those fun things where there’s no actual answers for me. So I would say probably now about five years ago, I used to work out quite a bit. And I noticed I just couldn’t run every time I ran, I felt like I ran a marathon, I’d have to take like hour long naps to try to recover from it. And my fingers and my toes started hurting and tingling. And until you know, when I first went to the doctor, they were I was really scared because they were like, Oh, it sounds like it might be Ms. But I had all the tests and screening for that. And nothing showed up. And then I had a bunch of other tests and nothing showed up. And then because you know, I’m used to doing research, I was researching online. And I thought I have a lot of evidence that suggests this might be small fiber neuropathy. So I had a fight with a bunch of doctors because you know, you’re middle aged women, you go into the doctor, they tell you everything stress, oh, it’s stress. And I was like, I have a PhD in psychology, I’m fairly certain if this was stressed, I would be able to diagnose that. So I had to fight a quite a bit. I probably saw like eight different doctors before I finally got to a doctor, I said, this is what I think I have, I need you to give me this test. And he didn’t want to give me the test because it’s kind of invasive. But lo and behold, after I got the test, it showed I had small fiber neuropathy. But that’s not a super helpful diagnosis. Because it’s sort of like you have a blue crown that’s blue. You’re just labeling something that you already know exists. Why do I have it? What do I do about it, all of that still unknown. And then when I was in Singapore, I went to the hospital there because I the whole bottom part of my leg was just numb. And so I was having trouble walking because I couldn’t feel when my foot was hitting the ground effectively. And so there went through a whole nother round of tests. And he told me I have my atonia which again, is not that helpful, because it’s just like your muscles are overactive, they’re always tight. And I’m like, I know what I was telling you when I first came in. So it’s kind of been at first it was really a struggle of you know, this fear of the unknown is it going to keep getting worse now I think I’m fortunate I’ve gotten to a place of acceptance, where I just accept this stuff will hurt me all the time. I have to regulate the amount of physical activity I do. So I don’t get you know, overly exhausted. And I’m kind of getting myself to the place where I can have a bunch of extra energy so I can go back and interface with the medical community to try to see if there’s new answers or a new doctor I could talk to you about what might be able to be done about it now.
Does lose have any of this? She doesn’t she
Rebekah Wanic ** 19:30
doesn’t. It’s funny because I always say like I’m the twin that got stuck with all two of us because like when we were growing up we went to get contacts I couldn’t really get contacts I’d really bad a stigmatism I was allergic to the contact lens. I was allergic to the context solution had really bad asthma. She has asthma but it wasn’t to the extent that mine was I was hospitalized for it multiple times. And then when I started getting the this muscle stuff, I told her I was like you know we’re twins You better watch jailed for this. And she was like, I think I’ll be fine. Like, you’re the one that takes all of it.
Michael Hingson ** 20:06
Just you’re just the troublesome kid. Hmm, exactly.
Rebekah Wanic ** 20:11
Through no fault of my own, I would say but yeah. So
Michael Hingson ** 20:14
when you were in college, what did you study as an undergrad?
Rebekah Wanic ** 20:17
I studied psychology. And then I also spent a lot of time taking philosophy courses and comparative literature courses. And that my major was psychology. Wow.
Michael Hingson ** 20:28
And so you just stuck with that all the way through the PhD world coming out here? Yeah,
Rebekah Wanic ** 20:33
yeah. I mean, to me, it’s, it’s one of those fascinating topics where the more you learn the I mean, if you’re motivated, I don’t think everybody does this. But for me, everything I learned, I’m like, how does this relate to my own experience? And how can I use it to try to make my own experience better and more functional. So my focus was on social psychology in particular, because the way that people interact with each other was really fascinating to me, you know, growing up with a twin and seeing some of the ways that it was really helpful for me in terms of overcoming stuff dealing with life, but also some of the ways that it made me a little bit, I think, more timid than I otherwise would have been, because my sister is really dominant. And she really great, but it took it took us kind of separating for me to sort of grow more into my own and develop some of the self confidence that she had more so when we were growing up, but that that interplay between self and situation has always been something that’s really been part of my focus of attention.
Michael Hingson ** 21:33
So what does she do since you’re in psychology? Oh, my
Rebekah Wanic ** 21:36
sister is awesome. She’s done everything. She when we, her undergraduate degree was in anthropology and I think maybe international business. When she finished, she went to Japan for three years to teach English. Then she came back and she lived in New York City. And she got she was teaching in an inner city school. And she got through City College, a teaching credential, a master’s in education, too. And then when she finished that, she started working for the UN. And then she got placements in several countries in Africa, working for the UN, eventually came back to the States after getting sick, went to Naval Postgraduate School up in Monterey, California, and got her degree in cybersecurity. And this is a woman who never took a computer science class her entire life, graduated the top student in her class. And so now she went back to New York City, and she’s working in a big financial institution right now. Wow. Yeah, she my sister is like one of those people who she is. She’s one of the smartest people I know, hands down.
Michael Hingson ** 22:43
Well, that’s a neat story. She’s certainly gotten around and done lots of stuff. And the two of you sound like you complement each other very well.
I hope so. I
Michael Hingson ** 22:52
hope so. So, you went to Singapore, which certainly had to be extremely fascinating, especially when you intellectually look back on it, because it happened during COVID. You mentioned something earlier? Well, when we were chatting, and then you sent me some information about it that you had a big challenge getting over to Singapore in the first place. Yes.
Rebekah Wanic ** 23:14
Okay. So first of all, I got I went over there in January 2020, for my interview, and then I found out that I got the job, the beginning slash middle of March. So I found that I got the job right before everything kind of hit the fan in terms of, you know, lock downs and stuff. And so I had sent my acceptance for the position was and said, I was going to go over there in July of 2020. The day after I sent them my acceptance, I got a message from them that was like, yeah, there’s no way you’re coming over here in July. No one’s coming in every everything shut down. We don’t know exactly when you’re going to be able to come. So then I had to like, you know, re assess. Because, you know, I had started making plans, like giving up my job here in the States moving all that stuff. So I had to like reevaluate, got my job back to teach classes in the fall semester, 2020 here in the US, but I was basically on standby. Because Singapore said, you know, we’ll let you know when you can come we’ll give you maybe like a two week notice in terms of the window of time that you can arrive. And then at the time they approved you to enter the country during a three day window to 72 hours to get there. Wow, you had to have a COVID test that was done within that 72 hour window. So I was getting ready to go and then because it was COVID the flight I normally would have taken which was from San Diego to San Francisco, San Francisco over to Singapore. That wasn’t operational. So I had to fly San Diego to Seattle, Seattle to Narita in Japan, and then Rita to Singapore. So when I checked in to the airport in San Diego I had my paperwork my you know, if the letter from the government saying I can enter see pour my COVID tests, all this stuff checked off. When I get to the transfer window up in Seattle, they call me up to the counter or my passport check COVID test, check paperwork, check, check me off, I’m good to go all the way to Singapore, I get to Japan, Japan wants to look at my paperwork and says my paperwork is not correct. Because I didn’t have my passport number on top of the COVID test. And they would not let me through. So So basically, I’m in Japan, and you know, I’m trying not to, like freak out, but I’m freaking out. But you know, I was like, Rebecca, you’re an international airport, you can’t create an incident you’re gonna live in prison, right? So I had to kind of, you know, like, stifle things. And then basically, they they walked me from this, this counter to a plane to go back to the United States. And I said, I can’t go back to San Diego, I have no apartment. I have no staff. I have no job. I have no family. Can you at least send me to New York City, because my sister at the time was living in New York City. So they put me on this plane to go back to New York City. And I’ve wasted about a day’s worth of travel through all this iteration. It’s about 1214 hours for me to get from Japan to New York City. So the first couple of hours, I’m on the plane, and I’m the only person on this plane. I was like, Rebecca, this is it, your life is over. Just get off the plane, don’t even tell your sister landing in New York go be you know, like a homeless person, whatever, like, you know, like your life is over. But then of course, you know, after I let myself wallow for a few minutes, I was like, No, like rally, okay, you’re going to New York, if there’s any place that you need to be to get to Singapore in time, it’s New York, it’s going to have the most options in terms of flights. But my COVID test at this point would have expired. So I had to figure out to how to get a COVID test within less than four hours. Because I figured out there was one flight that I could take from New York, that would get me to Singapore within the window of time that I needed to get in during the 72 hour approval time. One flight. And so in order for me to get there, I needed to leave my sister’s house at a certain time. So I had four hours from when I landed in a at JFK to get to the airport in Newark in order to get out to fly to get to Singapore in time. So I googled, there was a place in New York that would do this, because New York is the place where you can get everything for money. So six hours later, $5,000 later, I was on a plane to Singapore, and I made it within the window of time, but it was basically about 72 hours worth of traveling. So when I got to Singapore, they had a COVID a COVID quarantine so I had to stay in a hotel for two weeks. They basically met you at baggage claim, took your stuff and you put you on a bus and sent you to a hotel. So I was so drained at this point and stressed that the first three days, I didn’t care that I was stuck in a hotel room, I just slept and recuperated and stuff. And then I always think you know, it’s like, you can be in the midst of stuff that’s really not going well for you. But that there’s there’s gems of hope. So I was so lucky because the hotel that I got put up in for my quarantine was the Swiss hotel, really nice hotel, and I was on like the 36th floor, my room had a balcony overlooking the bay. So I had fresh air I had a great view. So overall, my quarantine experience was not nearly as bad as it could have been. But I think the contrast of the horror of it probably made it really good.
And it was warm. And
Rebekah Wanic ** 28:31
it was warm. Yes.
Michael Hingson ** 28:33
I, I understand a lot of those sentiments, my inlaws and Karen and I and two other people, two other relatives, went to Spain in 1992. And Karen and I had been working at the company we worked for putting in long hours and like even the night before we left, we work till 10 o’clock just to get everything done. And literally when we got to Spain, we were in Tenerife for the first week, okay. And mostly, we’d go to sleep, and we slept till three in the afternoon, both of us Wow. And then we would get up and we would be with people. And we did that for most of the first week until we finally caught up on sleep. Yeah, and we didn’t mind a bit. We enjoyed it. It was great. It was amazing. But then we got up and we had a late breakfast, which was usually a burger or something else because it was three in the afternoon. It was fun, but we really enjoyed going over but we didn’t have the kind of airline challenges that you did. I had a little bit because they insisted that being blind I had to sit in a specific place in the airport until the next flight, even though I was with a family all of whom could see and they didn’t even restrict Karen Being in a wheelchair her whole life. But they, they insisted that I had to be somewhere and they separated me from everyone, which did not make me very happy at all. Needless to say, it was crazy. It was ridiculous to do. But you know, so what’s the lesson you learn from all the traveling and all the challenges that you had going to Singapore? And all that happened? What do you learn from that? What do you take away?
Rebekah Wanic ** 30:23
So the first thing that I learned was to, like, double up on everything, because I think if I had had like, an extra piece of paper with my COVID test, I would have just written my, my password number on it and been like, oh, wait a minute, do you think it was this piece of paper that you wanted me to have? But I think the other thing, I mean, honestly, this is what I always tell people about challenges. And like, I am one of those people who like if stuffs gonna go wrong, it’s gonna go horribly wrong. But the older I get, the more I appreciate it. Because now, you know, I can I can laugh at it doesn’t mean it doesn’t bother you when it’s happening. But I get over stuff so much more quickly. I’m just kind of like, alright, you know, come at me life right here. Here’s a new challenge that you’ve thrown my way. And let’s see how I’m gonna go and get over it. So it just teaches you that you’re way more resilient than you oftentimes give yourself credit for. And you don’t know your resilience unless you’re presented with the challenge that you have to overcome. So I think that’s that’s the biggest takeaway for me and my sister a lot of times, what has she, you know, big international traveler, and I think I had told her before I was moving to Singapore, like, I’m a little bit nervous. And she’s like, you just figure it out. Because you have to, you know, and I think that the more that you go through those kinds of experiences, the more that you realize that that is true, right, you have to rise to the challenge. So you figure out a way to do it, and you just move on.
Michael Hingson ** 31:44
Were you afraid at all, when the whole stuff was happening with Singapore.
Rebekah Wanic ** 31:50
I was like, for that short period of time, when when I got on that plane to leave Japan to go to New York, I was afraid that everything that I had planned for was completely crashing to the ground. But then I thought to myself, even if it is, you have two options. Option one is you let it happen, right, you let it crumble, but option two is you fight against it, you fight for what you want. And so that’s what gave me you know, the strength to like rally and investigate. And of course, I mean, you know, when I talk about how amazing my sister is, because she’s she’s always there when you need her. She’s like one of those great people to have and, and I knew that if I asked her for help, she was going to be able to help me. And you know, she didn’t just help him with the logistical things. But like, you know, she’s just like a good person to have in your corner. So the other thing is like, Don’t ever be afraid to use your network and keep the people in your life who are going to be the ones that are there for you. You know, a lot of times we encounter people who are takers, not not givers, and you obviously, you want to be a giver yourself. But keep keeping good relationships with the people who are the ones that our stand up, and we’ll be there to help you is really important than then be appreciative to them. You know, I tell my sister all the time, how awesome she is. And I think that she really knows that I’m so appreciative of everything she’s done to help me in my life.
Michael Hingson ** 33:13
But that goes both ways, though.
Rebekah Wanic ** 33:16
I hope so. I mean, I feel you know, how you You never feel like you’re good enough to give somebody who’s awesome held, like, I hope that I helped my sister, but I, I feel like the nature of the relationship. And that one, I think, unfortunately, I’m a little bit more of a taker than a giver. But I hope that you know, I can give her what she needs when she needs it. Well, something
Michael Hingson ** 33:35
must be going right, because the two of you get along very well. Where is she these days? Where does she live now in New York. She
Rebekah Wanic ** 33:41
was living in Long Island City for a long time, and that she just just bought a house in New Jersey. So it’s super, super exciting. So her and her husband, it’s our first home. So that’s really, really exciting. She’s like, we’ve got space. We’re not you know, living in our cramped New York, one bedroom apartment on top of each other anymore. So it’s super, super exciting.
Michael Hingson ** 34:01
We’re in New Jersey
Rebekah Wanic ** 34:03
in Bernardsville. I think that it is yeah. We
Michael Hingson ** 34:08
lived in Westfield for six years. And we built our home so that it was wheelchair accessible. And that was a lot of fun. And we had an elevator and I know for a week after September 11. I use the elevator a whole lot more than Karen did. We had to have a two storey home because that was the only kind of home that would allow you to build there was no room for ranch homes. So we had to have an elevator. And I was so stiff and sore for the week after September 11. And I use that elevator all the time. Wow. I couldn’t walk up or down the stairs at all it was it was pretty bad. But you know it happens. But it’s it’s interesting to to hear what you’re saying though, because we we all have the ability to help each other. And one of the things that strikes me is we all want to be independent. We all think that we want to do stuff ourselves. It’s just me. I’m independent. I don’t don’t need any help. But yet, we want to stay connected, or we mostly want to stay connected except for people who don’t understand the wisdom of it. How do you? How do you do both be independent and stay connected?
Rebekah Wanic ** 35:12
Yeah, that’s a great question. I think I think about that a lot, right? Because, you know, I live, none of my family lives in San Diego, I decided, you know, I just I need to go out and be on my own. But what I, what I sometimes have to do, to be honest with you, is put little reminders in my phone, like if I, something’s happening with someone in my family, like they have a job interview or an important doctor’s appointment, as soon as I hear about it, I put it in my phone, so that I can make a note to like, call them or text them to follow up on it. And it’s as a way of showing that, like, I’m keeping them in what’s going on with them as a priority in their mind. But I think it helps, at least for me with balancing sort of, you know, the connection and independence is, a lot of times when we seek connection, it’s just because we need something. And so I try really hard to make sure that when I’m reaching out to people, it’s not because I need something, it’s when I’m coming at it from a position of strength so that you don’t feel like you’re always you know, taking, taking taking that you can feel like you’re being a giver, you want to share some things that are fun, share some good news with people. But I think the other thing that I always keep in mind is, every time you ask for help, you’re taking some limited amount of resources from someone else. So it doesn’t mean that you should ever feel bad asking for help, or that you shouldn’t ask for help. But by recognizing that when you do, it puts you in a mindset to make sure that you’re not going to take more than what you need. And that you’re going to position yourself to be oriented towards figuring out how to give something back. And I’m not saying this as it’s like a tit for tat, it’s just being cognizant of that really helps you to sort of manage recognizing, okay, this is something that I can do on my own, I don’t need to ask for assistance on this. So that you can free yourself up to take advantage of assistance when you need it the most, when it’s going to be the most beneficial for you.
Michael Hingson ** 37:10
At the same time be prepared to offer when the opportunities arise. I. So I mentioned my wife passed away last November, we had been married 40 years, and her caregivers, Josie and Dolores and Janette, who was actually our in is our housekeeping lady who comes in keeps us honest, by keeping the house clean once a week and I work on it the rest of the time. I even bought a Roomba lately. It works pretty well, you know, the cat’s not impressed with it. We haven’t been able to get the cat to watch the TV commercials where another cat writes a Roomba. But one of the things that that almost immediately happened is that Josie said, you know, let me help you in doing things. And I was reluctant because I didn’t want her to feel obligated. But I realized pretty quickly, she wanted to help me get back to continuing to be able to move on. So Josie now works for me. She’s here for five days, four or five hours a day. And we do paperwork, and she helps looking for speaking opportunities and all the other things that that I do. Yeah. And Dolores is doing a bunch of other stuff. So we don’t see each other quite as often. And Jeanette comes once a week. And one of the things that she said early on after Karen passed was, I’m going to come over on Tuesday nights and bring you dinner. Well, we’ve modified that slightly. So sometimes she brings in her and sometimes I take her out for dinner because I think that it’s good to get out. And frankly, it’s good for me to get out a little bit. She’s cleaning houses all week. So she’s out and then she doesn’t have to cook all the time. But I do believe that it’s symbiotic is probably the wrong word. But it is a mutually beneficial kind of a relationship with both of them. And actually all three, and it should be that way. It’s we do need to connect, and we do need to help each other. So I do like to think that I help some too. Yeah, absolutely.
Rebekah Wanic ** 39:17
You’re reminding me of, um, I write a blog about, you know, self improvement, self motivation. I call it self optimization. But I was thinking about, you know, I’m a professor and I know just from conversations with students that a lot of times students, look, look up to me, but when I start doubting myself, and I wrote this article about it, where it’s like you have to give yourself credit for being the helper to other people, but also for being in a position to let other people help you because in doing that you’re kind of empowering them to to get a lot of the gratification that comes from being connected. And it sounds like these people are we be wonderful individuals. So it sounds it’s great that you’re able to kind of keep them in your life. And it sounds exactly like you’re saying that you’re both benefiting from the nature of the relationship, which is huge. Yeah,
Michael Hingson ** 40:10
it is it helps a lot. One of the things that I did, we we had a wheelchair accessible van, which we sold back to the company that sold it to us so that they could get it to someone else who could use it once Karen passed, because I didn’t need it. But I also didn’t want to impose on Josie and Jeanette and Dolores to use their car when I needed to go somewhere. So we did, I bought me another car. And it’s smaller than the van. So it does fit in the garage a lot better. And now I can walk all the way around it and things like that, because the minivan took up most of the garage. But again, I felt that that was something that was important to do so that I’m not using up their car. And that works out pretty well. Yeah.
Rebekah Wanic ** 40:55
Do you like your new car? Yeah,
Michael Hingson ** 40:59
it was a little hard to find one. Because, well, the reason it was hard was because being a passenger, I want to be able to do what other passengers could do, we had looked at a new 2023 Hyundai Tucson, the problem is the radio was all touchscreen. And for that reason alone went on not doing that. And so we ended up with a 2021 Pre Owned Tucson, but the radio has buttons and I can do with most of it. And all the other parts about the car are much more physical buttons so I can do the things that I need to do, rather than relying on a touchscreen that I’m never going to be able to to navigate and negotiate. All
Rebekah Wanic ** 41:43
right. And most of those touchscreens too, even if they have like an audio interface, you have to touch it to activate the audio interface. Right. So they’re not particularly friendly to people that are visually impaired, correct? Well,
Michael Hingson ** 41:57
they’re not, they’re not at all friendly to people who are blind and, or low vision. And you know, and it seems to me, drivers would probably disagree, but I don’t think they’re friendly for drivers, you still have to take your eyes off the road to see where to touch on the screen. And there ought to be more of a code word that you can just say like with an echo device or whatever, to activate it rather than using the touchscreen. But even then, it isn’t just that it is also that the audio interface doesn’t give you the same level of control that you get with a touchscreen. Now, there in reality are ways to have a touchscreen that I could use. iPhones and Android phones on smartphones, which are all touchscreens, do have technology that has been created to allow me to use it. So instead of like clicking a button, just tapping a button and it executes it, when it’s in the mode that I have to use. And I suppose to what you have to use, I double tap and that activates it. So they could put all that smarts in that technology and the touchscreens on cars, which would then make it usable for me, but they don’t. So it’s very unfortunate that they they still continue to exclude a lot, which is very unfortunate, then really continues to say we just don’t think that you’re as valuable as we are.
Rebekah Wanic ** 43:31
Yeah, I think I had heard you talking about the the touchscreen thing on cars. And I it’s it’s one of those things I think a lot of people wouldn’t wouldn’t even come to their mind. Because when when we have the privilege of being sighted for example, then we don’t we don’t recognize, you know, all of the things that may potentially be an issue. But when it’s brought up and like you’re saying there’s some relatively simple fixes that can be made, but people aren’t doing it, it does definitely send a certain kind of message. Well,
Michael Hingson ** 43:58
what it gets back down to is that diversity doesn’t tend to be very inclusive, we don’t deal with disabilities. And as I’ve said, and I don’t know whether you’ve heard any of the podcasts where I’ve said it is I believe everyone has a disability and the disability for most of you is your light dependent. You have to have light in order to function. And as soon as there’s a power failure, or something like that you’re in a world of hurt unless you can grab a flashlight or a smartphone and activate it and turn the flashlight on. And the fact of the matter is, disability doesn’t mean a lack of ability. Disability should really be recognized as a characteristic that manifests itself differently, but still manifests itself in every single person in the world.
Rebekah Wanic ** 44:37
And yes, you’re talking Michael, you’re reminding me I think the movie is called wait until dark with Audrey Hepburn Audrey Hepburn, right. You know what I’m talking about me? You were just reminding me of that where she’s like it shows to me that was really impactful because it showed you know, in a very creative way like yeah, there. We all have different skill sets basically as a function of what we’ve been born with and given?
Michael Hingson ** 45:00
Well, even though today in our world, we still keep hearing people talk about people who are visually impaired, which is a disgusting, horrible way to describe us.
Rebekah Wanic ** 45:13
I said that I’m sorry, no, no, but no, no, but it
Michael Hingson ** 45:16
comes up all the time, I was just reading another book where it came up. And the reason it is, is because visually, we’re not different simply because we’re blind, and impaired equates us to eyesight. So blind and low vision within something that deaf people realized a long time ago, that you don’t say deaf or hearing impaired is deaf or hard of hearing. And that’s, that hasn’t progressed that way in the in the blindness world. And I think, in large part because blind people haven’t collectively created the same level of community that deaf people have. And so that level of understanding hasn’t gotten to blind people to the point where they’re willing to take that stand and push back a lot more about the concept of visually impaired. Interesting. Yeah, I
Rebekah Wanic ** 46:07
think there’s a difference in the cultivation of community. Do you ever hypothesis on it?
Michael Hingson ** 46:12
Deaf people have worked very hard to, to rally around each other. They know they need to do that they have been very standardized on mostly on signing and some on lip lip reading and so on. But they’ve just developed a stronger sense of community, overall their death, they’re a culture. And you don’t see that same level in the blindness world. Yeah,
Rebekah Wanic ** 46:39
that’s, it’s interesting. So one of the things I would love to hear your opinion on this, one of the things that we sometimes talk about in psychology classes is that people oftentimes report that one of the things that you lose from with the experience of deafness is social connection. Yeah. And that tends to be sort of lost less for people that are blind, because we can still Converse, which is one of the primary sources of social connections. I’m just wondering if maybe the deaf community cultivates community more, because that’s something that’s so noticeably lost without the extra effort,
Michael Hingson ** 47:18
I think it’s an interesting concept, and it could very well be the case. But for whatever reason they’ve done it. And I, I’ve been around a number of deaf people, and I’ve actually talked to them about this discussion of hearing impaired or hard of hearing. And they’re very adamant that hard of hearing is much more appropriate than because they don’t want to be compared to a person who can hear in terms of how much you can hear or you’re impaired in terms of hearing. And it’s, it makes a lot of sense. words do matter. And we need to recognize that a lot more than we do.
Rebekah Wanic ** 47:51
Thank you for bringing it to my attention. I apologize. Well, no, don’t
Michael Hingson ** 47:54
it’s fine. You know, I understand. But But yeah, that’s something to grow on. So when we need to get more people to understand it. Tell me about making choices. So since we’re talking about about this, and we’re making a choice to, to do that, and I appreciate it. But you know, in our world today, so many people blame people for so much stuff, it seems to me and they’ll make a choice, and then they blame somebody else when it doesn’t go the way they saw it. How do we deal with that? Yeah,
Rebekah Wanic ** 48:25
I think that’s a great thing to kind of talk about. So I am a firm believer, and I talk about this with my clients a lot that if you make a choice, even if the outcome is not what you wanted, you own that choice, because that’s the most empowering way for you to move forward. blaming other people puts you in a position where you’re outsourcing control. If I say I didn’t get what I wanted, because the world is against me, this person doesn’t like me, whatever external reason, then there’s really not much that you can do about it. But if you recognize that, first of all, you’re not always going to get what you want. Sometimes the choices that we make don’t lead to the outcomes that we desire, recognizing that is the first important step. But then above and beyond that, if you if you own the consequences of your actions, you’re much more motivated to change so that you don’t get the same consequences the next time around. If we don’t take ownership of the consequences of our choices, then we’re not putting ourselves in a position to learn right, basic psychology tells us that the consequence will alter the action. If the consequence is not something that you desire to have happen again, then you’re less likely to engage in that same behavior. But when we remove the consequences when we tell people that they’re not responsible for the outcomes of the choices that they make, we’re actually hampering them in their ability to make adjustments that will help them move forward in a more positive direction to get more of the things that they want.
Michael Hingson ** 49:51
We also focus so much on trying to control everything in our world and everything around us when in reality, we don’t have control over everything. We don’t learn to focus on things that we do have control over. We worry about everything else. It drives people crazy, I’m sure.
Rebekah Wanic ** 50:06
Yeah, that is absolutely true. So a lot of what we can work on just in terms of helping ourselves to be more functional, less worrying, you know, less angry all the time when things don’t work out is to recognize the sphere of control that you have. And I’ve written about this, too, that this idea of circle of control is not unique to me, other people have originated like Dale Carnegie talks about your social control. But realistically, what you want to do is thinking about within every domain, what are the things that I can control? And what are the things that I can’t, and you have to work to control the things you can to get more of what you value. And at minimum, what you can control is, where you are, and how you emotionally respond. So it’s not the case that people make you feel happy or sad, or whatever events can have a tendency to push you in one direction or another. But you ultimately have control over how you’re choosing to respond. This is why I think mindset is so important. And I work with clients to work on mindset adjustments, because your mindset is key to controlling your emotional reaction. When I have something negative happened to me, I’m perfectly within my right to feel bad about it. But if I can adjust my mindset, so I can see what I have control over. And I’m a big fan of humor, I always try to see what’s funny in a situation. Because the minute you can laugh at it, you take a step back, you’re less, you’re less directly connected, and it puts you in a new position to see all of the actions that you can take to help yourself move forward in a more positive direction.
Michael Hingson ** 51:42
I absolutely agree. And I think it’s it’s very important that we understand that, you know, it’s all about making choices, we can choose to deal with things or not, we had no control over I don’t think the World Trade Center incident happening. I’m not convinced we would have figured it out, even if all the government agencies really did talk to each other, which they certainly seem to not know how to do. But the bottom line is that it happened. And that is something that we certainly didn’t have control over. I didn’t have control over it happening. But I do have control over how I deal with it. And I think that’s the important part about it.
Rebekah Wanic ** 52:20
Yeah, absolutely. I totally agree with you. I mean, even you know, when I mentioned earlier, I said I’m one of those people that if things are gonna go wrong, they’re gonna go really wrong. But now it’s like, when I say it, I’m not saying it because I am in a woe is me mindset, or I feel like, you know, the world is treating me poorly. It also is something I always tell people, I’m like, you know, I have some really great stories because of the stuff that I’ve gone through. And because I like to find the humor in them, like when I retell the story, I will, like accentuate the parts of it that are humorous. And that helps me get get over it as well. So the the thing that you have maximum control over is how you respond to every situation. And the thing that makes you powerful is when you own the outcome of the choices you made. And you own your reactions in situations where you don’t have a lot of control.
Michael Hingson ** 53:08
When things happen where I know, in my case, something occurred and it wasn’t funny at the time. But I always work to go back and think about it and like you I love to find humor in it and and recognize what a dingdong, I got lost or this happened that happened? And what do I learn from it? And that’s the real adventure. What do I learn from and how do I move forward?
Rebekah Wanic ** 53:31
Yeah, definitely, definitely. And I agree with you, I think in the moment to tell to tell everybody, when bad things are happening, like find, find the humor in it, that’s not appropriate. It takes a little bit of time and distance. But the best way to help to make sure that things don’t linger and continue to be problems for you, like you’re saying is to reflect on it. Think about the lesson and think about what’s funny about it moving forward for sure.
Michael Hingson ** 53:55
Yeah, I think, you know, it all gets back to preparation. And I know, today that I function well in the time of the World Trade Center, because I prepared I learned what to do. And although I didn’t really think about it, or if I understood it, I didn’t know how to verbalize it at the time. But I’ve since learned, I developed a mindset that said, Something’s happening. You can deal with it because you know what to do. And yeah, the building could have collapsed all around us. And in that case, wouldn’t have to worry about it actually. But never nevertheless. I knew what to do. And that mindset that preparation created that mindset and that mindset and learning to control fear helped a lot.
Rebekah Wanic ** 54:40
Yeah, absolutely. I was, you know, reading more about you sharing about the story. And I think that that’s so true. And like you were just saying it’s like you control what you can you didn’t have control over what ultimately was going to happen to the building or when but given that you can control something you have a choice again, you have a choice to choose to do something or to choose To do nothing, and most of the time, the choice to choose to do something is going to help you get closer to what you want. But we don’t ultimately have control over how things are going to turn out. But I always think, at the end of the day, do I want to look back and say that I gave up on my opportunities? Or do I want to look back and say, I tried as hard as I could. And some things just didn’t work out. For me. That’s the option I would rather sit with at the end of the day. And
Michael Hingson ** 55:23
I don’t know intellectually, whether my parents understood it, but they worked really hard to allow me to explore and do things. And as a result, as I say, they took risks. And they allowed me to, by societal standards, take risks, that would not be risk for anybody who could see, but they, they let me learn things. And they, they allowed me to explore. And I find it really interesting. I know any number of blind people, but any number of parents today that just shelter their kids, and they don’t let them really explore, they don’t learn how to make choices. And they’ll never if they don’t get that opportunity, learn how to create a mindset that allows them to be more unstoppable and less fearful.
Rebekah Wanic ** 56:07
Yeah, Michael, that’s absolutely correct. I mean, we’re seeing the consequences of this culture of safety is a manifesting itself in all of this teen anxiety. Because if if parents, of course, parents want to protect their kids, but there has to be a balance of letting them go out and do things, make choices, not have parents around all the time to tell them what they should and should not be doing. That’s how you you learn. That’s how you develop, that’s how you grow your resilience. Also, if you’re not making choices, you don’t have consequences of those choices, because you didn’t make them you can’t learn and you can’t grow from that. So of course, there needs to be a balance, but we’re seeing lots of negative consequences from the inability to allow children to take risks. And part of that is just not letting kids play by themselves. I hear so many stories from my friends who are parents that like, when I was a kid, if there was a birthday party, your parent was like so weak, they would drop you off at the party and run away and do stuff on their own. Now, parents hang out collectively at the birthday party where the kids are, that is insane. To me, it’s like give them some space to just be on their own and do what they need to do. I
Michael Hingson ** 57:17
understand that we live in a society where there are a number of crazy people who take advantage of kids and so on. So I’m all in favor of having some way to observe. And I don’t know necessarily what that is, but I can appreciate the concern. But you’ve got to let kids play you got to let kids explore you got to let kids be kids. That doesn’t mean and I’m sure with me, for example, my parents probably monitored a lot of what I did, from a distance. Yeah, exactly.
Rebekah Wanic ** 57:49
But I mean, in my birthday party scenario, there are adults there, there are people to monitor, you, as the parent don’t need to be the one monitoring all the time, you know, like, you wouldn’t just send, you know, a group of eight year olds to a house by themselves. But if there’s a responsible adult there, you could safely assume that they’re probably going to be okay. You know, I mean, there’s all that really startling data about like, kids are not having sex, kids are not driving, kids are not dating. They’re not doing any of the normal things that kids are supposed to be doing as they move into adulthood, in large part because of all of this pressure of safety as them that they’ve grown up in so that they’re not being put in a position to sort of move effectively, Trent and take that transition from childhood to adulthood in any kind of effective way.
Michael Hingson ** 58:33
Recently, I read a New York Times article where they were talking about the one simple thing that would make kids less fearful. And the one simple thing was give them more space. Yeah. Which makes perfect sense. Yeah, yeah. But you know, we talked about about blindness and all that. And one of the things I thought I would bring up, because you’ve been in education, and I don’t know whether you’ve ever had a blind student in your class, but one of the things that I’ve been an advocate for and so many blind people who have been around this a lot have become advocates for is learning braille. And, you know, for for most people, you learn print, which is great. But for those of us that don’t learn to read or can’t read regular print. Braille is an important alternative. And it’s not a substitute. It’s an alternative. Good Braille readers can read pretty much as fast as most any sighted reader can read. And the value of Braille is like print you’re truly reading. And I do listen to a lot of audiobooks and that’s fine. But it’s not the same as reading because when you’re reading, as one person described it in a book I was reading recently, actually, Andrew Leland and the book, the country of the blind talks about the voice that he or sighted people is the story about him losing his eyesight due to retinitis pigmentosa. It’s a fascinating book And he talks about the voice that you hear in your brain when you’re reading print. And he’s realizing that that’s the same voice you hear when you’re reading braille, because you’re truly reading it as opposed to listening to an audiobook. So they’re two different techniques. But there’s so much value in so much that you get from reading with Braille that you never get from reading with an audiobook.
Rebekah Wanic ** 1:00:23
Yeah, absolutely. And I think I mean, I have, I’ve had students that have needed to have the audio version of a book because of various issues with reading the print. But I think that one of the things that I know, I know this, because I hear people saying this all the time, I’m I’m a firm believer that you need to read, print or read via Braille, because it slows you down. It puts you in a state where you’re immersed in what you’re doing is physical in the sense that you’re you’re touching something, your brain is focused in a way that it cannot focus when you’re hearing something, because vision is or you know, the translation of the words through your fingers into the thoughts as you’re reading with Braille. That is a very intense process, it requires more attentional capacity than just listening to something does. The problem with listening is it’s very easy to get distracted, and not process things as deeply. And there’s lots of research that starting to show that reading in and taking the time to, you know, not even read on a computer, for example, but to read a physical copy of something really slows you down in a way that allows you to more fully engage with the ideas. And I think it’s, it’s really important to encourage that now more than ever, because so much of the way that we consume information is these fast, quick sound bites. And when I’m listening to an audiobook, for example, almost nobody sits down and listens to an audio book and just sits and listens to it. They’re always doing it because they want to multitask. Now, now you’re using up additional attentional capacity that you cannot focus on processing the information that you’re listening to in the book, it’s a totally different experience. That’s not giving your full attention to what you’re trying to learn. You can’t think about it as fully that we’re incapable of multitasking, right? We we can task switch, but we don’t multitask. So you’re creating a situation where I actually impairing your ability to acquire the information from the text when you’re listening, rather than reading it in some capacity. So I think it’s an important skill that we’re actually losing because I my students all the time, like I don’t have the attention to sit down and read. Well, you don’t because you haven’t trained yourself
Michael Hingson ** 1:02:43
and trained yourself to do it. Yeah, correct. Yeah, I like reading audiobooks. Now, having said that, I like especially on airplanes, read audiobooks, because I plug in my noise cancelling headphones, put them on, and I read the book. Yeah, I’m not worried about it when everything else that’s going on around me. I don’t want to be antisocial. So if somebody wants to talk, I’ll stop and talk. But I do like to focus on reading the book, there are some books that are I don’t want to say Fluss. But I can do something else, like exercise while I’m reading the audiobook. But I do like to sit and just read the audiobook, but I know that it’s not the same as reading braille, or in your case reading print. But it is possible to focus and it does help me learn to listen better. My wife never believed that I listened. But you know, but but the reality is, it’s all about what you train yourself to do. And I think you’re absolutely right with that.
Rebekah Wanic ** 1:03:48
Yeah, that’s a good point, Michael, it’s so it’s not to say that people can’t benefit from the audio version of a text, it’s just most most of what I see, particularly because I’m coming at this from an educational perspective. And a lot of the audiobooks in that context would be textbooks, for example, where you know, the initial kind of intrinsic motivational interest is not even not there to begin with. So then you have to sort of force yourself to pay attention and then consuming it in the audio version that lends itself less to sort of the deep attention is not going to really put you in the best position to learn as much as you can. Sometimes
Michael Hingson ** 1:04:22
when I couldn’t get a book in college fast enough in Braille, I had to use a recorded version of it. Never liked it. I would I don’t like textbooks in audio format. No matter what the subject is, I think it’s important to have that in Braille and obviously doing leisure reading as well. But I can do more leisure reading with audio than than I ever want to do with text for for the main purposes that the purpose is the reasons for reading. Both cases are different as well. And it makes a lot of sense How do we get people to you know, we talked about vision impairments and visually impaired and so many different things. And I think you and I align on a number of things that I’m not sure everybody would agree with, how do we get people to be more open to change and, and recognizing that it’s okay to think differently about stuff I mentioned or and I asked that and also just flippantly coming to mind, politicians who are certainly not open to change, but how do we, how do we get people to be more open to change? And recognizing that maybe it isn’t all just the way we think? Yeah,
Rebekah Wanic ** 1:05:36
that’s a really great question. I mean, if we, if we had the the answer here, I think that we would be geniuses i. But there are, there are some things that that individuals can do if they are interested in being more open to change. The first thing that I always challenge my clients to is to think about for themselves, what is the time where you had this insight, where you recognize that the way you were thinking about things was not helpful or not consonant with reality. And for me, I had a lot of experiences growing up, where I just realized, like, wow, what everyone’s been telling me is not what I’m actually seeing, or what I’m experiencing. And so I’m gonna have to trust myself in some of these situations. And part of what was driving that was relationships. So I think one of the things that makes you really open to change is when you get to know people who are different from you. And so many of us now only want to talk to people who agree with us who have the same opinions about things. I’m totally the opposite. I’m always like, let me find the one person who’s kind of like the curmudgeonly one that nobody else wants to talk to you. And let me try to get to know them. Because most of the time, even if you’re, you don’t really like what someone’s saying, listening to their perspective, opens you up to understanding that there are different ways of seeing things. And it helps you recognize a lot of how your specific unique experiences have colored the way that you view things. And once you start to recognize that my unique experiences are coloring my perspective, you can understand more how other people’s unique experiences would color their perspective. And you can start to open yourself up to being interested in those other experiences. And being open to hearing what people have to say, doesn’t mean they’re they’re right. And you’re wrong. It’s just you’re allowing yourself to be in a state a mindset, right? Like we’re talking about to collect more of the information that will help you grow. And I think the more you grow, the more open to change you are because you see how beneficial it can be.
Michael Hingson ** 1:07:46
It’s all about being introspective, and learning to be a lot more self analytical than we tend to be. And there’s nothing wrong with doing that people are afraid to do because they’re probably afraid of what they’re going to discover or think about themselves. But all the more reason to do it.
Rebekah Wanic ** 1:08:03
Yes, yes. And I think even if you hit on, you know, an insight that might potentially be a little bit ego threatening. Once you know it, you can move forward from it. So I’ll just give you like a little personal example from my own life. I was sitting there thinking a few years ago, I’m like, You know what, I make some really bad decisions. There. Like there’s some stuff that I’ve done, where I’m just like, looking back, I was like, I shouldn’t have done it. And I kind of knew at the time, I shouldn’t have done it. But then I realized, like, I did it, because I’m an experienced person. And sometimes I’ll do something that I know might be a little risky, because I’m all about the experience. And sometimes it pays off. And sometimes it doesn’t. And what as soon as I had that realization, one, I felt significantly less guilt, about making the bad decisions. But two, I can recognize when I’m letting my desire to have an experience, get in the way of the logical side of things much better, because I took time to generate that insight for myself. So I think introspection, like you’re saying is really, really valuable piece of helping yourself to grow. And
Michael Hingson ** 1:09:10
once again, if you don’t experiment, if you don’t explore, you won’t learn and you won’t grow. Exactly. Which is so cool. Well, Rebecca, this has been absolutely fun. And guess what? We went well over an hour and I’m not complaining,
Rebekah Wanic ** 1:09:25
oh, I didn’t even realize I just checked. There
Michael Hingson ** 1:09:29
you are. Well, this has been real fun. If people want to reach out to you and and learn more about you and and learn more of what you do. How do they do that? So
Rebekah Wanic ** 1:09:40
the easiest way is probably to connect with me on LinkedIn just because it’s Rebekah Wanic on LinkedIn, but I also have a website, www dot vent to reinvent.com that has more information about my mindset psychology services, and I’m always open to connect with people collaborate with things I like you had mentioned, I’m an author, I’m also an avid writer. And so I love hearing people’s stories. I love connecting. So yeah, if anyone wants to get in touch with me, those are the best ways to do it. And I check the context for both of those really, really regularly on a daily basis. But thank you so much, Mike, I really appreciate the opportunity to have this conversation with you it was really, really enjoyable. Well,
Michael Hingson ** 1:10:23
this has been a lot of fun. And you’re as an author, do you have any books or pictures of book covers that you can send so we can put those up in the notes?
Rebekah Wanic ** 1:10:33
I so my, my first novella is set to come out either the end of this year or the beginning of next year. So I think you had mentioned there’s a bit of a delay for the episode to air. So I think by the time the episode airs, I should have that available to share.
Michael Hingson ** 1:10:49
Okay, well, if you get something that we can put up, we’d love to stick it in the notes. For what will you do to thank
Rebekah Wanic ** 1:10:58
you so much. I’ll check with the publisher to about like, if I could share the the because we were working on finalizing the cover art. So I think maybe I could share that with you even before the book is gonna come out? When will it probably come out? So either the end of I’ve got second set of proofs now. So I think if there’s only minor changes, then then things will move fairly quickly from there. So either like the end of this year or the beginning, like maybe January of next year.
Michael Hingson ** 1:11:27
I would be great to be able to, to get a book cover and
Rebekah Wanic ** 1:11:31
so sorry. Yeah, I was hoping it would be Christmas. So I could give copies of the book to my parents. They don’t know, they don’t know that I that I got the book picked up for publication. I wanted to surprise them. Oh,
Michael Hingson ** 1:11:42
good. Well, I won’t tell. Are you gonna make an audio version of it as well?
Rebekah Wanic ** 1:11:46
I don’t know what the plans are. But my guess is yes. Right. So it will be, you know, hardcopy digital. And then I think I think that’s like, kind of the second wave of putting it out would be the auto version. Oh,
Michael Hingson ** 1:12:00
tell tell the publisher they should. And hopefully
Rebekah Wanic ** 1:12:02
I can read it. Well, there you go.
Michael Hingson ** 1:12:06
Well, thank you again. And I want to thank all of you for listening to us. By the way spell Rebekah one egg so that people can find you on LinkedIn.
Rebekah Wanic ** 1:12:14
Yeah, it’s R e b e k a h W a n i c.
Michael Hingson ** 1:12:20
Cool. Well, I hope people will reach out. I really appreciate the fact that we got connected. And you know, in the future, if you want to do another one of these, we’ll come up with more things to talk about or just continue. And that would be fun, too.
Rebekah Wanic ** 1:12:34
Yeah, that sounds fantastic. Mike, I really enjoyed this. Thank you so much.
Michael Hingson ** 1:12:38
Well, thank you all for listening. We really appreciate it. I’d love to hear your thoughts about our episode. So feel free to email me Michaelhi m i c h a e l h i at accessibe A c c e s s i b e.com. Or feel free to go to www dot Michael hingson.com/podcast m i c h a e l h i n g s o n.com/podcast. Love to hear from you love to hear your thoughts. And please, whatever you do, give us we request a five star rating wherever you’re listening to this podcast so that we can continue this and we do value the things that you say and your comments and your opinions. But love those five star ratings. So please do that. And Rebekah, one more time, thank you very much for being here with us.
Rebekah Wanic ** 1:13:28
Thank you so much. It’s just been a real pleasure. I really appreciate it.
**Michael Hingson ** 1:13:37
You have been listening to the Unstoppable Mindset podcast. Thanks for dropping by. I hope that you’ll join us again next week, and in future weeks for upcoming episodes. To subscribe to our podcast and to learn about upcoming episodes, please visit www dot Michael hingson.com slash podcast. Michael Hingson is spelled m i c h a e l h i n g s o n. While you’re on the site., please use the form there to recommend people who we ought to interview in upcoming editions of the show. And also, we ask you and urge you to invite your friends to join us in the future. If you know of any one or any organization needing a speaker for an event, please email me at speaker at Michael hingson.com. I appreciate it very much. To learn more about the concept of blinded by fear, please visit www dot Michael hingson.com forward slash blinded by fear and while you’re there, feel free to pick up a copy of my free eBook entitled blinded by fear. The unstoppable mindset podcast is provided by access cast an initiative of accessiBe and is sponsored by accessiBe. Please visit www.accessibe.com . AccessiBe is spelled a c c e s s i b e. There you can learn all about how you can make your website inclusive for all persons with disabilities and how you can help make the internet fully inclusive by 2025. Thanks again for Listening. Please come back and visit us again next week.

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