The concept of a full sensory experience could be easily misunderstood or misinterpreted by people who have access to all their senses. Unfortunately, there is always a natural tendency to lean into one other than the others. There’s no better person to talk about this than Dr. Hoby Wedler. Dr. Hoby is a Ph.D. chemist, an entrepreneur, a TEDx speaker, and he is 100% blind. He chats with Ben Baker about navigating life without sight and why it’s so much better to live while using all the senses. He explains how he goes about understanding a world he’s never visually seen but only perceived with other senses. Hoby also shares his unique upbringing that allowed him to take accountability for success and dream bigger and better each time. Join their chat for a fascinating discussion on the value of understanding and optimizing our senses.
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Creating A Full Sensory Experience With Hoby Wedler, PH.D.
[00:00:07] Thank you guys for coming back week after week. We are a few years in now. We are 300-plus episodes and you guys have been an amazing audience. Every week, you tell me what you like, what you don’t like, what you are happy with, what I could have done better and who you guys want to see. I love the fact that you guys engage. You inspire me and allow me to be better.
I love it and thank you for being such a wonderful audience. We are going to go with something completely different. We are going to have Dr. Hoby Wedler on the show. He is a PhD chemist. He is an entrepreneur and a TEDx speaker. Here is something completely different. He is 100% blind. We are going to talk about the sensory experience. Hoby, welcome to the show.
[00:01:00] Ben, thank you so much. It’s a real honor. I have been getting to know your show a little bit as I have gotten to know you. I feel so flattered and honored to be on here with you.
[00:01:13] You came so highly recommended. Marlana Semenza told me, “You have to have Hoby on the show.” When Marlana says you have to be on the show, you have to be on the show. Let’s get into this. Hoby, tell me a little bit about you because you have an incredible background and then we can get into the sensory experience.
[00:02:14] I’m completely blind and I was born this way. A lot of people, when they hear that I’m blind, they say, “That must be so difficult.” What is interesting for me is it’s not difficult at all because it’s the world that I know. I never learned how to do life as a sighted guy. Being born into it as a blind person and learning to do it as a blind person made it all possible. It’s all easy to do and 100% the world experience that I have.
People will ask me all the time, “Would you like to get your sight back?” My answer is very definitive and it’s no. I have no desire to gain eyesight because I know how the world works as a blind person. I don’t know what I would be able to do and how I would process visual stimuli. It seems like so much information is coming so quickly. For someone like myself, it would be overwhelming to tell you the truth.
A little bit about my past and my background, I do thank my parents for the majority of what I have been able to do and how I have been able to live in this sighted world as a blind person and try to be a little bit successful with it. My parents from day one were amazing role models. Having never known much about blindness, going from that to having a completely blind son enter your life in a matter of a second, the snap of a finger and then embrace the fact, “We have this challenge. We are going to accept it with open arms and raise Hoby to the absolute best of our ability,” is pretty special and remarkable. They did many things and still do many things that are super remarkable and commendable.
There are two things that they offered my sighted brother, who is two years my senior. Number one, they showed us how to have high expectations. They had extremely high expectations of us and extremely high respect. It’s extremely high expectations that we would have respect right back to them and they expected us to have super high expectations of them. It was a mutual trust thing.Nobody can see atoms Click To Tweet
Having people believe in you and expect a lot from you is a good way to be successful. The number of blind folks I have seen where society has super low expectations of them is non-zero. To be honest with you, it makes me sad because there’s no reason that anyone should feel that society doesn’t expect much from them. My parents had high expectations and still do with my brother and me.
The other thing they always reminded us as early as I can remember is that this is our life and we need to take responsibility for our life. If we succeed at something and challenge ourselves and succeed, that success should be felt by us. If we fail at something, that should be felt too. We should get credit where we succeed and take the blame where we don’t succeed. We have embraced that for as long as I can remember being here on this great Earth.
My parents also taught me that there’s no substitute for hard work. They taught us incredible work ethic. To do this, they did all household projects themselves without hiring anything out. I remember this pretty vividly where we would go to school, come home, do homework for 3 or 4 hours, go out and work on the house, whether it be electrical, plumbing, mechanical or carpentry. Whatever it was, we would be working actively until dark.
My parents both work jobs. My dad worked for the local utility company. My mom was a teacher. They were working hard right along with us. We learned that hard work is good and okay. If you are going to be blind in a sighted world, you got to be able to work hard because oftentimes, things take longer and you have to work harder. I don’t mean to say this and upset anyone, but it often feels like it. It’s true. You need to work harder to achieve similar results and I bring it on. That’s what life is about. That’s what I’m here to do is do my best given the circumstances.
In high school, I had an excellent Chemistry instructor and that made me want to teach Chemistry. I decided that teaching Chemistry to freshmen students at the college or university level was my passion. I wanted to walk into that class that everybody thought was this prerequisite they had to get through. I will get them excited about studying Chemistry and maybe a few of them. I’m sure I wouldn’t be able to get all of them excited. If I could even get a few of them motivated and excited to think about and study Chemistry, I would feel like that would be a win in the right direction.
My Chemistry teacher was excellent and a good role model for me. She was nervous about a blind student taking Chemistry and I said, “Nobody can see atoms.” With that remark, she became a real ally. That’s the truth in Chemistry. I ended up studying Chemistry. As an undergraduate student, I didn’t know that Chemistry would work out. As a graduate student, I didn’t want to have too much sighted assistance looking over my shoulder all the time. I didn’t necessarily know how Chemistry would work for me as a blind guy, so I also got a degree in US History.
I ended up meeting who would become my graduate advisor in Chemistry while in undergrad. He convinced me rightfully so to go on and eventually earn a PhD in Computational Organic Chemistry. I’m so happy I did that. I was able to do that with great mentorship. Meanwhile, in 2011, somewhat ironically concurrent with the end of my undergraduate and beginning of my graduate tenure, I crossed paths with Francis Ford Coppola. He asked me if I would develop and build a truly blindfolded wine experience at his winery that would be hosted by me. We did that and it was great fun. It soon got picked up by the national sales team.
[00:08:33] People need to know you live in and around the Napa area.
[00:08:38] I’m in Sonoma County. When I started working with Coppola, I realized that I have always been building my palate. My parents hired me starting from a very young age to make pots of soup for them to freeze and take to work for lunch. We would use it for weeknight dinners as well. That was a big thing for me. I have always had a passion and knack for cooking and blending flavors. They picked up on that right away. I realized when I finally entered the wine world I had been building my palate up. It’s not just for wine but for all sorts of flavors, aromas and textures from food and drink and also beyond to understanding and being able to identify things in my surroundings. That was a great opportunity there. I realized that the sensory world was my place.
I’m not a sensory scientist, but I’m a flavor expert. I like to think of myself as a sensory designer in the industry. I’m helping mostly folks in the food and beverage industry but sometimes beyond with product development and thinking about how we can accommodate and please all five senses rather than the one that we use the most, which is eyesight. That’s what I do now. I’m a sensory expert.
I do a lot of consulting in food and beverage, both as a brand ambassador and for helping companies tweak products that they have that are doing very well to become even better from a flavor, aroma and texture perspective or from the very beginning in building products from the ground up. They can give me a brief of what they are interested in building. We often help with that.
What is great about this career now is that I’m able to involve my knowledge of Chemistry and, frankly, passion for Chemistry in the work that I do every day. We have also got a spice brand in the works with my business partner and I that I’m excited about, which should be launching here. It involves the community around us.
Overall, I’m an ambassador for doing good in the world and bringing people together in whatever way possible. I have a creative company that I don’t work at as a day-to-day job but I cofounded earlier in my career called Senspoint. It offers full-spectrum creative and marketing services for any company that’s doing good in the world and wants to make their work more inclusive and accessible. That’s a little bit about me.
[00:11:10] You have an impressive resume and you have done such amazing things. I want to talk about how you use the five senses and all that. Before we get into that, there are a couple of things I want to unpack from your childhood that are important. The first thing you said is the fact that you didn’t want to be given back your sight because it would be overpowering in such ways that it would force you to use your senses very differently.
I like to hear your thoughts on that because I lost pretty much all my vision in my right eye years ago. I have a 20/200 vision in my right eye, which is not quite blind but pretty close. It’s legally blind, but I can still drive a car. People told me I could land an airplane if I ever wanted to, but I don’t think I’m going to try.
You sit there and go when that happened because you felt that you had to compensate. Your life changed. You have to sit there and say, “What do I do now?” My thought process is as someone who has never seen, you talked to me about visualizing a sunset as someone who has never seen one. How do we go about understanding a world that you have never visually seen but you perceive with your other senses? I want to bring that all together.Challenge yourself to exceed your expectations everyday. Click To Tweet
[00:12:48] That’s an interesting one. It’s funny because I don’t necessarily have a great answer for you other than from talking to my sighted friends and colleagues who look at things every day. I don’t like to call it vision because we all have visions. Some of us make black eyesight. Eyesight gives us a good view of the big picture very quickly. Oftentimes, we can use our eyesight and think that we understand the full picture when it’s quite deceptive and we don’t understand the big picture overall. For me, that’s a big thing. I try to help people realize that there’s so much that we overlook when we rely too much on that sense.
We can drive a car safely, as you alluded to. We can avoid objects. We can say that something is green. We can say that a light is green versus light is red versus a traffic light is yellow. It’s all these sorts of things but what are the details that we are missing out on when we focus so much on our eyesight? The world for me is a place that is more detail-oriented. I know that sounds a little bit strange but I do feel that it’s even more detail-oriented than it is for some of my sighted colleagues because I’m perceiving things through my senses and through my way of thinking about and appreciating and understanding the world differently than maybe you would.
To me, a sunset is how people have described it to me. That’s one thing my parents did as well. It’s to describe things clearly. I imagine the white refracting through parts of the atmosphere and creating all sorts of interesting colors as we see the sun ever so gently fall off the horizon. That’s what I understand and I don’t see color. I don’t know what color it looks like, but I have heard enough and talked to enough people that I can tell you that green looks fresh and brown looks not fresh. Red looks hot and blue looks cool or cold.
I connect that to the electromagnetic spectrum and the visual portion of it, in particular, that red is the closest to the infrared spectrum. Infrared is heat. Red is going to be warmer and blue is close to ultraviolet. It’s these high-energy short waves that are going to look colder. It’s the opposite of red. I don’t know how to describe it to you other than that but that’s how I see, perceive and feel the world.
[00:15:29] That’s powerful because I’m very blessed. If I walk 500 yards outside my front door, I’m able to see a vista that looks out over the river, outside the ocean, over the mountains and be able to watch the sunset on a regular basis. The thing is, it’s not just the sun setting over the horizon, but it’s also the sounds of dusk. Also, are there animals? Are there birds in the sky? You know that there are coyotes around there somewhere. Can you hear them? Sometimes you can and sometimes you can’t.
[00:16:19] How would you describe the air in British Columbia around dusk? How does it smell?
[00:16:24] We are very blessed with the air in Vancouver for the most part, except when we have forest fires raging in the interior, the smog comes down to Vancouver and all of a sudden, the air gets heavy. We have crisp, clean air in Vancouver. It’s not an industrial city. There’s not heavy pollution in the city, especially because it rains so much here. The air is fairly light. It’s easy to breathe and it’s crisp, especially at the end of the night because it allows you to do that. Unless you asked me that question when I’m sitting there watching the sunset, would I be thinking about that? The answer is probably not.
[00:17:15] I encourage you to take note of the smell and maybe even put it in the podcast notes.
[00:17:21] If it’s not pouring rain, I may do that. I would be going out there with about three levels of rain gear and an umbrella, which is a completely different experience.
[00:17:38] Part of being able to sink into your senses and perceive the world is being comfortable in your other senses. I often say, “A glass of wine sitting at home with your special someone is going to be a lot different in taste and your perception of it than it would be when you are frantic and stressed out and riding home on the metro train.”
[00:17:59] A glass of wine on the bus at the end of the day might not be such a bad thing either.
[00:18:04] You might have other takers trying to get a little bit of your wine.
[00:18:08] You would have to have a bottle with a couple of straws to help out some friends. The other thing you talked about in your youth was expectations that your parents would not allow you to think that you were less able than because you were missing one of the five senses.
[00:18:29] If I messed up, that wasn’t okay. The expectations were high.
[00:18:37] Expectations enabled you to have accountability. They sit there and say, “These are what we are expecting of Hoby. These are the things that we believe he is capable of, whether he believes he is capable of it or not.” What it enabled you is to be able to push yourself to sit there and say, “I’m not going to feel sorry for me. I’m not going to wallow with it. I’m not going to make excuses because I’m missing a sight.” I’m going to sit there and say, “How do I adapt and overcome and become the best of my potential regardless of what others may see as a limitation?”
[00:19:17] That’s such an interesting thing. You said something that clicked because I hadn’t put those words to it physically yet. Expectations lead to accountability. It’s true. I want to respond in two ways. The first idea here for me is that you are spot-on. What my parents have done for me by setting the expectations high is they have allowed me to go out there and let success feel like, “That’s what you should be doing.”This is our life and we need to take responsibility for our life. If we challenge ourselves and succeed, that success should be felt by us. If we fail at something, that should be felt, too. Click To Tweet
It’s not like, “You are amazing. You got out of bed and made yourself breakfast.” It was like, “That’s what we all do. That’s how we live life.” Anything above and beyond that is great. That’s wonderful. To me, it’s interesting to think about how it would be so possible to be amazed by any little thing your child does and let them feel like they are amazing for anything beyond nothing.
[00:20:40] How do we take that idea of expectations versus accountability and be able to sit there and say, “How do you become more than what other people will set your limits to be?”
[00:20:57] This is not just true for someone with a disability or someone in any case. This is true for anyone and everyone or all of your audience. The art and the science there because it’s both an art and science is, “What am I doing that I love? Let me keep doing that and people love the fact that I do that. What more could I be doing? How can I challenge myself even further?”
To me, raising those expectations even more is about challenging yourself even further. It’s thinking about what you don’t like to do that’s important and thinking about, “How am I either going to get this done or delegate these tasks?” When you succeed at that, you do it. You feel a sense of accomplishment that’s unparalleled. That’s what allows us to be more than we once thought that we could be.
By not checking in with ourselves and saying, “What is the next challenge I can take on,” we can get arrogant, cocky and not humble. For me, as a blind person, I’m living life through taking challenges and saying, “What is the next step?” I don’t stress myself out terribly, but I’m always saying, “What could I do better?” An exciting thing that we all can strive to do is to say, “We are doing great right now. This is a real positive but what could we be doing and dreaming about that’s even more?”
I encourage everyone that the way that you can build those expectations is to dream even bigger than you already are. Dare to dream bigger. What is it that you always wanted to do that you haven’t yet done? By the same token, if you decide you don’t like something, I can’t stand roller coasters. I have been on one roller coaster in my life. I hate them. Knowing your limits too is important. I have five mindsets that I live by. One of the ones is to believe in yourself. If you believe in yourself, you need to expect the best from yourself.
[00:23:37] You said something interesting. It’s the whole StrengthsFinder mindset where if we are going to do something, we find out what our strengths are and go at it 100%. If it’s something that truly isn’t our strength, “This is not something I do well.” For me, it’s taxes or painting a house. Don’t ever let me paint your house. The truth of the matter is to go find somebody who that’s their passion. Enable them and give them the ability to go out and do amazing things. That’s an incredible lesson.
[00:24:23] That’s what I was trying to say. You put it into so much better words than I had.
[00:24:28] We all have strengths and weaknesses. The difference is to find people who have got those strengths.
[00:24:35] You learn this in spades very quickly when you are blind. Never hesitate to ask for help. I don’t care who you are. You can be the CEO of the largest company in the world. You are going to need help. You can be anyone. You can ask for help and not be afraid to ask for that help. Also, there’s an art to delegation. That’s what you are saying. If it’s something that we don’t love, don’t be afraid to delegate it. Get someone else who is better at it to do it. Find someone ideally who is smarter than we are at the thing that we don’t like doing to do it and be good at it.
If people were nothing else from our conversation, one of the biggest takeaways for me and I will always remember this and remind myself to abide by this. It’s the art and power there is in delegating things that we don’t necessarily feel like doing and don’t feel good at doing to other people. I happen to love plumbing. I like doing plumbing work, but there are plenty of things around the house that I’m not good at that I don’t necessarily do.
A lot of colleagues don’t like to cook, but my partner and I absolutely love to cook. That’s our therapy at the end of the day. We cook every meal. We never eat out. It’s finding those strengths and working to those strengths that make anyone successful. If it’s something you are generally good at, you can believe in yourself and then have an easier time having high expectations and meeting your goals.
[00:26:15] Let’s shift gears because this is important. We could go on forever, but let’s think about this. How can somebody use their five senses more effectively as a leader in business? As you said, 85% of the senses that people use now are sight because it’s easy. For people that have sight, using your sight to make all your assumptions to do everything that you are doing, you use your sight because it’s obvious. It’s right there. How do you get people to rely maybe not less on their sight but more on their other four senses to enable them to have a more holistic view of what they are looking at and be able to interpret the world around them in a different way and be able to come up maybe with better conclusions?
[00:27:18] For me, there’s something called the hierarchy of the senses, which is how we use our senses and how much we use one sense versus the others. We use our eyesight for 85% to 90% of the information we take in from our surroundings, which means that we have another four perfectly good senses that we are only using to take in 10% to 15% of the world around us.
Why do we use our eyesight for so much of the information we take in? There are many theories for this. One of my biggest theories is that it’s not so vulnerable. We can drive a car with the windows up and do fine in looking around us. We can look up in the night sky and see a star 500 million light-years away. That’s a random number. We can see things from afar.
Hearing is the next least vulnerable sense because we can stand fairly far from something and still hear it. Sometimes if there’s a carnival going on across town, you might be able to hear it. A train horn going by miles away, you can still hear it. We use our hearing for the next most information we take in. When we get to touch, we have to be close enough to something.We all have visions. Some of us just lack eyesight. Click To Tweet
We can put our hand or any body part on it and feel it. When it comes to smell and taste, we have to make something a part of us. We have to either breathe it in for smelling it or put it on our palate to taste it. Those are super vulnerable. I don’t think we allow ourselves to use those senses to indicate and tell us a lot about the world around us.
How can we be better at using our non-visual senses? There are a few different thoughts that I have here. Number one, we are so wrapped up in our phones and what people’s facial expressions are. Nonverbal communication is how people are reading what we are saying. It’s not reading in terms of reading words on a page but interpreting us. We focus so much on the nonverbal, “What is this person posting on Facebook? What is my phone telling me now? What is my next appointment? I need to run and do five errands before I get home from work.” It’s all these different things. We don’t slow down enough.
This is a direct corollary or offshoot of something I said, which is we need to slow down and allow our other senses to bring more detail and color to our life. If we sit in our chair in our office and we open the window, we take five minutes and relax and say, “How do I smell? How does the seat feel beneath me? Let me close my eyes and not worry about all my visual sensing and pay attention to how I feel.” It’s like doing a personal check-in. I don’t smoke. It was funny because when I was in graduate school, both of the long-term assistants I had were smokers.
I decided that I would go outside with them every hour and a half or so when they took their smoke breaks. What was crazy about that was by going outside and not focusing on anything but a conversation. They were having a good time smoking their cigarette. It’s like, “There’s a reason for smoke breaks. I take non-smoking smoke breaks.” That’s what I call them and I advise it to anyone. I haven’t talked about this publicly ever. This is breaking news.
To me, taking some time for ourselves can be two minutes out of the day. Every 1 to 2 hours is so important to reset our mind. That’s a good way to use our non-visual senses to pay attention to what we are looking at. Pay attention to what you are feeling, smelling, hearing and how the world is around you. It’s a good way to release stress and relax the muscles in our body. I’m a culprit of not doing this as much as I should as well. I tell people, “Do as I say, not as I do.”
The second factor that is interesting is our eyesight is deceptively telling. We might look at a chart and say, “I see the trend on that chart if we are in a business meeting and then move on. I see what they are trying to tell us.” We don’t often look at the data to see what is being presented here. Presenters rely too much on their visuals as well. They don’t necessarily allow themselves to describe what they are presenting in a way that could make sense to someone to slow down and describe it in a way in words that could make sense to someone who doesn’t have eyesight.
I found this in my classes when I would ask a question. The students would come up to me after and say, “We were all wondering that. Thank you for slowing the instructor down and asking that question because that was helpful to everyone.” Everybody can benefit from that. Finally, this is probably the most important way that we can use our non-visual senses to glean more from the world. It’s the art of listening rather than hearing. It’s the ability to sit down with someone, be attentive and focus on what they are saying.
I know you professionally work in communication in larger companies. I thought about our first conversation a lot, and immediately after, we had it as well. I realized that probably more than 50% of communication is listening to people around us and what they need. If we use our eyes so much more than our ears, we end up losing the forest for the trees. We end up not being able to focus on what people need around us. I find that I can be a better communicator at times than some folks around me because I strive to listen well.
One of the things that I see in my generation is that folks who are my age and younger focus so much on what they see. It’s memes on their phones and messages from their friends. Everything is written and so impersonal. They are having a hard time listening and homing in on what is being said. That is a skill that being blind has taught me that I would not throw away for anything. In some of the work that we do, we do fun corporate events with wine and food. It’s not like the dining-in-the-dark programs. I know about the dining-in-the-dark programs that happen all over the country. Some are great. Others are not good because they gamify the blindfold too much.
I like to blindfold people, whether it’s a tasting of products with foods or beverages or nothing at all. There’s no tasting at all and just a conversation. When we temporarily remove the sense that we use to acquire so much information around us, we focus differently and listen better. It works so well as a resolution technique for problems that are happening in big companies and small companies alike in between colleagues in the workplace. One of the things that I do that’s a little bit avant-garde is I provide this at this mediation. It’s this ability to sit around and talk to each other without looking at each other, reading body language and guessing what the other person is thinking or the other people are thinking. It’s a powerful thing.
[00:35:22] I find that I’m a far better active listener than I was when I first started doing podcasting. There are people at this that are way better than I am, but I hold my own. Being a good podcaster, you need to be able to listen and pick up what did they say. It’s not what they said, but what did they mean? How do we get to the point? I find it fascinating to sit there and say as an organization because we and businesses were Zoomed to death.
The truth of the matter is many employees feel they are being spied upon because they have to be on another Zoom meeting to prove that they are at their desk. The conversations could be so much more enhanced and better if they were audio-only. If all of a sudden, we stop worrying about what somebody looked like and start listening to what they were saying and understanding it, we are going to be far more powerful and effective at what we do.
[00:36:34] There’s a phrase that I’m trademarking, which is, “It’s not what it looks like.” For me, I don’t look at people and judge them. I don’t look at things and judge them because I can’t. People have asked me, “Would you be a more judgmental person and judge books by their cover if you could see?” The answer is, “I don’t know. I don’t because I can’t and because I think it’s better not to be.” I want people to remember this. It’s not what you think something is, just based on what it looks like.
If you get off the train in a subway station and see someone that looks bedraggled, don’t be afraid of that person until you know that you should be afraid of them. Don’t let someone’s look alone or the look of anything drive you away from it. Be open-minded. That is one of the most important ways to an abundant mindset. It’s being open. This goes right along with listening, but it also has to do with looking around the world around you, seeing things and being able to say, “I need to get to know a little more before I make a judgment call.”
[00:37:43] That’s a wonderful thought process. In the end, we are all humans. We all bleed the same. We all get up in the morning. We all breathe the same air. We all have our own wants, needs, fears, desires and challenges. It doesn’t matter if you can see or you can’t hear or one of your other senses is impaired. I know people that don’t have the sense of touch. You will sit there and say, “Are people less than because one of their five senses are impaired?” No, they are just different.
[00:38:18] It’s a different way of approaching the world. This whole thing about diversity and inclusion are buzzwords that we have been hearing a lot, especially over the past couple of years. I feel like a more diverse workforce is a better group at solving problems because they think differently and approach things differently than each other. If you have a bunch of middle-class White males as your only workforce, it’s going to be hard to accomplish anything different than what they know.
More diversity increases the bottom line. A lot of companies tout the fact, “We hired a diversity officer. We are good to go moving on.” Box-checking, especially in this sense, never works for me. It’s the wrong idea and approach. We need to embrace whatever it is that we do and think about so that we can use everything that we have to our advantage.
[00:39:22] Let’s bring all this together. Before I let you go, I have got one more question I want to ask you. Is there anything that you wanted to say before we get into the last question?If you believe in yourself, you need to expect the best from yourself. Click To Tweet
[00:39:34] I want to say a few things. Number one, never stop challenging yourselves. Never stop thinking about, “What is the next thing I can do that I haven’t done yet that you might be successful at?” Let that success drive you to new heights of excitement and exhilaration and believing in yourself. Take those challenges on. Open your mind and have an abundance mindset.
We can be so closed off if we are not careful. If we open up our minds and allow anything to happen, we are going to be more successful. The truth is, if you have a goal and dream, you put your mind to it. This is true. You need to be honest with yourself. If you honestly want to do it, you can make it happen. You need to believe in it and take that on.
The most important out of anything is to stay positive. My voicemail greeting and people made fun of me during COVID because of this. I say stay positive in the best sense of the word. I mean to stay excited. Keep your mind open. Optimism is a dead word. I don’t want to be Ms. Pollyanna here and say, “Be optimistic about everything.” Take the positive outlook. If there’s something that annoys you right now that you are going to laugh at six months from now, laugh about it now and have fun with it. Life is too short to take seriously. Let’s enjoy it while we are around and have fun with it. Don’t forget to ask for help. That’s the other one.
[00:41:10] The best way to get in touch with you is at Hoby.com.
[00:41:15] That works great. I’m going to give people my email. It’s Hoby@HobyWedler.com. I’m Hoby Wedler on all the social media platforms. You can find me there. I want to connect with people. That’s part of being abundant, the desire to connect. Don’t be a stranger. If you are a reader and you want to chat, reach out.
[00:41:46] Let me ask you one last question and then I’m going to let you go. This is a question I ask everybody. When you get off stage and I know you have done a TEDx, you get in your car, what is the one thing you want people to think about you when you are not in a room?
[00:42:08] I want people to understand me as a caring, positive person who has everyone’s best interest in mind and wants to make the world a better place for all of us. I don’t know what that means to you and your readers but my goal is to elevate happiness and make the world better through hard work.
[00:42:37] Hoby, you have definitely made my life better. Thank you for all your brilliance. Thank you for your passion and your excitement and the light you bring to the world.
[00:42:49] Ben, you are very kind. Thank you for all that I have been able to learn from you. I’m so appreciative that we were introduced by Marlana. I’m going to reach out to her personally and thank her. I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart for bringing me on. I’m excited about much more connectivity and opportunity. I’m looking forward to hearing from your audience.
[00:43:15] Thanks, Hoby. May the fourth be with you.
[00:43:17] May the fourth be with you and Happy Pi Day.
- Dr. Hoby Wedler
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- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJDHovTiWBk – TEDx Sonoma County
About Dr. Hoby Wedler
Dr. Hoby Wedler is an insightful, disarming, and passionate thinker who loves to bring npeople together to help them see new possibilities. With the heart of a teacher, Hoby helps turn your dreams into realities. Hoby has been completely blind since birth. He is a scientist, an entrepreneur, a sensory expert, and is driven by his passion for innovative, creative, and insightful thinking. Hoby is remarkably tuned into his surroundings and has frequently chosen to walk the unbeaten paths in life over known territories. In 2016, Hoby earned his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from UC Davis. His fearlessness is infectious, and he has actively paved the way for others to join him in his quest to follow passions regardless of the challenges that lie ahead.
In 2011, Hoby founded a non-profit organization to lead annual chemistry camps for blind and visually impaired students throughout North America. In the same year, he began opening doors to the world of wine aromas by developing Tasting in the Dark, a truly blindfolded wine experience, in collaboration with the Francis Ford Coppola Winery. He has since expanded the program to a global market in a variety of industries and special projects. Over the years, Hoby has become a motivational speaker, a mentor, and an educator. He is also committed to making the world an inclusive, equitable, and accessible place for everyone.
In his work, you will find a unique trilogy between sensory awareness, scientific knowledge, and a love for sharing his insights.
Numerous people and organizations have recognized Hoby’s work over the years. To name a few, President Barack Obama recognized Hoby by naming him a Champion of Change for enhancing employment and education opportunities for people with disabilities. Also, Forbes Media named Hoby as a leader in food and drink in their 30 under 30 annual publication. Hoby’s dedicated to impacting everyone he works with by unlocking doors, overcoming challenges, increasing awareness, and expanding their horizons.