For their six-part podcast, Invisibilia hosts Alix Spiegel and Lulu Miller examine the invisible stuff that shapes us.
In the third episode, we met a man who learned to see without his eyes: in short, a different kind of Batman.
Step 1: Learn about the forces around you.
Step 2: Surround yourself with those who believe in you.
How is this thought sorcery even possible? It’s quite simple: Your expectations fiddle your behavior knobs in tiny ways. So if you think a rat is shrewd, you might handle him a little more gently. If you set low expectations for someone, you might make less eye contact or stand a little further away, says Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck.
A perfect example is Daniel Kish, profiled in the episode, who lost his sight as a toddler. Having been raised with the freedom to climb, kick dirt, and play like a kid, he had the elbow room to hone his clicking, a form of echolocation, to get around — even if it meant elbow pads.