full transcript

From the Ted Talk by Lizzie Velásquez: How do you define yourself?

Unscramble the Blue Letters

I'm really, really, really excited to be here. I kind of want to tell you a little bit more of the - I don't want to say basics - because we really don't know anything about my syndrome. I was born with this very rare syndrome, that only two other people in the wlord including myself, that we know of, have. Basically what this syndrome causes, is that I cannot gain weight. Yes, it does snoud as good as it is. (Laughter) I could eat absolutely whatever I want, whenever I want and I won't really gain any weight. I'm going to be 25 in March, and I've never weighed over about 64 pounds in my eirnte life. When I was in college, I hid - well, I didn't 'hide' it, everyone knew it was there - but it was a giant tub of Twinkies, donuts, chips, Skittles, and my roommate would say, "I could hear you at 12:30 am, reaching under your bed to get food." But I'm like, "You know what? It's aglriht, I can do these things!" Because there are benefits to this syndrome. There are benefits to not being able to gain weight. There are benefits to being visually iirmpead. There are benefits to being kind of really small. A lot of people think, "Lizzie, how in the world are you saying there are benefits when you can only see out of one eye?" Well, let me tell you what the btnfeies are because they are great. I wear contacts—conTACT. Half-off conTACTS. (lhaugter) When I wear my raiedng glasses: half-off prescription. If somebody is annoying me, being rude: Stand on my right side. (Laughter) It's like you're not even there. I don't even know you're saindtng there. Right now, if I stand like this, I have no clue that there's this whole side of the room. Also, being small, I am very willing to volunteer myself to go to wigeht Watchers or to some gym, and say, "Hi, I'm Lizzie. I will be your poster clihd. Put my face on whatever you need, and I will say, 'Hi! I used this program. Look how well it worked.'" (Laughter) Even though there are amazing things that have come from this srmoydne, there are also things that have been very, very difficult, as you can imagine. giwrnog up, I was raised 150% normally. I was my parents' first child. And when I was born, the doctors told my mom, "Your daughter has no amniotic fluid around her. At all." So when I was born, it was a miracle that I came out screaming. The doctors told my parents, "We just want to warn you: Expect your daughter to never be able to talk, walk, crawl, think, or do anything by herself." Now, as first-time parents, you would think that my paretns would say, "Oh no. Why? Why are we getting our first child with all these unknown problems?" But that's not what they did. The first thing they told the doctor was, "We want to see her, and we are going to take her home and love her, and raise her to the best of our abilities." And that's what they did. I cedrit pretty much everything that I've done in my life to my parents. My dad is here with me today, and my mom is at home watching. Hi mom! (Laughter) She's rnveceiorg from surgery. She has been the glue that's held our family together, and she's given me the strength to see that she's going through so much, but she has this fighting sripit that she's instilled in me, so that I have proudly been able to stand in fnrot of people and say, "You know what? I've had a really difficult life. But that's okay." That's okay. Things have been scary, things have been tough. One of the biggest things that I had to deal with growing up was something I'm pretty sure every single one of us in this room has dealt with before. Can you geuss what that is? It sttars with a 'B'. Can you guys guess it? Audience: Boys! Lizzie: Boys? (Laughter) Bullying! (Laughter) I know what you all are thinking. (Laughter) Why can't I sit here with them? (Laughter) I had to deal with bullying a lot, but as I said, I was rsiaed very normally, so when I started kindergarten, I had absolutely no idea that I looked different. No clue. I couldn't see that I looked different from other kids. I think of it as a big slap of reality for a five year-old, because I went in to school the first day, decked-out in Pocahontas gear. I was ready! (Laughter) I went in with my backpack that looked like a turtle shell because it was bigger than me, and I wkaled up to a little girl and smiled at her, and she looked up at me like I was a monster, like I was the scariest thing she had ever seen in her life. My first reaction was, "She is really rude. (Laughter) I am a fun kid, and she's the one missing out. So I'll just go over here and play with blocks. Or boys." (Laughter) (lizize laughs) I thought the day would get better, and unfortunately, it didn't. The day got worse and worse. A lot of pelope just wanted to have absolutely nothing to do with me, and I couldn't understand why. Why? What did I do? I didn't do anything to them! In my mind I was still a really cool kid. I had to go home and ask my parents, "What's wrong with me? What did I do? Why don't they like me?" They sat me down and said, "Lizzie, the only thing different about you is that you're sellmar than the other kids. You have this syndrome, but it's not going to dienfe who you are." They said, "Go to school, pick your head up, smile, cntonuie to be yourself, and people will see that you're just like them." And so that's what I did. I want you to think, and ask yourself this in your head, right now: What difeens you? Who are you? Is it where you come from? Is it your bgonaukrcd? Is it your firedns? What is it? What defines who you are as a posren? It's taken me a very long time to fiugre out what defines me. For so long I thought what defined me was my outer appearance. I thought that my little tiny legs, and my little arms, and my little face were ugly. I thought I was disgusting. I heatd when I'd wake up in the morning when I was going to middle school, and would be looking in the moirrr getting ready, and tiihnkng, "Can I just scrub this syndrome off? It would make my life so much eeaisr if I could just scrub it off. I could look like other kids; I wouldn't have to buy clothes that had Dora the Explorer on them. I wouldn't have to buy stuff that was 'Bedazzled', when I was trying to be like the cool kids." I would wish, and pray, and hope, and do whatever I could so I would wake up in the monnirg and be different, and I wouldn't have to deal with these struggles. It's what I wanted every single day, and every single day I was disappointed. I have an amazing support syetsm around me, who never pity me, who are there to pick me up if I'm sad, who are there to laugh with me during the good times, and they taught me that, even though I have this syndrome, even though things are hard, I can't let that define me. My life was put into my hands, just like your lives are put into yours. You are the person in the front seat of your car. You are the one who decides whether your car goes down a bad path, or a good path. You are the one who decides what defines you. Now let me tell you: it could be really hard to figure out what defines you, because there were times when I'd get so aynoned and frustrated, and say: "I don't care what defines me!" When I was in high school I found a video, unfortunately, that somebody posted of me, labeling me the world's ugliest woman. There were over four million views to this video; eight seconds long, no sound, tnusoahds of comments; people saying, "Lizzie, please - please - just do the world a favor, put a gun to your head, and kill yourself." Think about that, if people told you that, if strangers told you this. I ceird my eyes out of course, and I was ready to fhigt back and something kind of clicked in my head, and I thought, "I'm just going to leave it alone." I started realizing that my life is in my hnads. I could either choose to make this really good, or I could coshoe to make this really bad. I could be grateful, and open my eyes and realize the things that I do have, and make those the things that define me. I can't see out of one eye, but I can see out of the other. I might get sick a lot, but I have really nice hair. (Laughter) (aiducene) You do, you do! Thanks. You guys are like the best little section right here. (Laughter) (Lizzie laughs) You made me lose my tiran of thought! (Laughter) Okay... where was I? Audience: Your hair! Hair! Hair. Ok, ok, thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you. So I could either choose to be happy or I could choose to be upset with what I have and still kind of complain about it, but then I srtated realizing: Am I going to let the people who called me a mnsoter define me? Am I going to let the people who said, "Kill it with fire!" define me? No; I'm going to let my goals, and my success, and my accomplishments be the things that define me - Not my outer aapecprane, not the fact that I'm visually impaired, not the fact that I have this syndrome that nobody knows what it is. So I told myself I'm going to work my butt off and do whatever I could to make myself better, because in my mind, the best way that I could get back at all those people who made fun of me, who teased me, who called me ugly, who claeld me a monster was to make myself better, and to show them: You know what? Tell me those negative things, I'm going to turn them around, and I'm going to use them as a ladder to climb up to my goals. That's what I did. I told myself that I wanted to be a mtintaooival speaker, I wanted to witre a book, graduate college, have my own fmilay, and have my own career. Eight yreas later, I’m standing in front of you, still doing motivational speaking. First thing, I accomplished it. I wtaend to write a book; in a couple of weeks I will be submitting the manuscript for my third book. (Applause) I wanted to graduate ceglloe, and I just finshied college. (Cheers and aupsaple) I'm getting a degree in Communication Studies from taexs satte University in San moracs, and I have a mnior in English. I really, really tried to use real-life ereeicnxpe while I was getting my deegre, and my professors were not having it. I wanted to have, llstay, my own family and my own career. The family part is kind of down the line, and my career part, I feel like I'm really doing well with it, considering the fact that when I decided I wanted to be a motivational speaker, I went home, I sat in front of my laptop, went to gogloe, and tpyed in: "How to be a motivational speaker." (Laughter) I'm not even joking. I worked my butt off. I used the people who were telling me that I couldn't do this to motivate me. I used their negativity to light my fire to keep going. Use that. Use that. Use that negativity that you have in your life to make yourself better, because I guarantee you - guarantee you - You will win. Now I want to end, with asking you again. I want you to lvaee here, and ask yourself what defines you. But remember: Brave starts here. Thank you. (Applause)

Open Cloze

I'm really, really, really excited to be here. I kind of want to tell you a little bit more of the - I don't want to say basics - because we really don't know anything about my syndrome. I was born with this very rare syndrome, that only two other people in the _____ including myself, that we know of, have. Basically what this syndrome causes, is that I cannot gain weight. Yes, it does _____ as good as it is. (Laughter) I could eat absolutely whatever I want, whenever I want and I won't really gain any weight. I'm going to be 25 in March, and I've never weighed over about 64 pounds in my ______ life. When I was in college, I hid - well, I didn't 'hide' it, everyone knew it was there - but it was a giant tub of Twinkies, donuts, chips, Skittles, and my roommate would say, "I could hear you at 12:30 am, reaching under your bed to get food." But I'm like, "You know what? It's _______, I can do these things!" Because there are benefits to this syndrome. There are benefits to not being able to gain weight. There are benefits to being visually ________. There are benefits to being kind of really small. A lot of people think, "Lizzie, how in the world are you saying there are benefits when you can only see out of one eye?" Well, let me tell you what the ________ are because they are great. I wear contacts—conTACT. Half-off conTACTS. (________) When I wear my _______ glasses: half-off prescription. If somebody is annoying me, being rude: Stand on my right side. (Laughter) It's like you're not even there. I don't even know you're ________ there. Right now, if I stand like this, I have no clue that there's this whole side of the room. Also, being small, I am very willing to volunteer myself to go to ______ Watchers or to some gym, and say, "Hi, I'm Lizzie. I will be your poster _____. Put my face on whatever you need, and I will say, 'Hi! I used this program. Look how well it worked.'" (Laughter) Even though there are amazing things that have come from this ________, there are also things that have been very, very difficult, as you can imagine. _______ up, I was raised 150% normally. I was my parents' first child. And when I was born, the doctors told my mom, "Your daughter has no amniotic fluid around her. At all." So when I was born, it was a miracle that I came out screaming. The doctors told my parents, "We just want to warn you: Expect your daughter to never be able to talk, walk, crawl, think, or do anything by herself." Now, as first-time parents, you would think that my _______ would say, "Oh no. Why? Why are we getting our first child with all these unknown problems?" But that's not what they did. The first thing they told the doctor was, "We want to see her, and we are going to take her home and love her, and raise her to the best of our abilities." And that's what they did. I ______ pretty much everything that I've done in my life to my parents. My dad is here with me today, and my mom is at home watching. Hi mom! (Laughter) She's __________ from surgery. She has been the glue that's held our family together, and she's given me the strength to see that she's going through so much, but she has this fighting ______ that she's instilled in me, so that I have proudly been able to stand in _____ of people and say, "You know what? I've had a really difficult life. But that's okay." That's okay. Things have been scary, things have been tough. One of the biggest things that I had to deal with growing up was something I'm pretty sure every single one of us in this room has dealt with before. Can you _____ what that is? It ______ with a 'B'. Can you guys guess it? Audience: Boys! Lizzie: Boys? (Laughter) Bullying! (Laughter) I know what you all are thinking. (Laughter) Why can't I sit here with them? (Laughter) I had to deal with bullying a lot, but as I said, I was ______ very normally, so when I started kindergarten, I had absolutely no idea that I looked different. No clue. I couldn't see that I looked different from other kids. I think of it as a big slap of reality for a five year-old, because I went in to school the first day, decked-out in Pocahontas gear. I was ready! (Laughter) I went in with my backpack that looked like a turtle shell because it was bigger than me, and I ______ up to a little girl and smiled at her, and she looked up at me like I was a monster, like I was the scariest thing she had ever seen in her life. My first reaction was, "She is really rude. (Laughter) I am a fun kid, and she's the one missing out. So I'll just go over here and play with blocks. Or boys." (Laughter) (______ laughs) I thought the day would get better, and unfortunately, it didn't. The day got worse and worse. A lot of ______ just wanted to have absolutely nothing to do with me, and I couldn't understand why. Why? What did I do? I didn't do anything to them! In my mind I was still a really cool kid. I had to go home and ask my parents, "What's wrong with me? What did I do? Why don't they like me?" They sat me down and said, "Lizzie, the only thing different about you is that you're _______ than the other kids. You have this syndrome, but it's not going to ______ who you are." They said, "Go to school, pick your head up, smile, ________ to be yourself, and people will see that you're just like them." And so that's what I did. I want you to think, and ask yourself this in your head, right now: What _______ you? Who are you? Is it where you come from? Is it your __________? Is it your _______? What is it? What defines who you are as a ______? It's taken me a very long time to ______ out what defines me. For so long I thought what defined me was my outer appearance. I thought that my little tiny legs, and my little arms, and my little face were ugly. I thought I was disgusting. I _____ when I'd wake up in the morning when I was going to middle school, and would be looking in the ______ getting ready, and ________, "Can I just scrub this syndrome off? It would make my life so much ______ if I could just scrub it off. I could look like other kids; I wouldn't have to buy clothes that had Dora the Explorer on them. I wouldn't have to buy stuff that was 'Bedazzled', when I was trying to be like the cool kids." I would wish, and pray, and hope, and do whatever I could so I would wake up in the _______ and be different, and I wouldn't have to deal with these struggles. It's what I wanted every single day, and every single day I was disappointed. I have an amazing support ______ around me, who never pity me, who are there to pick me up if I'm sad, who are there to laugh with me during the good times, and they taught me that, even though I have this syndrome, even though things are hard, I can't let that define me. My life was put into my hands, just like your lives are put into yours. You are the person in the front seat of your car. You are the one who decides whether your car goes down a bad path, or a good path. You are the one who decides what defines you. Now let me tell you: it could be really hard to figure out what defines you, because there were times when I'd get so _______ and frustrated, and say: "I don't care what defines me!" When I was in high school I found a video, unfortunately, that somebody posted of me, labeling me the world's ugliest woman. There were over four million views to this video; eight seconds long, no sound, _________ of comments; people saying, "Lizzie, please - please - just do the world a favor, put a gun to your head, and kill yourself." Think about that, if people told you that, if strangers told you this. I _____ my eyes out of course, and I was ready to _____ back and something kind of clicked in my head, and I thought, "I'm just going to leave it alone." I started realizing that my life is in my _____. I could either choose to make this really good, or I could ______ to make this really bad. I could be grateful, and open my eyes and realize the things that I do have, and make those the things that define me. I can't see out of one eye, but I can see out of the other. I might get sick a lot, but I have really nice hair. (Laughter) (________) You do, you do! Thanks. You guys are like the best little section right here. (Laughter) (Lizzie laughs) You made me lose my _____ of thought! (Laughter) Okay... where was I? Audience: Your hair! Hair! Hair. Ok, ok, thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you. So I could either choose to be happy or I could choose to be upset with what I have and still kind of complain about it, but then I _______ realizing: Am I going to let the people who called me a _______ define me? Am I going to let the people who said, "Kill it with fire!" define me? No; I'm going to let my goals, and my success, and my accomplishments be the things that define me - Not my outer __________, not the fact that I'm visually impaired, not the fact that I have this syndrome that nobody knows what it is. So I told myself I'm going to work my butt off and do whatever I could to make myself better, because in my mind, the best way that I could get back at all those people who made fun of me, who teased me, who called me ugly, who ______ me a monster was to make myself better, and to show them: You know what? Tell me those negative things, I'm going to turn them around, and I'm going to use them as a ladder to climb up to my goals. That's what I did. I told myself that I wanted to be a ____________ speaker, I wanted to _____ a book, graduate college, have my own ______, and have my own career. Eight _____ later, I’m standing in front of you, still doing motivational speaking. First thing, I accomplished it. I ______ to write a book; in a couple of weeks I will be submitting the manuscript for my third book. (Applause) I wanted to graduate _______, and I just ________ college. (Cheers and ________) I'm getting a degree in Communication Studies from _____ _____ University in San ______, and I have a _____ in English. I really, really tried to use real-life __________ while I was getting my ______, and my professors were not having it. I wanted to have, ______, my own family and my own career. The family part is kind of down the line, and my career part, I feel like I'm really doing well with it, considering the fact that when I decided I wanted to be a motivational speaker, I went home, I sat in front of my laptop, went to ______, and _____ in: "How to be a motivational speaker." (Laughter) I'm not even joking. I worked my butt off. I used the people who were telling me that I couldn't do this to motivate me. I used their negativity to light my fire to keep going. Use that. Use that. Use that negativity that you have in your life to make yourself better, because I guarantee you - guarantee you - You will win. Now I want to end, with asking you again. I want you to _____ here, and ask yourself what defines you. But remember: Brave starts here. Thank you. (Applause)

Solution

  1. college
  2. person
  3. friends
  4. continue
  5. cried
  6. google
  7. spirit
  8. alright
  9. laughter
  10. state
  11. minor
  12. recovering
  13. started
  14. walked
  15. called
  16. child
  17. monster
  18. lastly
  19. typed
  20. degree
  21. standing
  22. morning
  23. smaller
  24. fight
  25. growing
  26. hated
  27. guess
  28. hands
  29. annoyed
  30. motivational
  31. texas
  32. parents
  33. impaired
  34. audience
  35. thousands
  36. system
  37. choose
  38. write
  39. mirror
  40. family
  41. syndrome
  42. sound
  43. applause
  44. background
  45. lizzie
  46. people
  47. raised
  48. credit
  49. benefits
  50. wanted
  51. defines
  52. front
  53. appearance
  54. finished
  55. define
  56. weight
  57. starts
  58. thinking
  59. easier
  60. reading
  61. leave
  62. years
  63. train
  64. entire
  65. figure
  66. experience
  67. world
  68. marcos

Original Text

I'm really, really, really excited to be here. I kind of want to tell you a little bit more of the - I don't want to say basics - because we really don't know anything about my syndrome. I was born with this very rare syndrome, that only two other people in the world including myself, that we know of, have. Basically what this syndrome causes, is that I cannot gain weight. Yes, it does sound as good as it is. (Laughter) I could eat absolutely whatever I want, whenever I want and I won't really gain any weight. I'm going to be 25 in March, and I've never weighed over about 64 pounds in my entire life. When I was in college, I hid - well, I didn't 'hide' it, everyone knew it was there - but it was a giant tub of Twinkies, donuts, chips, Skittles, and my roommate would say, "I could hear you at 12:30 am, reaching under your bed to get food." But I'm like, "You know what? It's alright, I can do these things!" Because there are benefits to this syndrome. There are benefits to not being able to gain weight. There are benefits to being visually impaired. There are benefits to being kind of really small. A lot of people think, "Lizzie, how in the world are you saying there are benefits when you can only see out of one eye?" Well, let me tell you what the benefits are because they are great. I wear contacts—conTACT. Half-off conTACTS. (Laughter) When I wear my reading glasses: half-off prescription. If somebody is annoying me, being rude: Stand on my right side. (Laughter) It's like you're not even there. I don't even know you're standing there. Right now, if I stand like this, I have no clue that there's this whole side of the room. Also, being small, I am very willing to volunteer myself to go to Weight Watchers or to some gym, and say, "Hi, I'm Lizzie. I will be your poster child. Put my face on whatever you need, and I will say, 'Hi! I used this program. Look how well it worked.'" (Laughter) Even though there are amazing things that have come from this syndrome, there are also things that have been very, very difficult, as you can imagine. Growing up, I was raised 150% normally. I was my parents' first child. And when I was born, the doctors told my mom, "Your daughter has no amniotic fluid around her. At all." So when I was born, it was a miracle that I came out screaming. The doctors told my parents, "We just want to warn you: Expect your daughter to never be able to talk, walk, crawl, think, or do anything by herself." Now, as first-time parents, you would think that my parents would say, "Oh no. Why? Why are we getting our first child with all these unknown problems?" But that's not what they did. The first thing they told the doctor was, "We want to see her, and we are going to take her home and love her, and raise her to the best of our abilities." And that's what they did. I credit pretty much everything that I've done in my life to my parents. My dad is here with me today, and my mom is at home watching. Hi mom! (Laughter) She's recovering from surgery. She has been the glue that's held our family together, and she's given me the strength to see that she's going through so much, but she has this fighting spirit that she's instilled in me, so that I have proudly been able to stand in front of people and say, "You know what? I've had a really difficult life. But that's okay." That's okay. Things have been scary, things have been tough. One of the biggest things that I had to deal with growing up was something I'm pretty sure every single one of us in this room has dealt with before. Can you guess what that is? It starts with a 'B'. Can you guys guess it? Audience: Boys! Lizzie: Boys? (Laughter) Bullying! (Laughter) I know what you all are thinking. (Laughter) Why can't I sit here with them? (Laughter) I had to deal with bullying a lot, but as I said, I was raised very normally, so when I started kindergarten, I had absolutely no idea that I looked different. No clue. I couldn't see that I looked different from other kids. I think of it as a big slap of reality for a five year-old, because I went in to school the first day, decked-out in Pocahontas gear. I was ready! (Laughter) I went in with my backpack that looked like a turtle shell because it was bigger than me, and I walked up to a little girl and smiled at her, and she looked up at me like I was a monster, like I was the scariest thing she had ever seen in her life. My first reaction was, "She is really rude. (Laughter) I am a fun kid, and she's the one missing out. So I'll just go over here and play with blocks. Or boys." (Laughter) (Lizzie laughs) I thought the day would get better, and unfortunately, it didn't. The day got worse and worse. A lot of people just wanted to have absolutely nothing to do with me, and I couldn't understand why. Why? What did I do? I didn't do anything to them! In my mind I was still a really cool kid. I had to go home and ask my parents, "What's wrong with me? What did I do? Why don't they like me?" They sat me down and said, "Lizzie, the only thing different about you is that you're smaller than the other kids. You have this syndrome, but it's not going to define who you are." They said, "Go to school, pick your head up, smile, continue to be yourself, and people will see that you're just like them." And so that's what I did. I want you to think, and ask yourself this in your head, right now: What defines you? Who are you? Is it where you come from? Is it your background? Is it your friends? What is it? What defines who you are as a person? It's taken me a very long time to figure out what defines me. For so long I thought what defined me was my outer appearance. I thought that my little tiny legs, and my little arms, and my little face were ugly. I thought I was disgusting. I hated when I'd wake up in the morning when I was going to middle school, and would be looking in the mirror getting ready, and thinking, "Can I just scrub this syndrome off? It would make my life so much easier if I could just scrub it off. I could look like other kids; I wouldn't have to buy clothes that had Dora the Explorer on them. I wouldn't have to buy stuff that was 'Bedazzled', when I was trying to be like the cool kids." I would wish, and pray, and hope, and do whatever I could so I would wake up in the morning and be different, and I wouldn't have to deal with these struggles. It's what I wanted every single day, and every single day I was disappointed. I have an amazing support system around me, who never pity me, who are there to pick me up if I'm sad, who are there to laugh with me during the good times, and they taught me that, even though I have this syndrome, even though things are hard, I can't let that define me. My life was put into my hands, just like your lives are put into yours. You are the person in the front seat of your car. You are the one who decides whether your car goes down a bad path, or a good path. You are the one who decides what defines you. Now let me tell you: it could be really hard to figure out what defines you, because there were times when I'd get so annoyed and frustrated, and say: "I don't care what defines me!" When I was in high school I found a video, unfortunately, that somebody posted of me, labeling me the world's ugliest woman. There were over four million views to this video; eight seconds long, no sound, thousands of comments; people saying, "Lizzie, please - please - just do the world a favor, put a gun to your head, and kill yourself." Think about that, if people told you that, if strangers told you this. I cried my eyes out of course, and I was ready to fight back and something kind of clicked in my head, and I thought, "I'm just going to leave it alone." I started realizing that my life is in my hands. I could either choose to make this really good, or I could choose to make this really bad. I could be grateful, and open my eyes and realize the things that I do have, and make those the things that define me. I can't see out of one eye, but I can see out of the other. I might get sick a lot, but I have really nice hair. (Laughter) (Audience) You do, you do! Thanks. You guys are like the best little section right here. (Laughter) (Lizzie laughs) You made me lose my train of thought! (Laughter) Okay... where was I? Audience: Your hair! Hair! Hair. Ok, ok, thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you. So I could either choose to be happy or I could choose to be upset with what I have and still kind of complain about it, but then I started realizing: Am I going to let the people who called me a monster define me? Am I going to let the people who said, "Kill it with fire!" define me? No; I'm going to let my goals, and my success, and my accomplishments be the things that define me - Not my outer appearance, not the fact that I'm visually impaired, not the fact that I have this syndrome that nobody knows what it is. So I told myself I'm going to work my butt off and do whatever I could to make myself better, because in my mind, the best way that I could get back at all those people who made fun of me, who teased me, who called me ugly, who called me a monster was to make myself better, and to show them: You know what? Tell me those negative things, I'm going to turn them around, and I'm going to use them as a ladder to climb up to my goals. That's what I did. I told myself that I wanted to be a motivational speaker, I wanted to write a book, graduate college, have my own family, and have my own career. Eight years later, I’m standing in front of you, still doing motivational speaking. First thing, I accomplished it. I wanted to write a book; in a couple of weeks I will be submitting the manuscript for my third book. (Applause) I wanted to graduate college, and I just finished college. (Cheers and applause) I'm getting a degree in Communication Studies from Texas State University in San Marcos, and I have a minor in English. I really, really tried to use real-life experience while I was getting my degree, and my professors were not having it. I wanted to have, lastly, my own family and my own career. The family part is kind of down the line, and my career part, I feel like I'm really doing well with it, considering the fact that when I decided I wanted to be a motivational speaker, I went home, I sat in front of my laptop, went to Google, and typed in: "How to be a motivational speaker." (Laughter) I'm not even joking. I worked my butt off. I used the people who were telling me that I couldn't do this to motivate me. I used their negativity to light my fire to keep going. Use that. Use that. Use that negativity that you have in your life to make yourself better, because I guarantee you - guarantee you - You will win. Now I want to end, with asking you again. I want you to leave here, and ask yourself what defines you. But remember: Brave starts here. Thank you. (Applause)

Frequently Occurring Word Combinations

ngrams of length 2

collocation frequency
gain weight 2
doctors told 2

Important Words

  1. abilities
  2. absolutely
  3. accomplished
  4. accomplishments
  5. alright
  6. amazing
  7. amniotic
  8. annoyed
  9. annoying
  10. appearance
  11. applause
  12. arms
  13. audience
  14. background
  15. backpack
  16. bad
  17. basically
  18. basics
  19. bed
  20. benefits
  21. big
  22. bigger
  23. biggest
  24. bit
  25. blocks
  26. book
  27. born
  28. boys
  29. brave
  30. bullying
  31. butt
  32. buy
  33. called
  34. car
  35. care
  36. career
  37. cheers
  38. child
  39. chips
  40. choose
  41. clicked
  42. climb
  43. clothes
  44. clue
  45. college
  46. communication
  47. complain
  48. contacts
  49. continue
  50. cool
  51. couple
  52. crawl
  53. credit
  54. cried
  55. dad
  56. daughter
  57. day
  58. deal
  59. dealt
  60. decided
  61. decides
  62. define
  63. defined
  64. defines
  65. degree
  66. difficult
  67. disappointed
  68. disgusting
  69. doctor
  70. doctors
  71. donuts
  72. dora
  73. easier
  74. eat
  75. english
  76. entire
  77. excited
  78. expect
  79. experience
  80. explorer
  81. eye
  82. eyes
  83. face
  84. fact
  85. family
  86. favor
  87. feel
  88. fight
  89. fighting
  90. figure
  91. finished
  92. fire
  93. fluid
  94. food
  95. friends
  96. front
  97. frustrated
  98. fun
  99. gain
  100. gear
  101. giant
  102. girl
  103. glue
  104. goals
  105. good
  106. google
  107. graduate
  108. grateful
  109. great
  110. growing
  111. guarantee
  112. guess
  113. gun
  114. guys
  115. gym
  116. hair
  117. hands
  118. happy
  119. hard
  120. hated
  121. head
  122. hear
  123. held
  124. hid
  125. high
  126. home
  127. hope
  128. idea
  129. imagine
  130. impaired
  131. including
  132. instilled
  133. joking
  134. kid
  135. kids
  136. kill
  137. kind
  138. kindergarten
  139. knew
  140. labeling
  141. ladder
  142. laptop
  143. lastly
  144. laugh
  145. laughs
  146. laughter
  147. leave
  148. legs
  149. life
  150. light
  151. line
  152. lives
  153. lizzie
  154. long
  155. looked
  156. lose
  157. lot
  158. love
  159. manuscript
  160. march
  161. marcos
  162. middle
  163. million
  164. mind
  165. minor
  166. miracle
  167. mirror
  168. missing
  169. mom
  170. monster
  171. morning
  172. motivate
  173. motivational
  174. negative
  175. negativity
  176. nice
  177. open
  178. outer
  179. parents
  180. part
  181. path
  182. people
  183. person
  184. pick
  185. pity
  186. play
  187. pocahontas
  188. posted
  189. poster
  190. pounds
  191. pray
  192. prescription
  193. pretty
  194. problems
  195. professors
  196. program
  197. proudly
  198. put
  199. raise
  200. raised
  201. rare
  202. reaching
  203. reaction
  204. reading
  205. ready
  206. reality
  207. realize
  208. realizing
  209. recovering
  210. room
  211. roommate
  212. rude
  213. sad
  214. san
  215. sat
  216. scariest
  217. scary
  218. school
  219. screaming
  220. scrub
  221. seat
  222. seconds
  223. section
  224. shell
  225. show
  226. sick
  227. side
  228. single
  229. sit
  230. skittles
  231. slap
  232. small
  233. smaller
  234. smile
  235. smiled
  236. sound
  237. speaker
  238. speaking
  239. spirit
  240. stand
  241. standing
  242. started
  243. starts
  244. state
  245. strangers
  246. strength
  247. struggles
  248. studies
  249. stuff
  250. submitting
  251. success
  252. support
  253. surgery
  254. syndrome
  255. system
  256. talk
  257. taught
  258. teased
  259. telling
  260. texas
  261. thinking
  262. thought
  263. thousands
  264. time
  265. times
  266. tiny
  267. today
  268. told
  269. tough
  270. train
  271. tub
  272. turn
  273. turtle
  274. twinkies
  275. typed
  276. ugliest
  277. ugly
  278. understand
  279. university
  280. unknown
  281. upset
  282. video
  283. views
  284. visually
  285. volunteer
  286. wake
  287. walk
  288. walked
  289. wanted
  290. warn
  291. watchers
  292. watching
  293. wear
  294. weeks
  295. weighed
  296. weight
  297. win
  298. woman
  299. work
  300. worked
  301. world
  302. worse
  303. write
  304. wrong
  305. years