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Today they posted the video from my TEDx talk.

I tell a very concatenated version of my story, focusing on what led up to one of the most pivotal moments in my life, and then introduce one of the foundational aspects of achieving Escape Velocity — a fundamental change in how we see ourselves, not as the product of our past, but for the potential of our future. Because truly, it is not our past that matters, but our future.

 

Okay, so if you haven’t yet heard of Ted Williams, you need to. It’s a great story.

At the beginning of this week Ted Williams was homeless. He was begging on the streets, panhandling at intersections.

Ted Williams from Ohio, the inspirational story of the man with the golden voice

Ted Williams, inspirational story

Early this week he stood by the side of Interstate 71 in Columbus Ohio holding a sign that said “I have a God given gift of voice”, asking for help.

Ted Williams - the inspirational story of the panhandling man turned viral video star

Ted Williams panhandling in Ohio

A reporter for the Columbus Dispatch saw the sign, and chose to video the interaction. He posted the amazing video on YouTube and it instantly went viral, getting over 13 million views in just around 48 hours (an unprecedented explosion of popularity).

Here’s the video:

What happens next is nothing short of motivating, inspirational, and just plain amazing.

Seeing the video, he’s invited onto several shows, including the Today Show, CBS Morning News, and numerous others. He was flown to New York, his home town, by the Today Show, where he was also able to meet his mother, whom he hasn’t seen in more than a decade.

Ted Williams on Today

Williams tells his story of starting out as a radio announcer, but falling into alcohol and drugs, to the point where they took over his life, and he lost everything. His family (9 kids – 7 daughters and 2 sons), wife, home, job, everything.

Living in a tent, he finally decided he needed a change. He’s been 2 years clean now.

In the aftermath of the viral video, thankfully captured and brought to YouTube, he’s been offered numerous jobs, including becoming the official voice for Kraft, an announcer for the Cleveland Cavaliers basketball team, and Quicken even called him up and gave him a fully-paid mortgage to buy a house or apartment.

Through it all, he’s keeping God in the center, repeatedly offering up his gratitude in these public interviews.

On the Today show, just a few days after being discovered, he was asked if he had a newfound appreciation for the homeless, to which he replied:

“Please don’t judge a book by its cover. Everybody has their own little story.”

Here are several videos chronicling the inspirational journey.

Interview with Today Show

[youtube LAcIFIASiI4 488]

Interview with CBS

[youtube gWG6zNf4xY0 488]