Day 25: “Your elusive creative genius” a Ted talk by Elizabeth Gilbert author of Eat, Pray, Love

Vintage Typewriter

Who in their right mind  would want to be an artist today? Tortured, struggling - these are words often used to describe the artist.  It seems that somewhere along the ages society collectively made the decision that an artist would not be worth the canvas they paint on or the keyboard they type on unless they are enduring some kind of suffering. Elizabeth Gilbert, author of the famed novel Eat, Pray Love, challenges this portrayal of the artist in her Ted talk “Your elusive creative genius” Aren't you afraid you are never going to have any success? From the moment one sets out to be an artist the questions will begin from well meaning family and friends. "Aren't you afraid you are never going to have any success? Aren't you afraid the humiliation of rejection will kill you?" Aren't you afraid that the world will be taken over by zombies? Okay, so I made up that last one, but that was simply to highlight the absurdity  of asking … [Read more...]

Day 24: How Sting beat writers block – a musical Ted talk with an encore

share your story on sticky note

Imagine being a world renown singer-songwriter who has penned more award winning lyrics than you had ever dreamed possible. What would happen if one day the songs just dried up. The words stopped coming and what would follow is years of writers block? What would you do? For music legend Sting that was his living reality and  when the words stopped coming Sting knew he needed reclaim his missing muse, he just didn't expect it to be from the place he escaped. Sting’s Ted talk was different to most Ted talks I have watched and I am not referring to the several times he broke out in song with his guitar, although as a Sting fan that was definitely a bonus for me. What really made Sting’s Ted talk stand out was the  way it appeared that he was just simply telling a story between friends - captivating, engaging and honest. His story  took us on a journey through his humble beginnings as a boy living near "a shadow of a shipyard" to present … [Read more...]

Day 23: A Ted talk by Phil Hansen who found his creativity in the least expected place.

Vintage gift box with bow on wooden background

Imagine being an artist with a  hand that won’t stop shaking. An artist whose life passion is pointillism,  creating art made up of thousands of tiny dots using a steady hand.   What would you do? Would you quit, give up and stop being an artist or would you make your limitations work for you? Day 23 of 365 Days of Ted is by Artist Phil Hansen who faced that very challenge. Question is - did he give up? Embrace the shake When Phil Hansen was in art school the unthinkable happened - he developed a tremor in his hand, nerve damage from spending years and years creating art made up of tiny, tiny dots. Initially Phil fought back. He held that pencil tighter and tighter until the pain got unbearable to the point that he was unable to hold anything. Defeated he dropped out of art school and gave up on art. For years art was no longer a part of Phil’s life, but like anyone with a true passion knows, you can’t simply hide away from what … [Read more...]

Day 22: Why I disagree with Derek Siver’s Ted talk “Keep your goals to yourself”

Should your goals be a secret?

When you have a new goal do you share that with your family and friends or keep hush about it? In his Ted talk " Keep your goals to yourself" Derek Sivers  says that  if you share your goals you most probably won't ever see them come to light. That goes against every goal setting advice I have ever heard. Could Derek actually be right? I debated about whether publishing today’s post. So far I have been on board with every Ted speaker, been dancing to the same tune been right up on that wagon with them, but I just can’t do that with today’s Ted talk post. I just don’t agree with Derek Sivers view on goal setting.  The core message of his Ted talk was that when you tell someone your goals your brain is tricked into thinking that you have already achieved that goal or in Derek’s words “telling someone your goals make them less likely to happen" Basically  Derek says once are brain believes that we have achieved the goal we become less … [Read more...]

Day 21: What I learned from watching BJ Fogg’s Tedx talk “Forget big change, start with a tiny habit”

Time for Change

21 days make a habit and today I celebrate the fact that I am 21 days into my 365 Days of Ted journey. For this reason I decided to seek out a Ted talk on habits and found a great one by BJ Fogg called "Forget big change, start with a tiny habit" In this talk BJ shares his method of creating big change in a small way.     What I learned from watching BJ Fogg's Ted talk "Forget big change, start with a tiny habit" This particular talk really resonated with me as it covers a principle that I have adopted in my life over the past 12 months with a good level of success and that is attaching new habits onto existing ones. The way this works is when you participate in the old habit, your brain is trained to mentally trigger the new habit. An example that BJ gives is every morning he always does push-ups after he has been to the bathroom. The two morning habits have become a pair and one habit is no longer complete … [Read more...]

Day 20: Lessons I learned from watching Isabel Allende’s Ted talk “How to live passionately—no matter your age”

Live passionately

Day 20’s post is is about a Ted talk I watched by 71 year old Isabel Allende “How to live passionately - no matter your age” Isabel Allende delivers a very honest talk about her fears about  aging and the revelations that she has learnt along the way.  Although the presentation is about her perspective of ageing as a woman in her 70's the presentation should really be watched by all ages as their are some real nuggets of wisdoms tucked into her 7 minute talk. The key lessons I learnt from watching Isabel Allende's Ted talk "How to live passionately—no matter your age" Isabele kicks off her Ted talk by quoting a Mary Oliver poem,  "Tell me, what is it that you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" Isabel says she plans to live passionately.   One of the most insightful things that Isabel said was that as she ages she has learnt to let go of a lot of the baggage that she carried such as grudges and vanity, she only wishes … [Read more...]

Day 19: Lessons I learnt from watching Neil Pasricha’s Ted talk “The 3 A’s of awesome”

Child and sunflower

Day 19 is all about appreciating the awesomeness in your life. Neil  Pasricha's who runs the popular 1000 Awesome Things has a message to share and that is that we need to appreciate all the small moments in life that make up the big picture. Neil shares his 3 A's of awesome in his Ted talk. I first came across Neil Pasricha when I was Amazon window shopping and found his 'The Book of Awesome' which also led me to his blog. Each day he posts one awesome thing to his blog. It's nothing life changing, just the simple moments that we often forget to appreciate such as carrying a newly filled ice-cube tray to the freezer without spilling it.  Okay, so what are the 3 A’s of awesome according Neil Pasricha 1. Attitude Our attitude is the one central thing that can change our entire experience of absolutely everything we do. Neil says that whether or not we want to talk about it, life probably wont go according to plan and bad things will … [Read more...]

Day 18: What I learned from watching Kelly McGonigal’s Ted talk “How to make stress your friend”

make stress your friend

Do you ever get stressed? Has  the effects of stress ever spilt over as physical symptoms? If you are looking at a way to eliminate stress from your life then this post is not for you.  Thanks to Kelly McGonigal and her presentation "How to make stress your friend" Day 18 of 365 Days of Ted is all about making stress your friend. If you up for the challenge keep reading... The core  message that Kelly is sharing is that we need to train ourselves to stop seeing stress as the enemy and instead see it as a helpful response. This is a pretty bold statement to make especially when we have been imprinted with the message that stress is bad and will make us sick. Doctors, health articles, friends, self-help books,  family members  strangers on the bus, all tell us the same thing - stress is bad.  So why should we take any notice of Kelly's claim? Before answering that I should point out that in her role as a health psychologist Kelly … [Read more...]

Day 17: Lessons I learned from watching Barry Schwartz’s Ted talk ” The Paradox of choice”

choices choices choices

For day 17 of my 365 Days of Ted journey I decided to watch a presentation by Barry Schwartz called "The Pardox of Choice." This post is for anyone who has ever felt overwhelmed with all the choices in your life - you are not alone and through his Ted talk Barry will explain why you are feeling the way you do. Choice Paralysis The problem with too many choices is that for fear of making the wrong choice we end up in this state of choice paralysis unable to make a decision, although you could argue that by not actively making a choice you are still making a decision by default. Perhaps you are planning to go away for the Summer holidays. You have booked your plane ticket and are now looking to get your accommodation sorted. You are heading to a tourist hot spot so you literally have hundreds of hotels to choose from which at first seems like a buffet delight of options yet you are unable to make a choice for fear of  making the wrong … [Read more...]

Day 16: What I learned from watching Brene Brown’s Ted talk “Listening to shame”

Can I ask you a question? Are you a vulnerable person? Do you let this vulnerability define who you are and what you do? In a positive way or a negative way?  Since we are talking about raw emotions what about shame? Are you the type of man or woman that looks into the mirror and sees shame reflected back at them?  As you have probably already figured out  for day 16 of 365 Days of Ted I have chosen the theme of shame and vulnerability inspired  by a Ted talk by Brene Brown called "Listening to shame." This talk goes much deeper than most Ted talks I have discuss so far but hey, it's day 16 already, let's get serious! What I learned from watching Brene Brown's Ted talk "Listening to shame" The biggest lesson I took away from this presentation was that in order to understand how tight a negative grip vulnerability has on your life you first need to understand what  your actual definition for vulnerability is. Brene asked the audience … [Read more...]