Day 254: Meditation can change your brain and make you happy

Day 254- Meditation can change your brain

Do you meditate? I don’t, but I want to. I have tried it before but my mind always ends up wandering off to something that happened that day or worse, my mind mentally checks out  my to-do list. This is around the point I usually stop meditating and bring out my to-do list and get lost in the busyness of my day. I’ve heard a few high profile successful people share stories on how their lives *significantly* changed with meditation, but I never really bought it. Not completely. Sure I thought that it probably made them more calmer in the moment but a part of me thought that the benefits of meditation were being hyped up a bit … maybe even a touch placebo.  Listening to Sarah Lazar's  TED presentation 'How Meditation Can Reshape Our Brains'  made me rethink  how I look at meditation.  Sarah talks about how when she took yoga classes she really enjoyed the sessions, but wasn't really keen when her teacher started making claims … [Read more...]

Day 178: How to become a minimalist

Feeling stuck? Are you looking to simplify your life and live with intent? TED speakers Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus might have the answer for you in their TED talk "A rich life with less stuff" a TED talk about minimalism. The TED talk kicked off by Ryan sharing the backstory on what led him to be on that stage and his reason was one we can all relate to - Ryan had been on a pursuit for happiness, but this pursuit actually caused him misery. In his eyes he would not obtain that happiness unless he became rich but how do you define rich anyway? Is the amount of make you make each year? Is that the amount of stuff you can buy with that money? On the surface it seemed that Ryan was living the American Dream. He had everything that he was meant to want, flashy new cars, a large home, a six-figure income but he wasn't happy. Far from it, he was miserable but he noticed something. His best friend Joshua was happy and he … [Read more...]

Day 176: Know your five purpose in five questions

Do you know what your life purpose is? Yes? Awesome! No? Don't worry you are not alone. A staggering number of people don't know what their life purpose is.  TED speaker Adam Leipzig uses his time at TED to put a pretty bold statement out there. He claims that you can find out your life purpose in five minutes.  Is he mad or is Adam on to something? For Adam Leizpig, a trip to his college reunion revealed some, well heartbreaking, revelations. Whilst chatting to old classmates it was revealed by many of them that they felt that they had wasted half their life. "I don't know what my life is all about." Okay so it needs to be pointed out that this group of friends according to Adam were privileged, well off and in positions of power. On the surface it probably looked like they had it all, but the problem ran much deeper. Adam says that about 80% of his friends felt this. What about the other 20%? Adam says that the happier 20% … [Read more...]

Day 166: 4 tips for success (working hard is not one of them)

Today’s instalment of 365 Days of TED is about a recent TEDx talk I watched by Zain Asher about how working hard is by no means a guarantee for success. For many of us we have had the mantra of working hard for success drilled into us since school, so it’s refreshing to hear a different take on it. Zain breaks it down into four key points. Trust Your Struggle Zain belies that we need to learn to trust our struggle and have faith that everyhing is going to work out for the greater good. I’ll admit this can be a hard pill to swallow and it would be understandable if people weren’t 100% on board with this point, it’s a hard sell, but really, whats the alternative? Feeling sorry for ourselves when things go pear shape does us no good. You don’t have competitors Zain shared with us her philosophy on competitors. "I don’t believe in competing for what I want, I believe in creating what I want” That was probably my favourite quote … [Read more...]

Day 155: Could you ban yourself from the internet for an entire year?

Imagine banning yourself from the internet for a whole year. Could you do it? Paul Miller decided that he needed to learn who he was away from the internet and distractions that are bundled with being online  and decided that  unplugging himself from the web world would be the way to go. This is the second time I have watched Paul Miller’s ted talk, “A year offline, what have I learnt.” The first time I watched it I remember being pretty disappointed.  I was expecting to hear a TED talk littered with profound nuggets of wisdom that could only be learnt from spending a year disconnected from the grasps of  the digital world. I expected to see a changed-man beckoning for us all to join him in this post-digital movement.   A new reality that offers liberation from notification beeps and instant messaging.  I expected him to be giddy with excitement and enthusiasm for his new lifestyle. This was not the reality that Paul … [Read more...]

Day 146: Meet the mom who started the Ice Bucket Challenge

Have you heard of the ALS Ice-Bucket challenge? Chances are that unless you have been living under a rock your answer would have been yes. In 2014 the ALS Ice-bucket challenge exploded all over social media. Nancy Frates is the mom who started the ice bucket challenge and in her Ted talk she delivers a heartwarming and inspiring story about her son Pete What is the ice bucket challenge? The ice-bucket challenge involves participants pouring cold icy-water over them to give them an idea what ALS sufferers go through. What exactly is ALS? ALS stands for Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. In Nancy's Ted talk she shares with us that  when her son hurt his wrist playing baseball it turned out to be ASL. Nancy takes us through the days and month following his diagnosis and it's heartbreaking to hear that her once athletic son's body is … [Read more...]

Day 145: Do you have the same values that you had 10 years ago?

Can Iask you a question? It might be a little personal.  Do you have the same values that you had ten years ago?  Have you changed? I'm guessing, for better or worse  the answer is yes. Who you are right now in this very moment is most probably not the same person you were ten years ago and is very likely not who you will be in ten years time. This was the topic of Dan Gilbert’s Ted talk “The psychology of your future self." The rate of change   Kids seem to change by the minute where as parents seem to change by the year. It is well known and understood that the youth will change quite a lot in ten years. A lot can happen between being eighteen and twenty-eight.   I remember when I was ten I wrote a letter to my eighteen year old-self. I read the letter when I was about nineteen and it was quite clear that my thirteen year old self thought being eighteen was more like being twenty-eight! The thing is that people assume that as we … [Read more...]

Day 145: We all see the world differently

Perception. It's the darnedest thing. You and I could both be witnessing the very same event but walk away from it with completely different experiences. Emily Balcetis's Ted talk "Why some people find exercise harder than others" is a pretty insightful look into human behaviour. Perception is unique to each and everyone of us and is shaped by our past history and our values and core beliefs. Have you ever had one of those days where everyone just seems to be in a bad mood including yourself? Perhaps you got caught in traffic delays on your already long commute to work and when you arrive at work everyone seemed to be in a bad mood. Later that evening when you arrive home your partner is upset with you for not wanting to go out that evening. Emily suggests that maybe the situation is being viewed through the wrong perception. Perhaps, your co-workers are concerned for you and you partner is worried that you are not feeling … [Read more...]

Day 113: Emotional Correctness

Emotional correctness. What the heck is that? I have heard of political correctness but emotional correctness? Do we need another form of correctness? Sally Kohn thinks so and her TED talk "Let's talk emotional correctness" she explains why. Sally kicks off her TED talk by sharing a rather poignant truth for her, the better she does her job the more people hate her. What's her occupation? Sally says her role as "a gay talking head on Fox News" has made her the target for hate mail. Really vile hate mail. One would understand if this made Sally bitter and twisted but she has actually got a pretty profound lesson from it. "We spend so much time talking past each other and not enough time talking through our disagreements, and if we can start to find compassion for one another, then we have a shot at building common ground." How true is that! Sally uses the example that when a person might say they hate immigrants she tries to … [Read more...]

Day 111: Change your life by eating better

I am writing today's instalment of 365 Days of Ted on the first day of a new year. Today is a day when typically new years resolutions will be made with good intentions, promise and hope. One of those resolutions might be to take better care of yourself and eat better. It's probably one of the better promises which you can make for yourself but one that can be the hardest, which is why I chose this particular Ted talk by Dean Ornish 'The killer American diet that's sweeping the planet' a 3 minute clip sharing the benefits of a healthier diet. What did you think of Dean's TED talk? Is eating healthier a part of your New Year's resolution. Share your thoughts in the comment box below. … [Read more...]