Day 110: The power of believing that you can improve

Ted speaker Carol Dweck's Ted talk "The power of believing that you can improve" is all about the simple notion that having a growth mindset is the key to improving one's self. A powerful message when you need a little motivational boost. Carol kicks off her Ted talk with a story about a high school in Chicago where students grades were worded differently. Like most schools, the students in this high school needed to pass certain subjects to graduate. The students who failed certain courses were graded 'Not Yet.' It's still essentially a non-pass but worded as not-yet allows room for growth and possibility and it also implies that there will be a 'yet' there will a pass in the future. Personally, I think that this is such a productive way at looking at fails. The word fail has such a bad rap, but 'not yet' is filled with hope and opportunity, so the next time you don't make that grade or succeed in some way, remember you didn't … [Read more...]

Day 102: Don’t wait to be a hero

Mark Bezos is a volunteer firefighter. In his town volunteer firefighters are called to supplement the highly skilled career staff when a fire breaks out. In this Ted talk"A life lesson from a volunteer firefighter" Mark shares a humbling lesson he learned on his second day as a volunteer on the scene of a house fire. Picture this. It's Mark's second day as a volunteer firefighter and as a volunteer he races down to the location of the fire so that he can get delegated his task. As volunteers you need to get in early to get a good job. Mark finds the fire captain who is deep in conversation with the homeowner. The homeowner is quote a sight. She's in her pyjamas,   barefoot and fighting for shelter under an umbrella. She's having the worst day of her life.   Another volunteer, Mark affectionally calls Lex Luther , arrives at the scene first and is given the job of rescuing the homeowners cat. Mark is jealous. He wants to rescue the … [Read more...]

Day 101: The simple power of hand-washing

6.6 million under five years old succumb to childhood disease each year. 600,00 of those kids can be saved by a bar of soap. Today's instalment in my 365 Days of ted challenge is a post about Myriam Sidibe's ted talk "The simple power of handwashing." Myriam kicks off her Ted talk with a pretty grim analogy.  She asks her audience to imagine that a plane is about to crash. On that plane are 250 kids and babies. Would you stop that plane crash if you knew how, she asks?  Going even deeper into this morbid analogy, Myriam asks us to image that sixty of these planes filled of kids under five years old crash every single day. What’s the point behind this awful analogy? Well Myriam informs us that 6.6 million children don’t make it to their fifth birthday and most of their deaths are attributed to diarrhoea and pneumonia - preventable diseases.  So what’s the preventable measures that can significantly reduce the death count of kids … [Read more...]

Day 99: Ditch the overseas holiday, observe stillness instead

Want to know a radical notion? How about the next time that you are planning a jet-setting holiday you stay home instead and observe stillness? Ted speaker Pico Iyer swears by the benefits of adopting stillness in your life. The travel bug hit Pico when he was a boy of nine years old. This ultimately led Pic to his career as a travel writer. As a travel writer he was privileged to see some truly amazing sights, such as the candlelit temples of Tibet or the seafronts of Havana. He wanted to bottle up the magic and bring it back home for his friends and to bring a touch of clarity into his own life but there was a flaw in his plan. Your world and my world is different We all experience the world in different ways. Our history, our truths, our beliefs shape how we perceive everything around us. Pico explains this with a  great analogy.  He says that you can take an angry man to the Himalayas but he will just complain about the food. … [Read more...]

Day 97: 3 things Ric Elias learned while his plane crashed into the Hudson River

Day 97- 3 things Ric Elias learned while his plane crashed into the Hudson River (1)

Imagine being on a plane headed straight into the Hudson River. For Rick Elias he didn’t need to imagine this. In January 2009 this was his reality.   Ric uses his ted talk to share three things that he learned in those moments. The Hudson River plane crash of 2009 was a miracle story - a commercial plane lands into a river with not a single fatality. In his Ted talk “3 things I learned while my place crashed” Ric talks the audience through what it was like in those final minutes, including the moment that the pilot switched off the engine and said “the most unemotional” words Ric had ever heard “Brace for impact.”  Ric also shares the three things he learned about himself that day. 1. “I collect bad wines” Ric thought about his bucket-list, all the things that we put off doing and store into this bucket until the time is right. He also started a new saying “I collect bad wines” because he doesn’t want to postpone life anymore, … [Read more...]

Day 95: Success is a continuous journey. A post inspired by Richard St. John

Day 95- Success is a continuous journey. A post inspired by Richard St. John

What happens when you reach success? Can you let your guard down a bit, knowing that you can know reap the rewards of all that hard work or do you have to keep going? Ted speaker Richard St. John  discusses this very question in his Ted talk “Success is a continuous journey” I first featured Richard St John early on in my 365 Days of Ted challenge . On that occasion I was writing about his Ted talk, “8 Secrets of Success”    Richard’s talk back then was offering a very insightful and structured look on what it takes to become successful.  It was probably one of my favourite Ted talks that I have watched, infact I still have a printable above my desk listing all his action steps. On Richards journey to success he was bursting with ideas. He was constantly trying to do better and improve because he had his eye on the prize, success, but what happens when you reach success? For Richard reaching success was like reaching a stop sign, … [Read more...]

Day 91: How Joe Kowan conquered stage fright. His Ted talk explains it all.

Day 91- How Joe Kowan conquered stage fright. His Ted talk explains it all.

Imagine being a would-be musician with stage fright? Well Joe Kowan didn’t have to imagine it, that was his reality for the longest time.  He would write songs and only play them for himself as he was too afraid to show the world, or his roommates who were in the next room! On the week of his 30’s birthday he decided to conquer his fear once and for all. In his Ted talk “How I beat stage fright” Joe shares with us exactly how he got over his fear and got on that stage. On the week of his thirtieth birthday Joe decided he couldn’t let stage fright dictate his life any more. Plucking up every ounce of courage he had, Joe went to an open open mic event. Now if this were a movie, maybe Joe would have beaten his stage fright there and then and maybe he would have even received a standing ovation, but this is real life. Joe’s  first experience as a solo singer-writer was a mess. His body gave way to a wavering voice and he starts to … [Read more...]

Day 87: Ted speaker Miles Burke shares 11 lessons that he has learned from making mistakes.

87- Ted speaker Miles Burke shares 11 lessons that he has learned from making mistakes.

I've been doing my 365 Days of Ted challenge for 87 days now and a pretty glaringly obvious truth has emerged - failure is the foundation of success. I’m not making this stuff up!  Ted speaker Miles Burke is a self-professed failure, but there is a silver lining. In his Ted talk “11 lessons learned through mistakes,” Miles shares with us what some of his mistakes have taught him. Miles broke down his Ted talk into 11 bite sized nuggets of wisdoms that we can all use into our business lives. 11 Lessons learned through mistakes - according to Miles Burke Mistakes can be lessons or failures.  It’s up to us what we decide to do with our mistakes. Are we going to sulk or feel sorry for ourselves, or are we going to use that mistake as a learning tool to grow. Dream big, plan small.  Miles says that although dreaming big is good, all entrepreneurs do it, you need to plan small, plan for next week, next month, next year. … [Read more...]

Day 64: Are you guilty of otherizing?

For the second instalment in my The Art of Communication series is inspired by a Ted talk by  Elizabeth Lesser "Take the other to lunch" Elizabeth thinks that it is important to have an open mind and hear the other side of the story from people whose opinions we may not be aligned with. Are you guilt of otherizing? Otherizing happens when we make a strong negative distinctions between ourselves and another person or group of people who has different views than our own. Could be someone who has a different faith or someone from a different political persuasion.  Otherizing means making negative assumptions about a person we meet if they fall into one of these "other" categories, despite the fact we might have never had a conversation with them. It's an uncomfortable word that creates an "us and them"  mentality, but unfortunately it's very rampant in our world. A new movement "Take the other to lunch" Elizabeth has started a new … [Read more...]

Day 52: What if we could add value to a product just by changing the perception around it?

change perceived value of a product by website confetti

A post inspired by Rory Sutherland's Ted talk "Life lessons from an ad man" What if you could add value to a product by simply changing the perception floating around it? Ted speaker and advertising guru Rory Sutherland believes that it is entirely possible and backs up his stance with some pretty compelling case studies all wrapped up in an entertaining presentation. My favourite type of Ted talks are the ones that use humour to get the message across. I just think think that humour is a great way to breakdown barriers whilst boosting engagement.   I've covered quite a few funny Ted talks so far such as “Do schools kill creativity” by Sir Ken Robinson which had me stifling giggles  in the middle of a shopping centre - one of the drawbacks of listening to Ted talks when I am out and about!  Rory Sutherland’s talk “Life lessons from an ad man” was just as funny. Change perception not reality    Rory says  that  changing a products … [Read more...]