Day 48: What do teachers make? A post inspired by ted speaker Taylor Mali

When setting out to do my Amazing Human series I didn’t set out to feature teachers.  It’s not that I was intentionally staying clear of teachers, it’s just that they weren’t front of mind when I was thinking about who to include in my Amazing Human series, but after listening to Rita Pierson talk earlier this week I have a new found appreciation for teachers and what they do.  I am ashamed to say this, but I never gave teachers proper credit before. Sure on some level I knew that teachers are important at educating new generations, but I never really stopped to think about what difference they could really make, not only on an academic level but also on character building. On Day 42 I published a post by Tedx speaker Barbara Corcoran. Barbara candidly spoke about the emotional scars that her primary school teacher had left on her self-esteem. That reminded me of the damage that teachers could do.  Perhaps this why, on some … [Read more...]

Day 47: A post inspired by Ted speaker Maya Penn who started her business at 8 years old

Continuing on with my Amazing Human series is a post inspired by Ted speaker Maya Penn, a cartoonist, designer, entrepreneur and activist. Maya says she is part of a new wave of entrepreneurs who not only seeks a successful businesses, but also wants to do her bit in building a sustainable future. Did I mention Maya was only eight years old when she launched her business? Meet Maya Penn Maya Penn is the girl I wish I was at thirteen.  She’s confident, creativity bursting with talent and has a good social conscious.  Maya's motivated by art and the environment and incorporates this it into everything she does such as her business  Maya’s Ideas and her nonprofit Maya’s Ideas for The Planet that she launched when she was eight. Yes eight years old! Maya's Idea is a fashion label of handmade clothing.  Maya didn't have a business plan at eight years old, she learnt all about running a business as she went along, but she was certain on … [Read more...]

Day 45: Every kid needs a champion. A post inspired by Rita Pierson

every kid needs a champion

Meet  Rita Pierson - the school teacher with grit.  During my 365 Days of Ted, some talks have had more of an impact than others. Every talk I choose to write about has moved me or challenged me in some way,  Rita Pierson’s talk is no exception, which is why I have included her in my Amazing Human's series Rita’s message is a simple, but crucial one “Every kid needs a champion." Rita, Mrs Pierson, is a  straight-talker with all heart. She is the type of teacher I wish I had in high-school.  The majority of my teachers did their job - they taught the curriculum and I was semi-willing student so I got decent grades, but I don’t know if I was really ever inspired by them.  It’s not that they were bad teachers.  I think that it just became a job to them, not a career.  Quite  a few teachers ended up resigning  and moving on to completely unrelated fields.  The exception is two teachers I had who did seem to have a genuine passion for … [Read more...]

Day 44: Can boys have Easy-Bake Ovens too? A post inspired by McKenna Pope

easy-bake-oven for boys

When McKenna Pope was 12 years old she convinced major US toy company Hasbro to market their Easy-Bake Oven in gender neutral colours. That experience has proved to Mckenna that we are all capable of making a positive change, regardless of age. She shares this message with her peers at TedYouth 2013. When McKenna’s little brother was four he wanted to be a chef. He would raid the fridge and mix ingredients into “uneatable concoctions” At first he badly wanted an Easy-Bake Oven, but then even at the young age of four he picked up on something, Hasbro weren’t marketing their Easy-Bake Ovens to boys. The commercials only featured little girls and the product packaging and the oven itself was pink - everything about the product was gender specific to girls. McKenna was on a mission. She launched a petition on directed as Hasbro asking them to consider having a more gender neutral approach to their product and … [Read more...]

Day 43: Sam Bern’s philosophy for a happy life

Kicking off a new theme week of amazing humans I just had to start with Sam Berns.  Sam Berns was the subject of a documentary called Life According to Sam.  Sam suffered from progeria - a condition which has a life expectancy of 13. The documentary shared the journey of Sam and his doctor parents trying to fight the race against time to find a treatment to prolong Sam’s life. Being from Australia I haven't had the opportunity to watch Sam’s documentary. I first learnt about Sam from watching his Tedx talk last year. I watched it several times, each time coming away with a new insight, a new awareness. I remember feeling sheer sadness when I heard that Sam died in January 2014, only three months after giving this talk, a talk which has since become his legacy. What is progeria Sam Berns was diagnosed with progeria as a toddler. Progeria is a rare condition affecting only 35 kids worldwide that accelerates ageing. The symptoms are … [Read more...]

Day 42: Two key lessons I took from Barbara Corcoran’s Tedx Talk “Rethinking failure.”


  Finishing off my crushing fear of failure theme week is a post inspired by Tedx speaker Barbara Corcoran and her presentation “Rethinking failure.” There’s something about Barbara that just draws you in.  Maybe it’s the engaging way she tells a story or the way she candidly speaks, as if talking to a  friend. Whatever it is, this Tedx talk has been one of my favourites to date. Although there were many nuggets of wisdom throughout this talk, there was two important lesson that really stuck out for me.   It begins with a story Barbara kicks off her Tedx talk by sharing a story about being a second grader who couldn’t read or write. It didn’t bother her, she would get the hang of it by the third grade, but it did bother the school nun who told her that if she didn’t learn to pay attention she would always be stupid. I have always thought that school teachers need to be careful with their words. So often they say … [Read more...]

Day 41: The 1 key takeaway from Jonathan Fields Tedx talk that has changed my approach to failure forever

Failure, is an inevitable part of life. It’s part and parcel of being human. Sure, it doesn’t always feel good, actually it can feel plain lousy, but we have a choice about how we choose to handle failure. Tedx speaker Jonathan Field has a message to share in his talk “Turning fear into fail.” He wants us to know that we need to disempower failure and shake away the hold that it has on us and he has some tangible techniques to get us there. The only thing certain in life is uncertainty in 2001 New Yorker Jonathan Fields wanted to quit the corporate world and open up a yoga studio. He leased a studio for his new venture, signing the contract for a 6 year lease on September 10. The next morning he woke up to find out that his city was on fire. Retelling the story, it’s clear that September 11 is still as vivid to Jonathan as it was all those years ago. During the hours that followed two questions came to mind, did Jonathan and his … [Read more...]

Day 40: Why doesn’t anyone want to talk about failure? A post inspired by TedxTeen speakers Tara Suri and Niha Jain

Time for Change

This past week during Crush fear of failure week I have blogged about Ted talks that were about embracing the failure or near-wins and treating them as gifts, as powerful motivators to achieve even more than first thought possible. I blogged about failure being used in the pursuit of mastery and how success was fleeting.  For day 40 I wanted to share a Ted talk I watched about how there is really no guidance out there teaching us how to fail. The spectacularly failed summer This is the first time I am featuring a Ted talk from Tedx Teen and a talk with two speaks Tara Suri and Niha Jain. Tara and Niha’s talk “Learning to fail” was inspired by by their teens “spectacularly failed summer” Tara, Niha and another student Maddie Smith had gone to a small community in India to make a change.   85% of the woman in that community had been forced into prostitution and the trio wanted to break the cycle. They set out to empower the woman by … [Read more...]

Day 39: Why bronze medalists are happier than silver medalists. A post inspired by Ted speaker Sarah Lewis

Is success and mastery the same thing? Why is a bronze medalist more happier than a silver medalist. Ted speaker Sarah Lewis has the answers in her presentation asking us to “Embrace the near win” What is the difference between success and mastery Sarah’s first job as an art historian at the Museum of Modern Art defined how she would forever perceive success. Sarah was working in an exhibit for artist Elizabeth Murray. Sarah, who was captivated by the work, was stunned to hear the artist express her disappointment at some pieces, she thought that they  didn't quite hit the mark. That conversation, changed everything for Sarah. “In that moment, my view of success and creativity changed. I realized that success is a moment, but what we’re always celebrating is creativity and mastery. We often want the moment of completion, but what really propels us is the unfinished.” So success is fleeting, its outcome oriented, it’s ingrained in a … [Read more...]

Day 38: 3 Reasons why failure is a gift. A post inspired by Markus Zusak’s TedxSydney talk

Have you ever failed before? If yes, did you say thank-you for your gift?  Tedx speaker  and author of The Book Thief Markus Zusak, gives a Tedx talk about success and how for him, it usually comes gift-wrapped in a box of failure. This post pinpoints the three top gifts  that we can receive from failure. 1. Failure makes you crave success I love watching Ted talks given by novelists. Authors are a special breed. They just have this special storytelling quality that draws you into their world. It's kind of special. Markus shared some childhood stories about his failures. One such story was from when he was eight years old and at a discus competition. He failed pretty badly. Three fouls. He was a mess. Balling his eyes out as his sister did the official sisterly sibling-love thing and yelled out 'three fouls' over and over again. Young Markus was shattered but not defeated. Failure can motivate you to take the action that you need to … [Read more...]