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 94: The danger of a single story.

Day 94- The danger of a single story

Do you have a single story? That one story, that  one thing about you that really defines who you are, the story that people will construct about you without actually getting to know you? It's their shorthand  for 'you'. Ted speaker and novelist Chimamanda Adichie shares with her Ted audience her experiences of being defined by a single story and why the single story can be a dangerous thing. What is the single story? The single story is the shorthand that we default to when we  have limited information about a person or situation.  We might have a snippet of information such as a person's birthplace and then we subconsciously raid our internal reference bank and construct a story about a person based solely on our preconceived ideas.   The danger in this of-course is that so often we construct the wrong story and this ends up breeding resentment, conflicts and on a global scales even wars. Chimamanda was an early reader, writing … [Read more...]

Day 77: Is it okay to Facebook my friends during work hours?

Day 77- Is it okay to Facebook my friends during work hours by website confetti

Is is acceptable to contact your family and friends during work hours? Should workplaces  create a modern work environment were personal and professional life can coexist.  Ted speaker Stefana Broadbent seems to think that this is where society is headed in her Ted talk “How the internet enables intimacy.” I agree with parts of Stefana’s talk. The internet is great for intimacy. It can break the barriers of location and help strengthen the bonds of family and friends who are separated by oceans. Distance is no longer an issue in maintaining emotional connections. My grandmother died when I was around ten years old. She lived overseas and we only ever met in person when I was three.  I don’t really remember ever actually remember seeing her in flesh.   We used to write aerograms to each other, but it would take weeks for the letters to arrive. If video chatting had existed back them that whole experience would have been … [Read more...]

Day 63: Our antisocial phone tricks

Lesson 63 put down that phone

Kicking off a new theme week The Art of Communication is a post inspired by Ted speaker  Renny Gleason's whose Ted talk is about the obvious and cringeworthy truth, mobile phones or cell phones for my US friends, that are making us a very  anti-social bunch.Are you nodding your head in agreement? Are you perhaps a little bit guilty of this too? Do you remember a time before mobile phones? It wasn't that long ago really. It was a time when queuing up for pay phones was an actual thing and answering machines for your landline home phone came in two forms; electronic and human (family and housemates)  It was a time when the closest thing to mobile phones were car phones and ET’s  index finger. You had a 50-50 chance of actually getting your messages left for you by human answering machines.  That wasn't necessarily a bad thing though, you could  always blame misplaced  phone messages and not being home for not returning calls that you … [Read more...]

Day 51: The story of Mr Splashy Pants

Fightin' Mister Splashy logo designed by Alexia Ohanian

Alexis Ohanian co-founder of Reddit gives a brief 3 minute Ted talk on how to make a splash in social media and uses a case study involving Greenpeace to get his point across.  Greenpeace was trying to stop the Japanese government on their whaling campaign. One of the ways they were trying to do this was by putting a tracking chip in a humpback whale. Greenpeace decided to name the whale as  a way to brand this movement and raise awareness of the plights of humpback whales. What do you call a humpback whale? So what on Earth does someone call a humpback whale? Greenpeace turned to social media for inspiration and created a poll with some possible names  of ancient gods of the sea as Anahi, Kaimana. There was also another name which I am sure they didn’t bet on anyone voting for Mister Splashy Pants. Turns out someone at Reddit thought that it was a pretty good name and voted it up on the Reddit website. So did a whole bunch of … [Read more...]

Day 34: Need inspiration? Take time off

It’s 365 Days of Ted productivity week and my last few talks have been about working less! Yesterday I wrote about how we can find that work-life balance and for day 34 I am blogging about taking time off from regular working duties. Ted talk “The power of time off” is Stefan Sagmeister story about why every seven years he takes a one-year long sabbatical. He shares why he thinks that time off is invaluable to becoming more innovative. How Stefan Sagmeister’s sabbaticals work Stefan runs a design studio in New York. Over time Stefan started to get bored with the projects as it all begun to blend into one and look the same. He was no longer challenged or inspired so he closed shop for a year to experiment on projects that he lacked the time to accomplish during a typical work year.  Stefan says that our lives are typically divided into time periods. The first 25 years of our lives are spent learning, the next 40 years is spent working … [Read more...]

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 04: Don’t Eat The Marshmallow by Joachim de Posado

day 4 dont eat the marshmallow

For day 4 I picked Joachin de Posada’s Ted Talk Don’t eat the marshmallow!.  This talk discusses a landmark experiment that involved a group of kids and marshmallows. The kids were giving a very simple task, don’t eat the marshmallow that was sitting right in front of them. If they were able to not eat the marshmallow for   15 minutes they would  be rewarded with  two marshmallows instead of one.  It's a lot harder than it sounds, especially if you are a 4 year old with a sweet tooth! If you need to get the context right try substituting a  marshmallow with a good cup of coffee and a 4 year old with an adult, preferably one with a caffeine addiction. So how many kids do you think ate the marshmallow? Not surprisingly 2 out of 3 kids ate the marshmallow. To be honest I used to work in a lolly shop so I was expecting all the kids to succumb to the temptation. The footage of the marshmallow study is in the video below,  so make sure you … [Read more...]

Day 01: Incentives kill creativity. A Ted talk by Dan Pink that changed the way I think.

Free thinking leads to innovation

Today is my first day on  my self-imposed 365 days of Ted talks challenge and to mark the occasion I decided to kick off this journey with a great video  by Dan Pink titled ‘The Puzzle of Motivation.’  As someone who can struggle with motivation at times it seemed like a great video to kickstart this journey and put me into the right headspace.  The core of this video is about motivation, problem solving skills and whether or not reward based incentives are as successful as society would have us believe. Dan uses the candle problem, which was  created by Karl Duncker some 70 years ago, to discuss the pros and cons of reward based incentives. What is the Candle Problem? Challenge: Fix a lit candle onto the wall making sure that no candle wax will be able to drip onto the table below. Items:  One candle One box of thumbtacks One box of matches Experiment #1 Dan talks about an experiment run by Sam Glucksberg from … [Read more...]