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 35: Are you gritty? Your success depends on it

facing failure

Are you living your life like it’s a marathon or a sprint? Ted speaker Angela Lee Duckworth has a message to share about the “key to success” and that is that success is not determined by I.Q but by that unique trait that some are born with and others develop over time - grit. What exactly is grit? Today’s blog post is a response to how I am feeling in this moment. Not wanting to break the chain I write today’s post in the midst of feeling quite frankly awful. My head hurts my body is overcome with some pretty serious fatigue. I feel like I am having a hangover, despite not having had a drink for weeks. Every part of my being wants to rest my head on a pillow and check out for the day, but there is a little voice inside my head, a voice that is being suffocated slightly by the Sandman who wants to bring me pleasant dreams, and that tiny voice that is struggling to get through is called grit. It’s hanging on by a thread today but … [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 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 07: David Steindl-Rast: Want to be happy? Be grateful

Be happy

To finish up on my first week of my 365 Days of Ted challenge I decided to watch a Ted talk with a simple message - be grateful. Delivered by  Brother David Steindl-Rast a monk and interfaith scholar his speaks in a calming manner and raises awareness of some common truths that sometimes gets lost in the everyday moments of chaos. What's the talk about? David starts off his talk with one universal truth - everyone wants to be happy.  Everyone may have their own interpretation of what that happiness means to them and everyone will have different ways of finding their happiness, but nonetheless the pursuit of happiness is something that binds us all.  David reveals the secret to happiness, which is simply being grateful for what you have and adopting grateful living into your life.  David points out situations when people who have a lot of hardship and misfortune in their lives still seem to radiate happiness. Why? Simply put, … [Read more...]

Day 03: Ted speaker Paul Piff believes money makes you mean.

does money make you mean

For Day #3 of 365 Days of Ted I decided to watch a Ted talk by a psychologist called Paul Piff. The presentation ‘Does money make you mean?’ gets into the issue of how people act when they feel wealthy.   I wanted to watch this particular talk because  I am sucker for anything that has to do with psychology and social behavior. The talk starts off with Paul telling a story about a recent experiment he conducted that rigged a game of Monopoly. That alone is pretty risky - Monopoly can bring out the worst in people without the rigging! There were two monopoly players and one player was  given more money to begin with and some extra perks. The other player was dealt the standard money given and got no perks at all. Watching the clips of the monopoly players the interesting thing to observe is how the rich players got cockier the more wealthier they became. At first when they realised they had more cash they started boasting slightly, … [Read more...]