DAY 173: I have a confession to make about pickpocketing

For today's instalment of my 365 Days of TED challenge I watched a TED talk by Apollo Robbins on the art of misdirection demonstrated by pickpocketing a member of the audience! I first heard of Apollo Robbins when I was watching the National Geographic show Brain Games which he is a part of as co-producer and appears on as a deception specialist. Can you imagine introducing yourself to people, "Hi I'm a deception specialist" How awkward would that be! I have a confession to make. I am fascinated by pickpocketing. Okay so firstly let me clear one thing up. I am not fascinated by the crime aspect of pick-pocketing, not at all, I think that aspect of it is really low and I have no respect for anyway who thinks that it’s okay to take another person’s belonging just because they decide they want to. What does fascinate me though is that a pickpocketer can remove another person’s watch without them even realising. I mean how is that … [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 83: Have you stopped and looked at the clouds today?

Day 83- Have you stopped and looked at the clouds today-

Can I ask you something? When was the last time that you looked up at the clouds?  I am not talking about a quick glance upwards to check the rain status.  No, I mean the last time that you really just looked up to appreciate the beauty of the clouds. Gavin Pretor-Pinney, founder of the  Cloud Appreciation Society, thinks that clouds are unfairly  used for a doom and gloom metaphor and has decided to uses his Ted talk to show us some pictures to change the perception. Are clouds really used as a metaphor for doom? When someone is depressed “they’re under a cloud” when bad news is approaching “there’s a cloud on the horizon.”  Until I watched Gavin’s Ted talk I had never really thought about clouds as being seen as a bad thing. Then again until I watched Rives talk a few days ago I never thought that 4 a.m. was such a historical shorthand for bad things. A cloudy night at 4 a.m. must be really bad news then! Gavin says that … [Read more...]

Day 65: The seven deadly sins of speaking

day 65 the most poweful sound in the world

Do you know what the most powerful sound in the world is?  It’s the human voice. It can start a war or say “I Love You” says says Ted speaker Julian Treasure in his talk “How to speak so that people will want to listen.” So how exactly do we use our voice to make people pay attention? Do people listen to you when you talk? Do they hang off your every word and does the conversation end with them wanting more? Okay so maybe that’s an exaggerated outcome for every conversation, I mean some conversations are just mundane out of necessity, but are people truly engaged when you talk? I’m guessing if you are like most people, the answer is going to be, not always. Julian discussed the “Seven deadly sins of speaking” and it’s stuff that i’m sure that we are all guilty of. We are all human, but perhaps being more aware of these “sins” will help us to catch ourselves in the moment when we are tangled in these vocal sins. What are the seven … [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...]