Hi love! You’re here because I shared my “365 Days Of TED Talks” self-challenge with you, and you are curious, interested, or even fascinated with this idea. I’m excited that you are joining me in this journey and I am grateful that we can learn together. Enjoy… and remember: BE Positive and You’ll BE Powerful!
TED Talk #1
The price of shame. Monica Lewinsky takes us on a journey of understanding the repercussions of public shaming and humiliation. When we share without consent, without context, and without compassion, we can literally humiliate someone to death. “With every click, we make a choice,” she expresses, as she quotes Brené Brown: “Shame cannot survive empathy.” We can foster minority influence and act with compassion, to avoid tragic and senseless consequences… and when shamed, we can insist on a different ending to our own story.
TED Talk #2
I chose peace. Zak Ebrahim says “I am NOT my father” and teaches us that no matter how we are brought up, the environment around us, or the beliefs we held in the past, we always have choice. As the son of a terrorist, and a victim of bullying, he chose to practice kindness, empathy, and non-judgment. His story reminds us that we are more than our race, our lifestyles, and our religion, and we all seek and deserve love, respect, and acceptance.
TED Talk #3
Speak So People Listen. Julian Treasure explains that there are seven reasons people don’t listen when we speak, which are also the seven sins of speaking: judging, negativity, complaining, excuses, lying, and dogmatism. There are four cornerstones to speak powerfully, be heard and understood: Honesty, Authenticity, Integrity, and Love. And it’s not just what you say, but how you say it. We can use our voice toolbox (register, timbre, prosody, pace, pitch, and volume) to design our delivery, and inspire others to listen consciously.
TED Talk #4
The Surprising Science of Happiness. Dan Gilbert tells us “a recent study showing how major life traumas affect people suggests that if it happened over three months ago, with only a few exceptions, it has no impact whatsoever on your happiness.” We possess a system of cognitive processes, largely non-conscious cognitive processes, that help us change our views of the world, so that we can feel better about the worlds in which we find ourselves. Natural happiness (what we get when we get what we wanted), and synthetic happiness (what we make when we don’t get what we wanted) are equally real and enduring. I loved the “free choice paradigm,” when people synthesized happiness: they used their psychological immune system to change their affective, hedonic, aesthetic reactions to what they ended up with. His data proves that “our longings and our worries are both to some degree overblown, because we have within us the capacity to manufacture the very commodity we are constantly chasing when we choose experience.”
TED Talk #5
The Worst Moments Make Us Who We Are. Andrew Solomon is a brilliant student of adversity – and so am I. His message tells us that we must not seek to find meaning but to forge meaning and build identity when faced with major challenges, tragedy, or traumatic events. Truth is not waiting to be found, but forged. Struggles are not a gift, we choose them to be. He brought tears to my eyes talking about his childhood, and how he survived that childhood through a mix of avoidance and endurance – so did I! – making it clear that these can be the entryway to forging meaning, and to incorporate that meaning into a new identity. By releasing the shame, you can fold the worst events of your life into a narrative of triumph and tell your story, which is the foundation of identity. “Forging meaning is about changing yourself. Building identity is about changing the world. We cannot bear a pointless torment, but we can endure great pain if we believe that it’s purposeful. Forge meaning. Build identity. And then invite the world to share your joy.”
TED Talk #6
What We Know About Addiction Is Wrong. Johann Hari was moved by addicts in his family to search for answers to basic questions. We all believe someone’s body would become dependent to chemical or behavioral hooks, but that story has been proven wrong by several experiments that show no addiction when people have happy and connected lives. Hari cites Peter Cohen claiming addiction ought to be renamed “bonding:” when we’re happy and healthy, we’ll bond and connect with each other, but if you can’t do that, because you’re traumatized or isolated or beaten down by life, you will bond with something that will give you some sense of relief. As a non-addict, you have bonds and connections that you want to be present for, and a core part of addiction, is about not being able to bear to be present in your life. I love what he proposes: instead of shaming and punishing addicts, let’s help them rediscover their purpose, deepen our connection with them, and reconnect with society. Addiction increases because are not connected: we’ve traded floorspace for friends, we’ve traded stuff for connections, and the result is we are one of the loneliest societies there has ever been. “You’re not alone, we love you – has to be at every level of how we respond to addicts, socially, politically and individually. The opposite of addiction is not sobriety. The opposite of addiction is connection.” Wow.
TED Talk #7
Falling in Love Is the Easy Part. Mandy Len Catron published an article in the New York Times Modern Love column titled “To Fall in Love With Anyone, Do This,” about a psychological study in which two strangers take turns asking each other 36 increasingly personal questions and then they stare into each other’s eyes without speaking for four minutes with the result of interpersonal closeness, trust, and intimacy, which led her to romantic relationship. The study – and her relationship – were subject to media attention to which she was underprepared for. People are looking for “a shortcut to falling in love,” and intrigued whether the 36 questions were capable of producing love that would last, real love, sustainable love, while mitigating the risk involved in love: a guarantee. “Falling in love feels amazing, but it’s also terrifying.” Choosing to be in love is easy, what is hard is choosing to stay in love with someone each day – even when things get difficult, when there’s doubt, when you have everything to lose – with the hope that they will choose you back. Brilliance!
TED Talk #8
How to make peace? Get angry. Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Kailash Satyarthi (“seeker of truth”) demonstrates that anger can be harnessed to create positive change. His lifetime of peace-making was fueled by anger toward injustice. Had he suppressed his anger, he wouldn’t have become the activist he is today, having freed 83,000 children from slavery, help promote the reduction of out-of-school children by half, and help reduce the number of child laborers globally by one third in the last 15 years. I was deeply inspired by his life story and his transformative anger: anger is within each one of us, and if fueled by egos or selfishness, then the anger will turn out to be hatred, violence, revenge, destruction, but if based on compassion, then the same anger could turn into a great power. Transform your anger into idea and action.
TED Talk #9
The shocking truth about your health. Physician Lissa Rankin teaches that we an heal ourselves and create miracles that manifest in our bodies by healing the mind and the heart. Healthy habits such as good nutrition, exercise, and proper sleep, are great for the body, but it is through vulnerability, authenticity, and connectedness in relationships, doing work you love, expressing your creativity, having a strong spiritual practice, healthy sexuality, finances, and living environment. I love that she encourages self-healing, and teaches us that caring for your body was the least important part of your health, and that the masks we wear make us ill. My favorite part: “They say when your life falls apart, you either grow, or you grow a tumor. SARK said: “It’s time to take the masks off. It’s time to stop the madness. It’s time to stop doing what you should, and start doing what you feel.” Oh this is so good!
TED Talk #10
How to find and do work you love. After reading Warren Buffet’s statement that , “Taking jobs to build up your resume is the same as saving up sex for old age,” Scott Dinsmore went on a quest to answer the question “what is the work I can’t not do?” and then was driven by the fact that 80% of adults hate the work they do and lead lives of quiet desperation, climbing their way up a ladder someone tells them to climb, to identify what the other 20%, who do the passionate, world-changing work and wake up inspired everyday, were doing differently. His research findings led him to three simple pillars of his Passionate Work Framework – what world-changers who do work that embodies who they are have in common: 1~ becoming a self-expert (understanding yourself and your unique strengths) – “if you don’t know what you’re looking for, you’re never going to find it”- he says. 2~ finding out your values – your hierarchy for making decisions, what you care about. 3~ our experiences – paying attention and reflecting on what went right, what went wrong, what to repeat, or what we can apply more to life. This framework helps us define what success actually means to us. “There’s no bigger lifehack in the history of the world from getting where you are today to where you want to be than the people you choose to put in your corner.” I agree!
TED Talk #11
How to practice emotional first aid. Guy Winch warmed my heart and blew my mind, speaking about how, at a very young age, we learn to brush our teeth, or put a bandage on a cut, but it isn’t true of our mental health. We will go to the doctor when we feel pain, yet we are expected to just “get over” and “shake off” deep psychological wounds, such as loneliness, failure, rejection, and disempowering thoughts, because “it’s all in our head.” There’s a favoritism we show the body over the mind – and, he jokes that being a psychologist, he is not considered “a real doctor.” It’s time to practice emotional hygiene— taking action when you’re lonely, changing your responses to failure, protecting your self-esteem, and battling negative thinking, and stop dealing with guilt, loss, and depression on our own. When we ignore our psychological injuries, we make them worse, which can impact our lives in dramatic ways.
TED Talk #12
The 7 secrets of the greatest speakers in history. Richard Greene quotes Teddy Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, Lou Gehrig, Winston Churchill, John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Barack Obama – and tells us that every single human being can be a great speaker and that their words can create a tipping point, and that their words and their essence can change, shift, and shake the world. 1. Words only actually touch people and communicate 7% of the impact. 2. Voice tone, the variation in your voice, 38%. 3. Your body language 55%. 4. A great headline is what makes a powerful speech. 5. 41% of the world across cultures is terrified of public speaking because we don’t know the true definition: public speaking is nothing more than having a conversation from your heart about something that you are authentically passionate about. Great speakers have a conversation with — it is a circle, it brings us all together. 6. Outstanding communicators speak in visual, auditory, auditory digital, and kinesthetic languages. 7. Skilled speakers share your authentic passion: it is compelling, visceral, they share conviction, leadership, resolve, gratitude, vision. As a public speaker, I can only say: this TED Talk is amazing!
TED Talk #13
The secret to self control. In this compelling talk, Jonathan Bricker talks about the epidemic of unhealthy living. We engage in unhealthy addictive behaviors like smoking or overeating because of our genetics, because of brain neurotransmitters, because of environmental influences such as peers and the media, but the science of willingness (being aware of your thoughts, noticing your cravings, and allowing them to come and to go, while not acting on them), is more effective than the approach to avoid, avoid thinking about, or distract yourself from cravings. Many of us live in autopilot and are not aware of what we think and feel before we act. The exercise called “I am having the thought” and the phrase “I’m noticing I’m having the thought,” gives us a little bit of space between us and our thoughts. The secret to self-control is to give up control. Cravings can pass on their own… and whatever choice you make, try to bring a spirit of caring and kindness to yourself. I am in awe!
TED Talk #14
How to Magically Connect with Anyone. Brian Miller tells a riveting story of how he created magic for a blind man, and explains that he uses a technique called “Perspective Taking” to create better, more meaningful connections with people in your life, personally and professionally. Because the magician is the only person who cannot see the magic, and he knows how the tricks work, he must completely take on the point of view of the audience, in order to create illusions. Perspective taking is the ability to see the world from the point of view of another person. “Our world is a shared experience, fractured by individual perspectives, yours and mine. Imagine if we could all understand each other,” he says. We all see and feel different things, and when the other person feels understood, cared about, like you’re invested in them, there is a connection. The key to connecting is asking questions: how are they feeling about our interaction? And to listen to understand the answers, not just to respond or reply. Magic is about connecting. Life is about connecting. And connecting is about taking on others’ points of view.
TED Talk #15
The Skill Of Self-Confidence. Dr. Ivan Joseph says as a coach the last thing he was looking for was athletic performance or ability. “The most important thing? Self-confidence.” Without it, we’re done for. Self-confidence is the ability or the belief to believe in yourself, to accomplish any task, no matter the odds, no matter the difficulty, no matter the adversity. The belief that you can accomplish it. Self-confidence is a skill because it can be trained. The easiest way to build self-confidence is repetition. Practice, practice, practice, and persist – do not accept failure. Another easy way is self-talk: “I am the greatest” ~ “I am the captain of my ship and the master of my fate!.” Get away from the people who will tear you down. He wrote a letter to himself, a brag sheet, with what he was proud of. A letter to read when we’re not feeling good about who, and what, and where we are, to weather us through that storm. As coaches, teachers, educators, we can build self-confidence in others… and we are critical by nature, but if we ignore what they do wrong, and praise the positive behavior that we want to reinforce, instead, they will thrive. The third way to build self-confidence is to interpret feedback the way you choose to. Are you self-confident?
TED Talk #16
Your Elusive Creative Genius. How can I possibly summarize the brilliant words by Elizabeth Gilbert? She is so real and truly touched my heart speaking about the fear, the pressure, and the torment that often comes with the brilliance of your creative genius. Creative people across all genres,it seems, have this reputation for being enormously mentally unstable. Creativity and suffering, artistry and anguish, are not synonyms. It’s necessary to manage the inherent emotional risks of creativity by creating a psychological construct to protect you from the results of your work. Believing the artist as being a genius, the vessel, the font, the essence, and the source of all divine, creative, unknowable, eternal mystery, creates unmanageable expectations about performance (the one that has been killing off our artists for the last 500 years). It’s best to see the creative process as a peculiar, wondrous, bizarre collaboration, kind of conversation between the artist and the divine. To believe that the most extraordinary aspects of your being are on loan to you from some unimaginable source, that may let wonderment be glimpsed. “Don‘t be afraid. Don’t be daunted. Just do your job. ..”Olé!’ to you, nonetheless, just for having the sheer human love and stubbornness to keep showing up.” No doubt I saw a glimpse of God in this TED Talk! Brava!
TED Talk #17
The Key To Success? Grit. As a teacher, Angela Lee Duckworth discovered that IQ wasn’t the best predictor of success in the classroom. As a psychologist, she found one consistent characteristic that was common to all high performers in any context, situation, and field: grit. “Grit is passion and perseverance for very long-term goals. Grit is having stamina. Grit is sticking with your future, day in, day out, not just for the week, not just for the month, but for years, and working really hard to make that future a reality. Grit is living life like it’s a marathon, not a sprint.” And it is shocking how little science know about making our kids “grittier.” So far, Growth Mindset is the best idea available to build grit, was developed at Stanford University by Dr Carol Dweck, and it is the belief that the ability to learn is not fixed, that it can change with your effort. When kids read and learn about the brain and how it changes and grows in response to challenge, they’re much more likely to persevere when they fail, because they don’t believe that failure is a permanent condition. As a mom of very gritty kids, who have been taught growth mindset since birth, I fully agree!
TED Talk #18
The BIG Secret No One Wants To Tell. Bruce Muzik recalls being a racist as young as 10 years old. 18 years after, he moved to the black ghetto in post-apartheid South Africa, in a quest to conquer his “fear of black people” He discovered that telling his secrets removed his numbness the deep sense of resignation he had about his life. We are all born with the self-generating innate ability to experience aliveness, yet we don’t experience it all the time, because we look outside of ourselves to get a temporary, fleeting fix. The secrets we hide have a devastating impact on our life, because we’re forced to lie about who we are and we lose touch with who we actually authentically are. We’re all liars to some degree and we all have secrets. “Lying and keeping secrets does not make you a bad person and sharing your secrets and cleaning up your life certainly doesn’t make you a good person.” The best we can is to tell the truth about where we’ve lied and openly and honestly take responsibility what we’ve done, so we can connect with the people we love in a deeper way. Sharing your secrets guarantees self-liberation and lasting aliveness like you’ve never experienced before.
TED Talk #19
How To Make Stress Your Friend. Kelly McGonigal reveals how people die, not from stress, but from the belief that stress is bad for you. The new science of stress shows that the harmful effects of stress are not inevitable and changing how you think about stress can make you healthier, and transform your experience of stress. When you choose to believe that your pounding heart prepares you for action, breathing faster is getting more oxygen to your brain, and rethink your overall stress response as helpful for your performance, you will be were less stressed out, less anxious, more confident, and your blood vessels stayed relaxed (looks a lot like what happens in moments of joy and courage), because you create the biology of courage. And when you choose to connect with others under stress, you can create resilience. “Stress gives us access to our hearts. The compassionate heart that finds joy and meaning in connecting with others, and yes, your pounding physical heart, working so hard to give you strength and energy.” When you make stress your friend, you’re saying you can trust yourself to handle life’s challenges. And you’re remembering that you don’t have to face them alone.
TED Talk #20
The Space Between Self-Esteem and Self-Compassion. Kristin Neff talks about the importance of including ourselves in the circle of compassion. Self-compassion is not contingent on success; it gives you a sense as being valuable not because you’ve reached a certain standard, because you’re above average, or because you judge yourself positively, but because you are a human. Self-compassion means to embrace your own grief, move through it, put your hands over your heart, and treat yourself with the same concern you would show a good friend (warm gentle touch, soft vocalizations) when failure arises, instead of feeling lousy, terrible, and indulging in shame and harsh self-judgment. Research shows that self-criticism undermines our motivation. Self-compassion is treating ourselves with kindness, encouragement, understanding, empathy, patience, and gentleness. Self-compassion is recognizing that being imperfect is the shared human experience, and being mindful, by acknowledging, validating, and accepting the fact that we are suffering and order to give ourselves compassion. Studies conducted on self compassion reveal it’s very strongly related to mental well-being, less depression, less anxiety, less stress, less perfectionism, and equally strongly related to positive states like happiness, life satisfaction, greater motivation, taking greater self-responsibility, on making healthier lifestyle choices, to have a more sense of connectedness with others better interpersonal relationships, and a stable sense love self-worth.
TED Talk #21
Breath — five minutes can change your life – I gave myself permission to listen to Stacey Schuerman and go along with her five minute experiment. She explains that in our day to day lives we are constantly bombarded with an enormous amount of sensory experiences that are beginning to overload our sympathetic nervous system: loud noises, flashing lights, crowds, advertisements… anything that is trying to gain our attention AKA children!!!), which begins to activate fight or flight mechanism within our body, throwing us out of balance. Tool that we can tap into every single day, something that happens naturally, that we can use to reverse that, activate our parasympathetic nervous system , come back to the rest or digest mechanism within our body, restore our balance, reduce our blood pressure, slow down your heart rate before, during, and after a stressful event. Taking five minutes out of your day to sit in silence focusing on your breath is not boring, and it is not a daily indulgence you cannot afford to do; it is a crucial regimen for your health, and it would make a difference in your life and your day. This exercise is excellent to quiet your mind, experience more peace and calmness, and becoming more aware of the present moment. I fell asleep and woke up recharged and refreshed. It’s worth it!
TED Talk #22
Coming tomorrow. Stay tuned!