As part of my series on gratitude, I thought it would be useful to include some videos from TED.
TED talks on Gratitude
These are my 5 favourites:
Want to be happy? Be grateful by Brother David Steindl-Rast
Nature. Beauty. Gratitude by Louie Schwartzberg
How a penny made me feel like a millionaire by Tania Luna
Remember to say thank you by Dr. Laura Trice
A story about knots and surgeons by Ed Gavagan
Before I die I want to… by Candy Chang
This week, I’m focusing on completing my version of the Miracle Morning (meditation, affirmations, visualisation, exercise, reading, TED talk and my gratitude journal). To complete this before I have to get breakfast for everyone, and then the school run, I need to keep the talks that I choose short and sweet. This week, I’ve been using the app to surprise me with inspiring talks of around 10 minutes. Here’s what I found:
Chris Downey: Design with the blind in mind
Carol Dweck: The power of believing that you can improve
Jacqueline Novogratz: An escape from poverty
Rita Pierson: Every kid needs a champion
Cesar Kuriyama: One second every day
Hawa Abdi + Deqo Mohamed: Mother and daughter doctor-heroes
A mother and daughter tell how they run a hospital in Somalia, helping women and children. Love their rules!
Bel Pesce: 5 Ways to kill your dreams
This is a great talk doing exactly what it says. I loved this quote: “The only way to really achieve all of your dreams is to fully enjoy every step of your journey.”
Last week, as part of my TED habit, I watched Adam Grant’s TED talk “The surprising habits of original thinkers“. It was the word habit that drew me to the talk, but the talk wasn’t so much about habits as being an original, and what that took.
His talk was so good, I hopped onto Amazon and found that, yes indeed, he had written a book on the idea. So I got it immediately, and started reading it.
And then it struck me. I’d done this before.
There have been several TED talks by people who had either already published a book or who had gone on to publish one. So I thought I’d share the books I’ve been reading that were by TED speakers. What I love most is the diversity of these books, which reflects the diversity of TED speakers and what they talk about.
- Daring Greatly: How the courage to be vulnerable transforms the way we live, love and parent and lead, by Brene Brown.
- Presence by Amy Cuddy
- The Happiness Advantage: The seven principles that fuel success and performance at work by Shawn Achor
- An astronaut’s guide to life on earth by Chris Hadfield
- Human Universe by Brian Cox
- Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes
- Authentic Happiness by Martin E P Seligman
I’ve linked a TED talk to each person’s name, so check them out. And if you’d like to know more, then go read the books too.
Take care for now
This week, I kept with the theme of using the TED app to surprise me, and asked it to show me a series of beautiful TED talks. In this category, I found the definition of beautiful covered music and and visual projects.
Here’s my week of beautiful TED talks:
Ethel: A string quartet plays “Blue Room”. Apparently, Blue Room was written by Paul Kline as part of a four-part suite of music. This was a short talk but the violin in the background was superb. This may not be to everyone’s taste, but the aim of my TED habit is to broaden my mind, and this did that.
Thomas Heatherwick: Building the seed cathedral. This is beautiful and jaw-dropping! Thomas Heatherfield has designed some absolutely amazing buildings and projects. When you see the bridge, you’ll wonder why no-one has done this before, and when you see the apartment buildings, you’ll want to live there. The seed cathedral itself is just wow.
Gavin Pretor-Pinney: Cloudy with a chance of joy. Looks at clouds differently. They’re not just the things that get in the way of the sun. They have a beauty of their own.
Miwa Matreyek: Glorious visions in animation and performance. Wow. Just wow.
Peter Diamandis: Stephen Hawking’s zero g flight.
Candy Chang: Before I die I want to… What happened when Candy Chang turned an abandoned house into a giant chalkboard asking a fill-in-the-blank question: “Before I die I want to ___.” The wall became a voice for people’s dreams and aspirations, and so much more. How would you fill in the blank?
Clint Smith: The danger of silence. Oh my goodness. This is one of the most powerful, and yes beautiful, talks I’ve come across in the 3 months I’ve been building my TED habit.
These talks have been so amazing, jaw-dropping and beautiful, that I think, next week, I’ll select from this list again. After all, who doesn’t need beauty in their life?
Take care for now
This week has been a week of amazing talks. For the first time, my “TED talk habit” feels natural and not forced. It’s taken a long time, but by utilising Shawn Achor’s suggestion of making it as easy as possible to develop a habit, this one really clicked. Each morning, I’ve had my cup of tea, taken my tablets, completed my gratitude journal and then watched a TED talk. I love that I can develop the habit of developing positive habits.
These are the talks that I’ve watched this week. I hope that you enjoy them as much as I have.
Reshma Saujani: Teach girls bravery, not perfection. One of the all-time best talks. Reshma is truly inspirational in what she hopes to achieve.
Edith Widder: How we found the giant squid. The images on this talk are superb. When you see the squid for the first time, you’ll get what I mean.
Tim Urban: Inside the mind of a master procrastinator. This guy could have been talking about me! However, my personal life coach knows this about me, so we always include deadlines in any goals we set. That way, I know what I should be doing before we meet next, and I get things done.
Amy Purdy: Living beyond limits. One of the most inspiring talks I’ve seen. Amy Purdy hasn’t let what happened to her slow her down. Warning: you will need tissues to watch this one.
Ben Ambridge: 10 Myths about psychology, debunked. Personally quite surprised at the myths that were shown to be just that. A little but of truth in some of them seemed to have become “truth” until they were investigated and then invalidated.
Jaap de Roode: How butterflies self-medicate. This is a really cool talk about how butterflies choose which leaves to lay their eggs on and how its helps their young.
Richard St John: Success is a continuous journey. A great talk that basically reminds us that it is only when we give up do we truly fail. Up until then, everything is an experience that you can learn from.
Take care for now
I’ve been working on developing my TED habit for a while now, but setting goals of what to see each week hasn’t really worked for me. My goal was specifically see a TED talk each day, not 7 per week, which is what’s been happening.
So this week, I changed how I approached this goal. I’ve used Shawn Achor’s 20 second technique and made it as easy as possible for me to watch a TED talk each day. I’ve got the TED app on my tablet and each morning I’ve asked TED to surprise me. That way I don’t have to search for something to watch, TED does the thinking for me. When you choose this option on the website or app, you are asked to choose between a range of different themes and then choose how long you want to listen.
This week, I chose a range of themes, all for under 5 minutes, and this is what I got:
Dave Byrne singing “nothing but flowers”
Monika Bulaj: The hidden light of Afghanistan
Rives: A story of mixed emoticons
Brian Cox: What went wrong at the LHC
Jake Wood: A new mission for veterans – disaster relief
Carolyn Porco: Could a Saturn moon harbour life?
Vusi Mahlasela: “Woza”
Each of these talks were very different from what I would choose myself, so I’ve really enjoyed this experiment, and to be honest, I think this is they way forward for me.
Take care for now