I love TED talks. So many interesting things to learn in 20 minutes or less!! Here are my top 5. So far.
1. Learning to be Vulnerable
Bréné Brown’s research on shame and vulnerability has transformed my approach to relationships. I discovered her talk when I was doing work with a style consultant. I thought I was trying to look more “corporate” in order to move my career forwards. In fact, I ended up learning how to dress so that people saw me, instead of my clothes.
Which meant that I had to be okay with being seen. With being vulnerable. To shine a light on the dark corners where my shame and my “not good enough” voice lurks. To practice authenticity and to live and love whole-heartedly. In fact, the banner for my blog page is my beach drawing of whole-heartedness.
2. The Power of Secrets
Frank Warren asked people to send him their secrets on a postcard of their own making. The results are simply stunning. Some of the secrets are funny. Some take your breath away and some will break your heart.
Every week, Frank posts some of the postcards on his blog Postsecret.com and I usually start my Sunday morning with a coffee and a sharing of the secrets. Some of them are hard to believe. Some of them are so much like my secrets that I feel like I could have written them. Or, maybe should have. The courage and bravery is inspiring.
3. A Stroke of Insight
Jill Bolte Taylor, a brain researcher, gives a beautiful and eloquent talk about the process of having a stroke. Of her having her stroke. Of the two halves of her brain becoming separated from each other. The half that is in the here and how, fully in her body. And, the half that transcends the physical and becomes fully integrated into the universe. And of the possibilities around learning to move more between the two. And, the audience reaction to the moment where the stage hand walks out with a real human brain is priceless.
I have a Jill Bolte Taylor quote on my wall as you come into my home which says, “Please take responsibility for the energy you bring into this space.”
4. Texting is not our downfall
Have you ever listened to anyone bemoan how texting will be the death of the English language? How young people aren’t learning to communicate properly? Well, here’s your ammunition to prove otherwise. John Mcwhorter gives a great explanation of how texting has the characteristics of a new language. One that can better represent human speech than written English can.
If that doesn’t convince you, maybe the long list of people who have complained about the degradation of the state of the written language going back several thousand years might at least make you feel better.
5. The stress of being creative
Elizabeth Gilbert wrote the best-selling book, which was turned into the blockbuster movie, Eat, Pray Love. And then she had to produce her next piece of work/art. She talks about how the pressure to produce good art (writing, music, painting, whatever) takes it’s toll on the modern artist. From alcoholism to drug abuse to depression and mental illness, it’s no wonder we don’t consider going into the arts a good career choice!
So she goes back to the Greek and Roman idea of the creative inspiration, the genius, and looks at the idea that creative inspiration lies not within us where we are responsible for it, but outside of us. And that our job is to do the hard work of writing or painting or playing music and rely on the muse to show up. If it’s crap, it’s your muse’s fault. If it’s genius, it’s not you, it’s your genius!
I am a fledgling artist with my photography, my glass art, my music and my writing. I can put the stress of creativity aside, and just do my art work. Sometimes, genius and inspiration are there. Sometimes, it’s just a practice session. And, that’s okay.
So, those are my top 5. For now. What are your favourite TED Talks?