What would you stand up and speak for?
These TED talks are some of the most mesmerizing and entertaining from the stage. They also express incredible ideas that can have a lasting impact on how we see the world and how we live our lives. These talks show us the art behind the absurd, the possibility of what you can do if you believe in yourself. How changing perceptions opens us up to possibilities that help us grow, understand, and even forgive.
From personal identity to assumptions we make about people, and even our inspirations. Hetain Patel and Yuyu Rau show us we are not so easy to categorize. We are a made by those who came before us, the experiences we have, and the aspirations of what we want to be.
The journey can be absurd, as we change and as we grow. The encounters with different people, with different viewpoints, become who we are. The mistakes we make are not something we do, but a part of who we are. Serving us as an integral stage in our journey to become our most honest selves.
Grab your Journal!
Check your assumptions, particularly if they create a viewpoint that closes you off. When you find yourself pushing something away write down what you’re thinking. Ask yourself why you are thinking that way. Is this way of thinking serving you, or creating a wall that’s blocking you from an opportunity to grow?
Do this and see where this newfound openness to experience takes you. See how expanding yourself makes things that might have seemed impossible before, easier. See how new insights and perspectives can make an old weakness into a new strength.
We can often underestimate small things. We can even criticize or diminish what doesn’t seem to have a place of importance in the wider realm of society. Black shows us embracing your passion, no matter how inconsequential it might seem, is critical to finding fulfillment.
Passion meaning the acceptance of what puts a smile on your face, of what makes the troubles of the world fall away. Maybe you were told you could never get a job doing something. Maybe you were made fun of because you liked it. Maybe you pursued it, achieved, but didn’t get the recognition you were hoping for. All this back and forth distracts from what’s important about doing something you love, no matter how small or ridiculous it might seem. What is important is that you love it and when you do it you are more yourself than any other time.
Grab your Journal!
Write down a list of things you love to do. It doesn’t matter how small or inconsequential they might seem. It doesn’t matter if you can get paid to do it, it only matters if you love to do it. Pick one thing. The thing you love to do the most on your list, then schedule some time for yourself wherever you can. Then do that thing, every day. No matter what.
Do this for you and see how embracing doing something you love regardless of others. Gives you a stronger sense of control and a level of fulfillment that only comes from inside yourself.
We have an incredible need to be assured in our perceptions of what’s around us. Apollo Robbins challenges us by exploiting perception and teaching us a valuable lesson. He shows what we can miss if we allow what we think we know to control how we see the world.
The need to feel like our perceptions are infallible comes from a desire to protect ourselves. Whether that’s because it provides us a sense of safety in the world around us, or that it gives us confidence what we are doing is right. We need our perceptions to be right because that is our model of the world. Unfortunately, being assured in this way comes at a cost. An inability to see opportunities that are right in front of you. This happens because perceptions come with filters. It’s a core piece of how they function. So much that if we aren’t paying attention, we could be taken advantage of and lose out on what’s most important to us.
Our perception is our focus. When we focus on something unimportant to us, our perception filter takes over. We start to see everything in the way we’ve set our perception to view it. Visual perception, mental perception, it works the same. How are your perceptions serving you, or hurting you? Are you losing out on what’s important because you’re focused on something unimportant?
Grab your Journal!
Take a look at your goals and your daily schedule. How are you spending your time? Why are you spending it that way? Are you accomplishing what you want, or is something distracting you? Are other things taking priority, or does the goal not feel important? Check your perceptions, for the reasons you’ve written down. Ask yourself one powerful question as many times as you need to- Why do you think that?
Do this and you’ll find a host of perceptions that are automatic responses only serving to hold you back. You’ll also find plenty of perceptions that do serve you in your pursuit of your goals. Associate the helpful perceptions with a goal, and remove them from your identity as a person. In this way, once you complete the goal your perception will go with it. Leaving room for your new goal and new perceptions that will continue to serve you. This will diminish false starts. Because when your intent and your perceptions are in sync, the ability to persist is the by-product.
We each have our own unique challenges in life, but the mistake we make is putting too much importance on what does or doesn’t define us. Derek Paravicini and Adam Ockelford show us incredible things are possible when we allow pure chance to lead us. When we open ourselves up to the incredible insights we can glean in support of each other amazing things happen.
So many desires in life come with a prerequisite list of what’s needed to achieve something. Patterns exist for a reason and it’s not unreasonable to follow a pattern that lead to success once. It can lead to success again, but when we start to see that as the only way to achieve success. This is when we can miss the incredible.
There’s not one right way to live your life. There’s not one right way to learn an instrument. There’s not one right way to lose weight. There’s not one right way to get a job. It’s important that we research and understand the patterns that exists. We should have a list of possibilities for how to solve a problem. This is a foundation, a solid piece we put down to build on top of. The laws and rules we must adhere to if we want to build our own home. The thing to recognize is sometimes you don’t have a solid flat ground to build on. There are slopes and waterways, but we can adjust, and what you can create once a foundation is set- is limitless.
Grab your Journal!
Challenge yourself to do something you have always said you can’t do. It doesn’t have to be huge, or life-altering. Maybe you think you could never solve a Rubik’s cube. Go buy one, watch a video on youtube, and do it. Maybe you think you could never walk up to a complete stranger and say, hi. Go outside right now and ask a random person how their day is going. Look at your work, your life, your home. What are you not doing because everything isn’t in the right place? Because you don’t have the knowledge, skills, or the talent? Try it anyway, and see what happens!
Do this and you’ll find that the little checkboxes see as must have, actually have no real significance to do it. Take that tiny bit of insight and apply it to your biggest problems. Throw out the checkbox that’s keeping you from doing something important. Skip it, and see what happens. You never know what you are capable of until you try!
The mistakes we make in life can hit hard. Some of us make huge mistakes and have to pay for them with our most precious resource- time. John Legend and James Cavitt show us the personification of what paying this kind of debt looks like. How we all come from different walks of life, but the punishment we inflict on ourselves is sometimes worse than any other.
We all make mistakes, but no matter the size or impact they can still feel insurmountable if we let them. We punish ourselves without remorse particularly if we don’t show others forgiveness. It’s this self-inflicted punishment more than anything else that tears away our hope. It makes forgiveness seem impossible, and leads us down a path of one mistake after another. It’s a cycle that leads us to decide mistakes are part of our identity. We become our worst mistakes, but the truth is we aren’t those things. Whether it’s your mistake or someone else’s we have to learn to forgive others and so ourselves. There’s no trick to this, there’s no making the mistake go away. There’s just accepting. Accept what you did, the effect it had, that it was a mistake, and it doesn’t define you. It can feel like the mistake is the only thing that matters, but it isn’t that it happened, it’s what you do after.
Grab your Journal!
Whatever mistake you’ve made, that you’ve been punishing yourself for. It’s time to forgive yourself. If what you’ve done lead to one mistake after another. It’s time to forgive yourself, for everything. It’s time to take the step forward and to decide to do better, right now! That doesn’t mean you won’t make mistakes. That doesn’t mean that you won’t make the same mistakes you’ve been making. It means you won’t make them because you think you deserve it, or because you think it’s who you are.
Do this and little by little, then by a lot. You will start to do better. You will start to have more moments you can be proud of, than ashamed. Life won’t seem so hard because you’ll put down some of that weight from all the blame and guilt you’ve acquired. The burdens it feels like you have to carry, and instead of feeling tired, sad, and overwhelmed. You can reclaim the energy, perspective, and hope you need to pick yourself back up. Maybe even lift up a few others along the way. If you are going to give away your precious time as a punishment. Then use it to make a difference outside of yourself and not to knock yourself down.