A year ago I was just emerging from the crushing weight of having lost my spouse and best friend almost a year earlier. Over this entire period I have spent a lot of time trying to figure out what is the “new normal” for my life going forward. I even had the good fortune to be laid off in January 2019 leaving me with every day unscripted and no idea what was next for my life. It was my personal Stay at Home time to decide why I was here, what I wanted and how to go forward.
A tremendous help for me in that discovery was TED talks. These thought-provoking episodes on an array of topics became inspirations, considerations, and motivations I could watch, replay, absorb, and largely embrace as part of my new paradigm. I wanted my thoughts provoked not how-to manual.
As I now listen to everyone discuss new normal, what about tomorrow and what about the future these times now with COVID-19 feel almost exactly the same as my personal life for almost 2 years. In some karmic way, I was gifted with a personal preview of this period about how to navigate this new paradigm.
If you’re like me, when you are introduced to an idea that is unfamiliar, you think about it and work to accept it in whatever way it seems to fit. TED talks are intended to expand thinking, which to me was the whole point. I found a number of talks that very much changed my point of view on many, many subjects. They laid a foundation on which I could find my new self, find a new spirit, start a company and chart a course into the future.
Below are 6 TED talks that were most instrumental to me to expand my thinking. All of them provided deep awareness into things to which I had given little thought. Each gave me a new point of view.
If it suits you, take the time to watch them at home. If you can, share them or at least the ideas with the other people in your house. I think they may provide an assortment of interesting perspectives.
Top of my list because it shakes so much of our communication assumptions – what if we had no word for hate. Would there be no more hatred? Lera Boriditsky looks at this topic in her talk about How Language shapes the way we think.
For women and meaningful for men (especially if you have daughters), do you know what your body language says about your confidence? Amy Cuddy delivers a great presentation that will make you look at people of both genders entirely differently from that point forward entitled Your body language may shape who you are.
There is lots of conversation about the “education system” especially now with online and distance learning going mainstream. Try listening to Sir Ken Robinson challenging the way creativity is not the goal of education Do schools kill creativity?. And he’s very funny.
Speaking of funny, James Veitch gives a wonderful tour of What happens when you reply to spam email just for fun. In a timely sense, it uses charts and graphs effectively, too.
For a wonderful consideration about gratitude, social connecting and awareness, topics particularly needed today and forward, listen to Amanda Palmer and her talk The Art of Asking.
On a different topic altogether, watch Tim Urban discuss Inside the mind of a master procrastinator, something we are all familiar with and you’ll see Tim suggest we all do.
As a bonus for the whole family is this reading by Seth Godin of his book V is for Vulnerable an alphabet book full of adult messages as only Seth can do.
Please do consider Tim’s topic and how few boxes there are for weeks in your life. So few of the weeks so far are memorable, we all have a moment to ensure that each of these and future weeks contain one memorable activity. And if you have kids, inspire them sooner than Tim may be inspiring us. Do all you can to not squander any time you are granted by the Pandemic.