Can TED change your life?

If you had 20 minutes to say something to change someone’s life or the world, make that valuable difference or impart your most treasured, hard-earned knowledge; what would you say, who would you tell and how would you go about it…?

Most of us would simply leave it at a thought. Some would share it only with those they think deserve to know, or people that have paid for it, or perhaps the person closest to them; but the lovely folks at TED thought otherwise! Their tag line “Ideas worth spreading” is an open forum of free talks from the delightful to the insightful. From thought provoking Thandi Newton, passionate Bono, to straight talking Tony Robbins or less known Terry Moore, who shares how we should be tying our shoes…

I won’t give you my favourite talk (there are too many to choose from) but one of the talks that I’ve shared the most with others is http://www.ted.com/talks/graham_hill_less_stuff_more_happiness.html

While I haven’t gone as far as he suggests I could, it has changed the way I think about owning things. I’m more selective about what I choose to purchase and when. My needs and wants have been more clearly defined. I still openly wish that I could fully embrace his spirit of minimalism, but I’m also happy that I’ve started to consciously review my relationship with ‘stuff’.

So my answer is yes, what someone says at an event in California, a conference in Cape Town or a conversation started in Canada can impact your life.

But even further, and rather more challenging, I think we should all embrace this spirit of sharing great ideas. Finding collaborators and building thoughts together, creating, innovating and bringing the best ideas to light — as Mahatma Gandhi says “be the change you want to see in the world”. It’s up to us, not the politicians, charities or big names.

Back to TED, if you haven’t explored the site much, may I suggest you make a cup of tea (or a flask if you have one handy!) and watch a few of my favourites:

http://www.ted.com/talks/meg_jay_why_30_is_not_the_new_20.html
http://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_on_vulnerability.html
http://www.ted.com/talks/amanda_palmer_the_art_of_asking.html
http://www.ted.com/talks/frank_warren_half_a_million_secrets.html
http://www.ted.com/talks/stacey_kramer_the_best_gift_i_ever_survived.html
http://www.ted.com/playlists/4/what_makes_us_happy.html
http://www.ted.com/talks/tony_robbins_asks_why_we_do_what_we_do.html
http://www.ted.com/talks/jane_mcgonigal_the_game_that_can_give_you_10_extra_years_of_life.html

And, if your shoelaces are always untying, you might find this useful…

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