In a 6-minute TED Talk, Angela Lee Duckworth speaks a truth that I know to be true from my own experiences: grit is the best indicator of future success. It’s not talent, or smarts, or how quickly we can learn new things. It’s about learning from our failures and trying again anyway. As Angela points out, our brains rewire themselves with each new experience, so grit is the ability to retry a problem until we have enough experience to solve it.
Not only a remarkable story, Jill Bolte Taylor’s story beautifully captures the dichotomy we know all too well: the rational self versus the spiritual part of a whole. As a neuroscientist, Jill uses her experience of having a stroke to illustrate the powerful differences between our left and right hemispheres. Our left controls our understanding of time, language, planning, and ourselves. Our right includes our senses, our feelings, and our spirituality.
“We are so, so, so accepting of any body part breaking down — other than our brains.”
My friend’s blog post (Kevin Breel: Confessions of a Depressed Comic) brought this video to my attention. I love it first because Kevin eloquently explains depression. For those who have not experienced it or intimately accompanied a loved one through it, depression is often misunderstood. What I love in addition to this is how forcefully Kevin connects this misunderstanding to our societal stigmas. To the marginalization of those who suffer from depression. To the prejudice we attach to mental health issues but not to physical health issues.
In my previous post featuring Viola Davis on Oprah, I touched on the subject of a lack of representation in media and mentioned its negative effects. Thanks to Brene’s blog, I came across a TED Talk that beautifully explains this concept, and I think the title does a great job by itself: the danger of a single story. Chimamanda Adichie discusses a single story in the context of literature and news, but there is a broader context of movies, TV, friends, etc. One of the values I hold very dear is that of diversity, and I think this video eloquently explains how that can be so important.
Since it came up in a recent conversation with a friend, I wanted to post about a TED Talk about faking it till you make it. When I went to find it, it turns out that I actually already have! Only, I didn’t talk about it in my original post. Previously I commented on Amy Cuddy’s TED Talk, saying it relates body position to mood. (Still cool!) Now I want to highlight her ending story (somewhere in the last 5 minutes) about faking it till you make. Because I want you to watch it since it is so powerfully told, I won’t spoil it here. Just want to say that it’s totally worth the watch for anyone who has ever felt unworthy, unqualified, out of their league, or over their heads.
Because people are moved more when they understand the “why” begin something, Simon Sinek argues that success ideas and businesses are sold with why. And, not just including the why but leading with it. I love the concept, and it’s something I am incorporating in my communications.
To illustrate the concept, here’s my own example:
Normal conversation (what before why): You need to show up to this meeting, because you need to reach 100 hours of training.
Moving conversation (why before what): Because you are required to reach 100 hours of training, you need to show up to this meeting.
For me, the first example sounds demanding. You need to… And instantly I’m thinking, “I do not need,” and I completely miss the reason why. However when the second example puts the reason first, I have the chance to understand it before my mind puts up resistance to being told I have to do something.