TED Conversations

John Shaw

Owner & Certified Business Coach, FocalPoint Business Coaching

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TEDxSDSU - What Have You Discovered? [And what have you done about it?]

Last week I had the pleasure of attending TEDxSDSU and giving a “TED Talk”. I can’t wait until 2.0 with my fellow TEDites. TEDians. TEDsters. People who like TED.

Fifteen speakers and performers told their unique stories, in their own unique ways, about the event’s theme: “What Have You Discovered?”. Ideas were bouncing off the walls like the Starbucks tasting staff, but without their bad breath. Afterward, I realized that in addition to the “official” theme, there were several other common threads that wound through each “TED Talk” and song.

Several speakers mentioned how young children interact with the world. As children, we don’t pay much attention to the “voices” that we listen to later in life - the voices of peers, or probabilities, or pessimism. A passel of possibilities still hold promise. (Nice alliteration, huh?)

We are usually attracted to people who agree with us and have the same interests, but other perspectives stretch us, confirm us, and, sometimes, change us.

For many, including me, it was a huge lift to hear how others have gone through a “dark night of the soul” and not only survived, but thrived, when morning came.

The TEDxSDSU team asked us to answer the question, “What Have You Discovered?”. We were a cooperative group, so that theme informed every talk and song. It was fascinating to hear the stories of discovery, and to encounter the other common themes that appeared, perhaps by coincidence, perhaps by grand design, but definitely by common experience.

For my talk, I took up the TED mantra, Ideas Worth Spreading, and suggested that yes, ideas are worth spreading, but great ideas are worth doing.

What's yours idea? And what are you doing about it? What step are you taking - today?


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  • May 20 2012: After a near death experience, I woke up in my hospital room and realized all of the things that had been really important to me weren't anymore! I knew at that very moment, that I was alive at that moment and now because I had to contribute something to our planet that would solve one of its major problems! To say the least, this was an important moment for me and, of sorts, an identity crisis. However, in my passionate heart of hearts, after much deliberation I realized that these feelings were coming from a sincere spiritual, soulful, aspect of my Greater Self!

    So, I have taken on Teaching every student in the world challenged with Reading English. My brother, Doug, a once child and adult who could not read English, spent 40 years of his life to discover the absolute pattern to reading all English words. We teach students who have a personal desire to learn how to read English in 2 1/2 hours. When you hear this I am assuming that you will question our ability to do this.

    One of the things I have observed after meeting folks who cannot read is they are very reluctant to tell anyone their secret and feel ashamed and have been told they are inferior to others. They are not aware of the number of people whose minds have evolved like there's. And those who have no problem memorizing words and long lists of rules have contributed to their feelings of low self -esteem. It makes very good sense that it would require a person, like my brother, who had walked their walk, to understand what they needed to know and how to convey it to them.

    In honor of their need for privacy and avoidance of being ridiculed by their peers, we are producing an highly interactive, voice recognition, online Universal Reading Method so that we can offer each individual, in the privacy of their own home, on their computer, their ipad, and their phone, the transformation experience of learning to read English.

    This what we have invented and feel passionate about!
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      May 20 2012: What wonderful work Craig. I have worked with many disadvantaged children preparing to go into secondary school who still cannot read or write. These kids go on through secondary school and into adulthood not being able to read. Not being able to read sets major life limits on children and adults. If there are any possibilities for them to be able to start to learn to read (and in such a short amount of time), is absolutely fantastic.

      There are so many children and adults who cannot read it is overwhelming. To give anyone with access to the internet an opportunity to read is such a great initiative. Many of the children I have worked with would not have access to the internet at home, and certainly not have ipads etc, but if your initiative could be brought into schools so that all students have access to such a wonderful resource (and into libraries or elsewhere where it can be used widely by disadvantaged adults), this would help them tremendously in life, and open up so many new avenues for them.

      Keep up the wonderful work Craig, I'm really interested to see where you take this from here.

      Dr Linda Hamilton
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        May 25 2012: This would be a great tool for our literacy center! Thank you!
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      May 20 2012: Craig, excellent and meaningful work that will change the world for many. What's your next step?

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