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 19 2012: I did a project in school where I studied Peace & Conflict, and I spoke about my action yesterday for a TEDxYouth event at my school!
    • May 20 2012: thats the best comment ive wisper it to tomorrow,,he will tell him in two days,,but he already heard it 3 times..
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      May 20 2012: Katilyn, that is awesome! Thank you for making a difference. Will we be able to see the video soon?
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        May 21 2012: I don't know...
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          May 24 2012: Kaitlyn & John- We will have the videos up as soon as they are edited. Look for them under the TEDx Youtube Channel tagged for TEDxYouth@BIS and look for our photos on the TEDx Flicker account- soon. Kaitlyn sells herself a bit short in her comment as she designed a program to help combat exclusion and bulling at our school. She is a passionate and expressive speaker who has identified an issue and become a change agent within our community. Every day I learn something new from my students. And through our last TEDxYouth@BIS event, I have discovered that, if teachers provide a forum, scaffold for understanding and teach the necessary skills students will AMAZE us with their ideas, passions, and actions. They have the potential, we just need to help them actualize their dreams.
  • 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?
  • Jun 6 2012: 3 years ago in 6th grade I discovered that global warming was a HUGE threat to my generation. So I became a climate change activist, and my friend and I started Earth Action Team, a global warming organization for teenagers.
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    Jun 1 2012: Me: I realized I grew up wanting to be the girl sitting on the beach in the ROXY ad infront of the fire listening to her friend play guitar. I wanted to wake up in the morning and smell the ocean while eating fresh fruit. I was attracted to freedom. How i did grow up though was as far from this as you get. I would not say I had a happy loving childhood and i chased all the wrong things in my 20's. After my divorce I discovered the girl inside of me and now I wake up in the morning with the ocean breeze coming through my window. My path has not been easy or supported but I made it. I'm 34 years old and a professional kiteboarder who is about to set the Canadian speed record in France this July. Anything really can happen in life if you follow your heart.
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    Jun 1 2012: Debra mentioned below, "Even if you give it your very best effort it might not work out. Try anyway!" I'm doing some research on failure and success - how we define it, how we handle it, both as individuals and as a culture. Any stories of times when you give your best effort and it didn't work out?
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      Jun 1 2012: Hi John! Yes! Enjoy your thesis process and here is that story.

      After my MA I had learned a lot about neurocience and I found a test that I believe allows a computer to understand its user a bit. I got a grant, created a product and even got a review by Universal-Vivendi. I put everything I had into the process and as an added incentive I thought this was so amazing that i beluieved this might be just the ticket to finance my children's education. The evaluation said the my producuct was too advanced for the market (had to do with refresh rates of the screens) and that they had no use for it. Oh well!
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    May 30 2012: I've discovered that to find out who i really am i needed to go back to my earliest memories. What was it that i looked at with wonder. What did i play with? What tv shows did i like? Then as an adult, what always caught my attention? What pictures did i find myself day dreaming at? These questions helped me to realize that we don't really change. We are born a certain person & all we need to do is discover & develop that person. This is the true path to happiness.
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      Jun 1 2012: Jessica, good stuff. I think we all start to listen to the other "voices" that tell us who we are, or who we should be, and recapturing ourselves can be difficult but transforming. So, tell us more of your story. At least your favorite TV show!
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    May 26 2012: Discover Smile .. This is what need today in our life..... .
    I never give up.. Spread Smile.. Thats my discovery...
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    May 26 2012: Even if you give it your very best effort it might not work out. Try anyway!
  • May 20 2012: Linda, You might enjoy my friend, Pamela Gregory....She has a Forgiveness Movement....Check her out on Facebook....I think she would love what you are doing with your thanknest movement!
  • May 20 2012: Linda..... I spoke at TEDxLaJolla.....Yes, You Can Read NOW and TEDxLaJolla....on youtube....will give you some idea! what we are doing! Craig
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      May 20 2012: Thank you Craig... I will check it out and I look forward to the production of your interactive online Universal Reading Method. I think this will open many new doors for people, And also, thank you for the contact Pamela Gregory, her work sounds very interesting also.
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    May 20 2012: Thank you John Shaw for opening this wonderful topic & giving me the opportunity to talk about my idea:

    I have learnt in my life how important it is to be thankful & appreciative of others. There have been times in my life when someone has helped me, supported me, inspired me, or touched my life... but I had never got around to thanking them. I came to realise that if I never made the time to say thanks, they would never know they had touched my life.

    So I started to develop a website where I could say thanks (, and I could offer a place for others to spread thanks too. I wanted to showcase the good actions of everyday people, where they could be appreciated, and they could then go on to spread thanks of their own.

    I began creating this website in 2010, and in February 2012 I went public with it.

    I developed with the psychological behaviour management strategy of "Praise in Public" in mind. When you say it in public for the world to see, you allow them to feel good about themselves, you give them power, and you allow them to feel truly valued. This also allows others to see the good in people, and to think about them with praise too. The world deserves to see the good in people. And what's more, the person being thanked deserves to know that they are appreciated.

    What I have discovered since going public, is that people who are appreciated on thanknest with a sincere & specific thanks feel compelled to connect with the person who is thanking them, in real life. They say things like "let's get together", "let's catch up", & "let's get coffee". Ths is because people want to spend more time, and in particular more of their real life time, with people who truly value them. It creates a web of connectedness between people, giving people the opportunity to form more meaningful bonds with others.

    Today, I'm sharing my idea on TedConversations & sharing it with the world.

    Dr Linda Hamilton
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      May 20 2012: The only appropriate response to this good work, Doctor, is to say ...

      THANK YOU!
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    May 24 2012: What Have You Discovered?
    The beauty of Islam.
    And what have you not done about it?
    Asking people to test the beauty of Islam.
  • May 21 2012: We are actively seeking capitalization for our online product. Very exciting time for us!
  • May 20 2012: sorry too much going on at the moment ...ill be back little more rested tomorrow ...ill be happy to answer any question then....
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    May 20 2012: I have discovered easy ways of bringing global social reform and I am planning to give a TED talk very soon about it ..
  • May 20 2012: on of my first conversation on twitter,,and yet to recieve a have mobile details on file,,,
  • May 20 2012: what would you do?
  • May 20 2012: today i discovered if i could talk to a chimp,,,id ask him if he saw weather the egg got there before the chicken???he,d tell me the egg was there first,and that his granfather tried to eat it,,but the rooster kept it well hidden...then wish time a happy bthday,.just to tease him)poor time still looking for his b'day,,,wonder if he can find it...he cant stop talking about the big bang though ,,,surprisingly,time is insured with a deductible,..been friends with space for longer than space can remember,,,but they dont talk anymore,,not much since the kids,,,,space is getting bigger,while time keeps loosing weight...
  • May 19 2012: time and space are opposing line with dual polarity...time cannot have a beginning,as time is always preceeded by on the other hand can only begin and never end..for space always follows...the totality of every singularity,in every singularity of totality,,,or in simpler terms,,,space in time and time in space....the higgs field is time wave membrane,,,while a ripple is a singularity within....if higgs is a time particle,then fermions are space(mass)particles...hence time is the reaction,preceeding the action of space...obvously,as a short one paragragh post,im not convincing anyone...but been doing the research and abservation for many years,,,and recently following posts on particle physics(of particular significance)and studying the neutrino saga,,aswell as negative mass measurement of the higgs...wont bore anyone with all the details here,,,and there is plenty....currently trying to get some support as i have no academic experience,,,and its not easy condensing ten years of notes,and scribble,,,into one cohesive paper...about particle time,and physics...already have a title..."the duality of absolute singularity,,or the relativity of singularity to its quantum generality"...basically the unstable value of zero...
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    May 19 2012: sub: Cosmology World Peace
    Three Tier conflicts in minds prevailing over the continents.How to bring Unity through Knowledge base.?
    One needs to search avenues for peace. The origins- Vedas Interlinks must help through Science in philosophy and philosophy of Science dialogues.
    • May 20 2012: funny thing is ive always loved both,,,pretty much the same disciplines,.,but the evidence they use is different...i think an absolute truth to either,is exact if it applies to both
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    May 18 2012: These negative voices are really disturbing to constantly hear, but we must learn to be ignorant to these "voices of peers".

    I don't really know what great ideas I can contribute, but I am going to continue living my life in order to find out which of my idea(s) is worth spreading, then doing. =)

    Thanks for the inspiring prompt above! =)
    • May 21 2012: mate i spent 3 moth circling rthe words is was wili cause i couldnt understant where time would start...and id do it a hundred times over,,,main thing if youre stuck in one point stay there,,,till you get it,,,and iof its what you want its very easy to do...if you love it,,,i only graduated high school the rest is self taught..would ve been much quicker to go to uni though...