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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    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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