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Dave Lim

TEDx Ambassador, TEDxSingapore

TEDCRED 500+

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What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?

Do share your response to this intriguing question...

Topics: life living
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    Jun 23 2012: I'll try to fail. Here comes the paradox XD
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      Jul 11 2012: Surely if your intent is to fail, and then you fail, then you've succeeded. Love this old philosophical question.
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    Jul 18 2012: I would attempt to construct a time machine, travel through space and time and learn about all the great, wonderful, and magnificent accomplishments mankind will have made in the next 500 years.
    Additionally, I would advise and warn global leaders of future catastrophes and/or unpredictable events that take place in the future in order to prevent said terrifying occurrences.
    If only I could find a companion like Dr. Who to assist me on my quest!
  • Jul 4 2012: If I knew I could not fail, I would attempt to fail. And, probably, fail at failing. But then, that means I succeeded at failing, which...nvm.
    • Jul 4 2012: Brilliant mind you have...the true essence of life.
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    Jun 26 2012: I would like to eradicate corruption and scams,All the hard earned money from common man is going to those filthy politicians.
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    Jun 26 2012: End religion.
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      Jun 26 2012: why?
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        Jun 26 2012: Well, because I think religion (very specifically religion and not the mere belief in god/gods) has become a tool to keep people from thinking logically. Especially when you look at indoctrination and the fact that most people don't make informed choices when it comes to such an important belief. Religion is also moving into a position where many of the religious view science as anti-god. Consequentially, millions of people are refusing to even learn about the world around them because it contradicts the religion that was handed to them.

        Then, I look at war and how much violence, intolerance, and outright hate has been justified by religion. I would never claim that all wars and violence would end without religion, but I'd love to see the difference that I know it would make. I'd love to see a world where believing in any single thing (without exception) for which there is no evidence is laughable. I'd love to see people given a much better chance at exploring and learning about the world around them and the wonderful things that would come from that.
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          Jun 26 2012: The current arguement is that religion establishes morals, but where would moral be without religions? I think moral will still exist.
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          Jun 27 2012: Derek that is what became of Eastern Europe after the Soviet Union abolished religion.
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          Jun 27 2012: "I'd love to see a world where believing in any single thing (without exception) for which there is no evidence is laughable."

          I believe there is hope for humanity
          I believe I can succeed through persistence
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        Jun 27 2012: And morals still existed.
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        Jun 27 2012: Joy, there is evidence that you can succeed though persistence. And "hope" for the world is pretty ambiguous. It would need to be very clearly defined before you could look into evidence. World hunger? World Peace? Does hope mean that it can happen or that it will happen? I still stand by my point that we should not believe things without evidence. I think that's pretty fair.
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          Jun 27 2012: Can you prove anything? I want proof of proof. Do you think you can prove anything at all? I think we believe we are real because we have faith in reality. I am not arguing for/against religion. I address a philosophical question. What is truth? Is it universal?
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        Jun 27 2012: If we stop any exploration of evidence to ask "what is the real reality of what really is the realism of reality?" then we are forever handicapped. Also, how would we ever access a truth that is beyond our reality? Once we access it, doesn't that automatically make it our reality? Just because we may suspect that there are things beyond our understanding doesn't mean we should just start making things up. All opinions are not worthy opinions by sheer default.
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    Jun 22 2012: Get married
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    Jun 22 2012: I would close down all livestock, fish, dairy, and grain farms and replace them with high nutrition and calorie yield fruit trees like mango, banana, persimmon, date, papaya and all the other thousands more types of fruit, and farms of leafy greens and vegetables. I would remind everyone that we a FRUGIVORES, we are primates, and we need to return to a diet of fruits and leafy greens if we want to prevent cancer, degenerative diseases, obesity, malnutrition, allergies and other health problems.

    People are spending so much money, harming so many animals for research and wasting so much time trying to find a cure for cancer when we already know how to prevent it in the first place - eat right and stop polluting. We are primates and we should be eating like it. Humans, like our cousin apes, are frugivorous animals; everything about our physiology indicates this - from our digestive tract to our teeth to our colour vision to our nutritional requirements. Eat a diet of fruits and leafy greens, drink plenty of water, sleep 10+ hrs a night, play and live your life purpose if you want to avoid health problems.

    I also highly highly recommend the book '80 10 10' by Dr Douglas Graham. Many nutritionists, olympic athletes, marathoners, doctors and families have learnt this and are all beginning to return to a high carb raw vegan diet. It is a winfinity concept - brilliant for the environment, animal welfare, human health and sustainability.

    If we ate more sweet juicy fruits and stopped eating meat, eggs and dairy, not only would we cut our CO2 emissions in half, but we would also produce more calories and nutrients per acre (since unlike grains the fruit harvest is not on just one horizontal level, but spreads upwards and outwards to produce a higher yield on the same patch of land), the fruit trees would absorb CO2, we would save money on health care, nurturing animals and expanding their habitats whilst opening a new paradigm and reducing excessive consumerism.
    • Jun 22 2012: You sound connected to a Transition Town group or at least aware of Permaculture...
      Great vision!

      BTW, do it - you won't fail. Every planted fruit or nut tree or veg patch is a success.
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        Jun 23 2012: Thanks for the encouragement, I'm not connected to a transition town but am quite interested in them. Some people say that it's an 'extreme' vision, but really the current agricultural system is the one that's extreme.
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          Jun 24 2012: They work. Learn about Permaculture, or come find me!
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      Jun 23 2012: Very fascinating. Thank you for the concise and eloquent information. I read a 'diet' book by Kimberly Snyder that purports a similar approach. That we are closer to the, pound for pound, most powerful animal on earth - the gorilla - than any other species. I have stopped dairy but not meat, and am very good with greens. But its the overall sustainability aspect that is most intriguing. I'm fascinated with the 'movement' of sustainability, am a big fan of Paul Hawkin, and appreciate your approach. Would you recommend any groups or blogs, other than TED, where a novice like me can get more information about applicability and transformation, and communicate with others of like mind? Also, what's your take on gluten? Thank you in advance for any input you could offer.
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        Jun 23 2012: I appreciate your comment, yes I am a member of a brilliant forum called www.30bananasaday.com, founded by cyclist, ahlete and youtuber Durianrider aka Harley Johnstone (here's a really nice talk from him: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Ha10HFlurY), as well as www.foodnsport.com, founded by Dr Doug Graham who is actually training several 2012 Olympians on a high carb raw vegan diet.

        My take on gluten is that it is best avoided, by eating tubers like sweet potatoes, potatoes as well as gluten free options made from rice, corn or soy instead of grains. There is a good book called 'Grain Damage' that you could maybe read on the matter. However, though I understand you may disagree, I'd say meat would be a higher priority to eliminate from your diet as many scientific studies have found it to cause diseases -
        http://www.filmsforaction.org/watch/forks_over_knives_2011/

        If you are not ready to fully adopt a diet of fruits and tender veggies, you can still do your body and the environment the world of good by going cooked vegan, and you won't need to change your meals at all as there is a delicious vegan replacement for pretty much every meat and dairy product - the best 'meats' and burgers I ever tasted were vegan.

        The plethora of fruits that are abundant to us in supermarkets means there are many cooked dishes you can recreate even when eating high carb raw vegan, from delicious savoury 'spagetti' dishes with sauce, to 'apple pie' with 'ice cream', as well as seriously thousands of new recipes to try. I live in the UK and it costs me £2 to £4 a day to eat this way, beforehand I was spending £3.20 on lunch alone.

        Just a few environmental benefits:
        - Little to no food packaging
        - Free compost from peelings
        - Less water and chemicals needed to clean as there are no pots to scrub or dangerous bacteria
        - Fruit trees stabilise topsoil and provide a habitat

        The all-important PROOF of the super results: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ucHEVNX2c9o
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          Jun 24 2012: It is so wonderful of you to respond so generously. I read in your approach so much positive enthusiasm for the subject, yet tempered by a realism and and a data-driven foundation that is inspriring and 'holistically' energizing. I hope you find much joy in your life and what you do, and that you don't get discouraged if it takes longer to accomplish your goals than desired... I know about meat, but convenience has been a problem for me. It also gets very cold here so something hot and hardy is welcome. I'm sure there are adequate vegan recipes. I need to get better organized. I have no problem with 'raw'. I actually prefer it. As I consider this further, it's really about being organized.I live in a large urban area and everything necessary is available readily. Sustainability is necessary, upon us, and very exciting to me. Next I imagine, after 'sustainability', we'll have true abundance for all. We are on the verge of this exciting transformation! It's happening now.
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      Jun 25 2012: I think you are a very well written and thoughtful individual. Did you know that a combination of beans and corn creates all of the amino acids and proteins needed to live? The pioneers learned this 2-300 years ago and it was just about all they ate.
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      Jun 28 2012: I hope you take a vitamin B12 supplement.
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    Jul 9 2012: My bucket list.
  • Jun 26 2012: I would cure the cancer that's killing my old aunty :(
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      Jun 27 2012: It killed mine too but it doesn't kill us all and that is progress. I bet you would cure it too, given a real shot!
    • Jun 27 2012: I think this is the best answer I've seen given you "can't fail"
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    Jun 26 2012: I would end homophobia.
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    Jun 26 2012: Make the best TED lecture EVER!
  • Jun 25 2012: I think the real question is, what WOULDN'T I attempt to do? :)
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    Jun 24 2012: Start a new civilization based on an equitable relationship with the Earth and all beings.
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    Jul 20 2012: I would convince everyone on the planet to be aware of their cognitive biases, open up to changing their minds when new, more accurate information is presented, and pursue truth based decision making. I'd hope to teach the world to suspend their emotions and make logic their primary decision making tool.
  • Jul 19 2012: Bring peace in the Middle East, create a Palestine state, eliminate nuclear weapons, preserve our natural resources, reduce poverty and racialism. The afore mentioned goals needs a commitment from all human beings.
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    Jul 19 2012: I would find a way to restore the balance of Mother Earth for the sake of humankind.
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    Jul 18 2012: I would attempt to unite the world.
  • Jul 17 2012: I guess stop all porn
  • Jul 17 2012: I'd implement a global distribution system for the produce of volunteer workers after completely removing the current economic system and all the greed and waste that goes with it..
  • Jul 8 2012: If you desire to do something worthwhile should attempt to do so regardless of the fear of failure.
  • Jul 4 2012: This is a great, classic self-help question. It is designed to identify desires that are being ignored because of the fear of failure or even the knowledge that you'll fail. I use it with my own students. The point is not that you do the desire--I might want to play in the NBA but am 5 feet tall or sing opera but have no talent--but that your life touches that desire. I've had students who've wanted to swim in the olympics who now coach kids, students who want to end world hunger who now volunteer at the food bank, and those who say they want to be president who then run for student government. Most compelling is when a student realizes that NONE of their life touches their soul--they're studying computer science because of their parents' desire. It can be a transformative question, but admittedly a fun academic exercise as well.
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    Jul 3 2012: At first I was struggling to imagine which thing to pick from so many good choices - contact advanced alien civilization, find the pattern to pi, make a jillion dollars revolutionizing the computer industry, but then it hit me: Re-boot the American education system, hands down!
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    Jun 29 2012: Thank you Debra. Orphaned children and those born to dysfunctional families deserve just as much of a chance in life as the rest. Unfortunately, most of these children are not likely to succeed. The saddest part of all is that they themselves often feel they don't deserve anything better than what they have and that has to change. So if I could, I would teach these children that it is ok to want more out of life and it is ok to be happy.

    This may not be such an unattainable goal, after all, if more people were interested in doing something about it. .
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    Jun 28 2012: Hey all,
    A new joinee..
    Well..initially i tried to answer the question in the similar fashion answered by fellow members like curing others, helping society etc but then something stuck me. We don't try something on the premises that we gonna fail or succeed. There is something else that holds us back from trying things that we wish to do. There is some amount of fear and that is not of failure. For eg. my wish of proposing a random girl is irrelevant of the fact that I will succeed or fail but I will be hesitant in approaching her at first place.
    So what I am stating is even if we have an option of not failing, may be, it wont matter.
    My views
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      Jun 29 2012: What if she thinks you are cute and says YES! Your premise is that she will say no or your experiment would come to an end. I hope.
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        Jun 30 2012: Well that can be an outcome. But what I wanted to state was that anything that we actually choose to do is not depending on a success or a failure. Suppose I really want to solve the hunger problem of slum kids and I already know that I may not succeed. Still if I really wanted to do it, i would go and see to what extent I can do. If already know that girl is going to say YES or NO, I may stammer or hesitate in the same way as I would have when I was unaware of the outcome. If we really wanted to do something, we will go ahead whether we succeed or not. Rest all is wishful thinking. Hope I make some sense.
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    Jun 26 2012: I agree with you, Derek. I'm pretty sure the morals would still exist. Especially since there are so many non-religious people with morals. That's another great discussion in itself! Sam Harris' book, The Moral Landscape, has some interesting points about the emergence of morals.
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    Jun 26 2012: teletransport