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Dyed All Hues

Thinker and Experimenter,

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What "seemingly" useless talent have you applied to life's tough situations?

Like being able to twist your tongue or being double jointed (Hopefully, I'm not offending anyone).

What is your "seemingly" useless talent and how has it helped you in a tough situation?

Topics: natural talent
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    Jul 27 2012: Who would have thought that just the tenacity to hold on or the tenacity to keep going would be useful and yet, I'm still here - whatever that is worth!
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      Jul 27 2012: I guess this just shows, we may never be bored of life :D
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      Jul 29 2012: Perserverance and stubborness seem pretty similar right about now. =P
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        Jul 29 2012: Oh Sweet Derek, should i be wounded or flattered?. Now tell me true, do you find me stubborn?
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          Jul 29 2012: Being stubborn is just another way of saying you care :)
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          Jul 30 2012: I think it can be a good trait, and so far nothing worth noting. It was a compliment, in disguises, I guess. =)
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        Jul 30 2012: @jAMES AND Derek, I think the world is in good hands with earnest and kind men like you!
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          Jul 30 2012: aww....shucks....I am nowhere near that image of perfection, but I strive for better each day. =)
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    Jul 30 2012: Through toughest of times i always laugh and smile...."fake it til you believe it" approach? :) I dont know if it qualifies as a talent but i smile through the greyest of days and look forward to the sunny days. And that helps balance everything in my life
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      Jul 30 2012: Good point Peter....I LOVE it, and that is a practice of mine as well. In fact, they tell me that when I was unconscious, on life support systems, after a near fatal injury and emergency craniotomy, I was smiling and giving visitors thumbs up! Well...what the heck...what else could I do, in that limited circumstance!!! LOL:>)

      Your idea reminds me of this TED talk:>)
      http://www.ted.com/talks/swami_dayananda_saraswati.html
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        Aug 1 2012: Loved the TED talk Colleen! Thanks! =)
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          Aug 12 2012: Glad you liked it Derek, I notice you are using it, and passing it on to others...that is PERFECT!!!

          (whisper)
          Don's next comment is amusing, considering how many times he has called me a representative of the devil!!! LOL:>)
          shhhhhhhh.....don't wake him up!
  • Jul 28 2012: Seeing the obvious.

    When I tell people I have a talent for seeing the obvious most people laugh and think this must be the most useless of talents. But many times I have pointed out something to someone or a group, and in a minute or two they think it is obvious, and wonder why they never saw it before.
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      Jul 29 2012: I've been called captain obvious a few times, but someone needs to point it out and not everyone realizes their lack of awareness until it is almost too late, then bam, captain obvious to the rescue! =P
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    Jul 27 2012: Sigh... Overtone chanting. Been practicing for ages.
    I was hoping someone here had found a use out of it.
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      Jul 28 2012: What is overtone chanting?!
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        Jul 28 2012: It's when you create a cavity in your mouth so that when you sing and hold a note, you get to sing the harmonics simultaneously.
        In short, it's a technique for singing two different notes at the same time, like a scotish pipe.
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          Jul 29 2012: Hey!!! That is really weird, cuz I have that similar ability (not perfect, but able to produce almost 2 notes?!). I have never really examined that skill before, but if I can make more than two notes then I can be a whole chord for any song! =P

          Wow, nice to meet ya! The people you meet on TED.com! =D
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          Jul 30 2012: Gerald - you often teach me things - and you thought you might not mention it? I never even heard of it!
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    Jul 27 2012: Once a skill/talent is called into use, it is difficult to call it useless. James mentions checkers below, which can easily become a medium for interacting with either the very young or the elderly in a way that improves their quality of life.
    I draw characters very fast, which comes in handy to pull out of the hat in the moment as part of classroom teaching.
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      Jul 28 2012: Seemingly useless, which means "not useless after all" is what I was trying to learn.
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      Jul 29 2012: I think I read your comment when I was not completely focues Fritizie, but I think I understand your comment better now.

      So you are a great judge of person is what you mean? =)
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  • Jul 27 2012: I find it easy to smile; and there are those very difficult situations, especially when I've been burdened by the consequences of a wrong choice, I would just sit in my room and laugh at myself, and say: "Dude, did you really do that? What were you thinking?"
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      Jul 29 2012: Comedians are great at that! =P

      Laughing at yourself can sometimes be good medicine and just what the body needs. =)
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        Jul 29 2012: "Blessed are they who can laugh at themselves, for they shall never cease to be amused"

        Sorry my friend Derek....that's all I have to offer....Oh wait.....I offer this......

        If something can be applied to life's tough situations, it is not useless...in my humble opinion. I believe there may have been talents/skills/information I was not aware of until needed, but I never even thought about any part of my "self" being useless:>)
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          Jul 30 2012: Well you are lucky to not have been a product of your environment. You have become a product of your own creations. =)

          Everyone should be that, but not everyone is fortunate enough to come to this awareness.
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        Jul 30 2012: Hi again Derek,
        Actually, I AM a product of our environment...just like we all are....don't you thinik? As humans, we all share the same environment, although the circumstances of our life experiences differ.

        I have realistically, mindfully, evaluated the information provided by my environment and life experiences with an open heart and mind, and orchestrate my life creations based on all information.

        OH!!! Perhaps that is the "seemingly useless talent applied to life's tough situations!" AWARENESS!

        We are ALL capable of this practice, and some don't realize it in themselves. So, I am not necessarily "lucky", as you say, but rather, using a talent that is seemingly useless to some, while in my perception, incredibly USEFULL in the life experience:>)
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          Jul 30 2012: Your right! The power of awareness is underratted. If you know comics, spiderman has his "spidy senses", which is like super awareness and he usually senses danger before it comes. =)

          When I mention "a product of your own creations", I meant in the aspect of you being unhappy about the bad stuff or feeling like the world owes you something or similar types of mentality that stems from us allowing the experience to turn us into a negative person. You usually seem to stay pretty positive and that is how I perceive someone as being a "product of their own creations".
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        Aug 1 2012: Well Derek,
        We KNOW spiderman, superman, wonderwoman, etc. all have very special talents, including an advanced sense of intuition/instinct:>)

        Don't you think we are ALL a product of our own creations....positive, negative, happy, unhappy, etc.? Our perception of the life adventure is a choice. Is it the experience that may "turn us into a negative person"? Or do we choose how we will use the experience to learn, grow and evolve? I choose the latter....what about you?

        Do you think that I have not had challenging situations in my life? I have my friend, and I use them to learn:>) Challenging situations are very much a part of the life experience. Did you ever hear the saying..."what doesn't kill you makes you stronger"? Well, I've had the opportunity to test that! And I chose to come out on the other side of the challenge with joy, humor, and gratitude, rather than the alternative. It's a choice dear Derek:>)
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          Aug 1 2012: Ah, I see. I never doubt anyones life is difficult or easy. Everyone has their own obstacles. It is definitely a choice, and I guess I really haven't developed how to say it properly, but yes it is the choice of the individual. Thank you for giving me more knowledge and insight into my own vocabulary. =)

          I guess it goes back to the individuals' awareness of themselves that allow them to see that it was their choice to be unhappy, negative, etc. I am becoming more aware of myself with each passing moment, and that it mostly from all the things I choose to surround myself with. =)

          XD I'm so happy right now! Thank you!
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        Aug 12 2012: Are you still happy Derek? Just checking:>)

        Yes, everyone faces obstacles (or are they opportunities?) in the life journey. I have a friend who says..."It's not a problem, it's a feature".

        Derek, you express yourself very well, and I LOVE that you're always asking questions that explore yourself and your world.

        Life lesson #1...give yourself credit, where credit is due:>)

        “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

        Marianne Williamson - A Course in Miracles
        Quoted by Nelson Mandela in his inauguration speech, 1994
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          Aug 13 2012: All Hail Colleen!! *crowd moans in unison*

          That was very inspiring! Wisdom can never be maxed out by any single individual, but sometimes repetition can overload me, though most of the times not. =)
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        Aug 13 2012: You are really silly sometimes Derek, and I LOVE it!!!

        I agree...repetition can sometimes overload us. I also find that repetition is the way I reprogram the brain:>) What we focus on expands......ever hear that before???? LOL:>)
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          Aug 13 2012: No.....of course not.... ;)

          You are a can of knowledge. Thanks again! =)
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        Aug 19 2012: LOL!!!

        Well, some funny bunnies may call me a "can of knowledge" and some others......????!!!????LOL!
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    Aug 27 2012: Derek you are one special TEDdie and I really hope you get to put your wonderful ideas into pracitce, especially the urban food production ones. Thank you for this useful and creative framework for a conversation about a very interesting hypothesis. Often we do 'know' the best answer to our problems, it is just not in our conscious or cognitive thought patterns because it involves our other body systems like the respiratory system, the circulatory system etc. Drugs and alcohol do not enhance these systems just dull them. It is not a mind and a body, it is a mind supported by a body and we need things like emotions and hormones and good diet and productive stressors. When I use terms like Jung's 'universal unconscious' what I mean is the community at large. Good ideas need teamwork and contacts to make a reality but the team do not have to be the great and the good, just people who want tthe same things as you.
    Peaceful debate and constructive arguements then physical co-operation and respect for the uniqueness of every single person. We all have potential if we get the space and time to find out what it might be. Namaste Derek.
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    Aug 14 2012: Hi Derek and everyone else. Want you to look again at Elizabeth Gilbert's talk about creative inspiration on TED and also want to refer you to the conversation thread started by ObeyNo1Kinobe about the God hypothesis. In a culture that educates the masses with information and reserves how to apply that information for the highly educated elite, you run into problems. Derek you are a thinker and experimenter, you know all good inventions start with a bit of dislocation from what mainstream reality is but not in drugs and alcohol. Isaac Newton started his hypothesis which led to the idea of gravity after sitting under a tree and getting hit by a falling applie. Also want you to see the other TED talk, can't remember the name of the guy, in the picture he is standing next to a board (see my Profile, it's on there as a favourite). Anyway he is talking about there being no new knowledge and the impact of Patent Law. It is incredibly important to acknowledge your sources otherwise it is plagiarism but iit is equally important to play with waht is known. I am very good with patterns and observiing and hypothesising. Look at what happens in other countries in the name of 'fjreedom of speech' referencing court action in U.S.S.R. and girl punk band who upset Putin and the church. So many young talented people are medicating inappropriately and getting zombied outt. Such a waste of talent and opportunity.
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    Aug 12 2012: Love you Colleen. My useless talent is chewing pens. It is something I need to do more of. It gets me away from the petty and not so petty annoyances of the day and lets my mind wander to places where it finds some peace and some interesting solutions then appear. Did you see Elizabeth Gilbert's talk on TED today. She shared anecdotes about deeply creative people who say they are tuned in to creativity. She also said creativity is out there for everyone if they can just suspend their own self-limiting beliefs. Just like you are saying.
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      Aug 13 2012: Thank you Elizabeth:>)
      My first thought is....do you know where those pens you are chewing on have been? AND....please be carefull not to swollow any parts of them!!!

      Yes, I've seen Elizabeth Gilbert's talk....she's good! I agree that creativity is for everyone when we suspend our own self-limiting beliefs. Yeah.....I say that a LOT, and more importantly, I DO it a LOT!!! :>) To be really creative, I think/feel we need to detach from what is known, and explore. That sometimes feels risky, and it is also very rewarding:>)
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        Aug 13 2012: Yes, it is hard to do so, but there is more in the world than thyself. =)
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          Aug 13 2012: Well....it may be challenging at times, and like anything....the more we do it, the more familier it becomes. I actually think/feel it is quite fun:>) The more we know our "self", the more we can get to know others, and it becomes a wonderful cycle....in my humble opinion:>)

          Curiosity is one "seemingly" useless talent I have applied to life's tough situations". At first glance, one might wonder how curiosity can be beneficial? Where does simply being curious take us? In my perception....EVERYWHERE!!!
  • Sandy S

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    Aug 3 2012: i can find the humor in anything. Literally. It doesn't matter how inappropriate or if no one else get the joke, I'll find something funny about the situation. Sometimes the gravity of a situation can hit me days later... I think for me, the laughter is a defense mechanism for when I can't immediately handle the shock to my system.
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      Aug 3 2012: We humans and our sometimes quirky defense mechanism is a good thing becasue without it, the world may be full of angry or depressed people.
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      Aug 13 2012: Hi Sandy and Derek
      You probably know that laughter is also a release of tension? It's our natural "release valve"!
      It also releases healing endorphines into the body:>) Laughter is a GREAT thing!
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        Aug 13 2012: Then all those laughing people aren't crazy, they are just manually releasing the tension.

        A bit of a serious comment with a dash joke. Voila! =)
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          Aug 13 2012: EXACTLY!!! Laughing people are releasing healing endorphines in their own body, releasing tension, and they bring joy to our world. How perfect is that??? Are you aware that there is a "laughing meditation" practice that is gaining popularity?

          Perhaps that is another "seemingly" useless talent that is very beneficial:>)
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        Aug 13 2012: Noted! =)
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    Jul 27 2012: Hmm I don't know, cuz all my seemingly useless talents still seem to be useless to me lol. For example, I was a beast checkers player back in my days of OMGPop, I even got to the like rank 22 on the leaderboards. How does checkers apply to the real world for me, I have no idea man lol
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      Jul 27 2012: I think it makes you a good strategist and someone who understands the rules of whichever game you are playing. You are certainly a good competitor.
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        Jul 27 2012: thanks! :)

        I'm not as great a strategist like some of my friends at my school, who can invent some really creative strategies that I've never even thought about. But I do find it to be really fascinating to look at the bigger picture of the game, of how there can be so many different outcomes, strategies, or metagames of the game, which then causes the next metagame strategy to form. It's just really interesting how some super useless component of the game suddenly can become a crucial counter to the current popular strategy.

        I still play some Yu-Gi-Oh every now and then with one of my friends, even though it was only something that a lot of me and my friends played as kids. But because they keep introducing so many new cards on a frequent basis, it just changes the playing field. The best strategies now suck, and the uselessly bad strategies become ridiculously good, sometimes.
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        Jul 27 2012: Oh yeah, and I think you're really good at recognizing the strengths and good qualities of everyone
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    Aug 13 2012: I believe it might explain the huge problems smokers have in quitting. The cigarettes are a psychological crutch for anxious people. Would be very interested to know what effect smoking has on pituitary gland functioning, thinking of oxytocin's function as an anti-oxidant, going to sound childish and I am certain the research is already out there somewhere but body's ability to make new oxytocin molecules must be compromised. It's more than just the tar content.
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      Aug 13 2012: I just recalled a very anxious person I know that smokes a pack a day in large group areas. I now see the pattern.
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    Aug 13 2012: Hi Collen and Derek and everyone else. Only chew the 'best' pens, that is pens I have purchased myself, usually in a box of ten so they have not been laying about. I put the pen lid on the top and chomp on that. Know I am not alone in this habit. Pen manufacturers now put holes in the tops of the lids so if you do accidently swallow it you can still breathe. Actually come from a family of nail biters, now that is unpleasant. It is more the art of 'distancing' if yoiu like, somehow removing myself from situations that make me anxious. Giving myself some mental space. I have noticed this habit among my friends who smoke, everyone waits for them to light their cigarette or take a 'drag'. It's like they are saying I need some space, give me a minute, a visual signal. Seems to work for them.
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      Aug 13 2012: Interesting comment about smokers elizabeth, never thought of that one.
  • Aug 3 2012: The cultivation of the ability to feel and understand those feelings.
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      Aug 3 2012: Hi John, I think I understand a bit of what you mean, but could you elaborate more with examples?
      • Aug 3 2012: Yes Derek,

        Men usually avoid feelings because they require a tremendous amount of ‘the energy of attention” focused upon them to gain understanding of what they mean. A man’s identity in self image is usually tied up with his objective analytical mental processes. He is very good in the objective domain and is fast too. This speed and acuity is because objectivity lacks the complexity contained in subjective feeling.

        Objective mind is primarily brain/central nervous system related. It thus processes like a bio-computer running on ‘educational/school system’ soft ware with analytical, logical input data. This does not require the kind of energy that it takes to process subjective feeling.

        Subjective feelings originate all through out the entire peripheral nervous system of the body. Western man is given no software with which to process this data. Western women spend a lot of time talking about feelings helping each other understand their feelings.

        These feelings are physical and emotional/physical feelings. A man must first learn to notice them and then learn to detail out the complexity of the feeling. This done he can then begin associating them with stimuli in the external environment which are either fresh experiences or experiences which trigger one into old unprocessed emotions associated with a past event. Expressing these emotions with volume will emotionally resolve what was not resolved in the past.

        The quickest way to understand the emotion is to express it with sound by raging or screaming. It sounds primitive and it is, that is why it works. The vibration of the sound which corresponds to the feeling unlocks the memory held in the body and understanding is gained. Moving emotions must be done in a safe environment. It frightens people

        Such emotional releases will immediately reduce stress caused by the tension holding them back. If you notice confusion it is due to the nervous system being reordered to a higher level of function. Move the fear!
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          Aug 13 2012: Mighty powerful comment John. This gives me a deeper understanding of some of my inner workings and new techniques to deal with stress. =)

          Thanks.
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      Aug 1 2012: Hi Don,

      What do you mean by "The hold in their argument"?