TED Conversations

Henry Woeltjen


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Are you happy?

Are you happy with your life? Do you think all of your hopes and dreams will come true eventually?

What are your goals in life? Do you even have goals?

Who are you, and who would you like to become?

Are you experiencing road blocks? What are they? How do you plan on overcoming them?



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  • Jun 15 2013: Henry,
    at this moment, I'd say I am.

    I've been through the ringer, many of us have been, or are going through it right now... Personally, I needed that experience to appreciate what I have, and who I am. I needed to hit rock bottom before I could find the strength I didn't even know I had, to climb out of it. It's bizarre, how you can really kid yourself sometimes. In retrospect, I was living an unauthentic life, and I feel I have found a way now to genuinely be who I am.

    We often ask each other: Hey, how are you? When, we don't expect (or even want) an answer. It's become a sort of salutation, instead of a question. This bothers me to no end. When we ask how we are, we are asking how we're feeling, it can be confronting, so it has become a rhetorical question, one that doesn't require an answer.
    Here in Holland, it's a different story. When you ask someone here how they're doing, man, they tell you! Whether you want to hear it or not! But that sincerity is refreshing, and more often than not, it provides a deeper sense of communication.

    I'd like to become exactly who I was when I was 5, when I was 11, when I was 22... Essentially, I don't think we change all that much. Road blocks to me, are now 'cross roads'. I don't see obstacles anymore, I see opportunities. But it took me a long time to get here, and I've still got a long way to go.
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      Jun 15 2013: Lizanne,

      I always love reading your posts. I think you are an amazing individual, full of compassion and intelligence. It takes time to build character. I am 30 and still have no idea who I am. Eventually I will figure everything out. For now I try to hold my little boat together as the storms come in. Even if I am left with a strip of wood to float on...I will never quit.
      • Jun 15 2013: Henry, I agree, I think it takes a lifetime to build character... but you know, I also think it's all in there the minute we're born. It all just needs time to come out.

        For some reason, I thought you were much older! Wise beyond your years, apparently... and I'm glad, because I can call you 'sonny'!! ;)
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      Jun 15 2013: Lizanne Hi again. Just wanted to say I sure wish you were my neighbor so we could have coffee in the morning and I could pick your brain. I love the way you think and give advice and want you to know it makes a difference! Amy
      • Jun 15 2013: Me too, Amy!
        That's the great thing about TED. Here's a place where minds are non-judgmental, helpful and literally brimming over with empathy!

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