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What ingredients are necessary to help nurture, build and shape our dreams and goals?

I believe that our influences from family, friends, teachers, mentors, media and life experiences plays a significant role in the very trajectory of our lives in what we actually believe and pursue daily.

  • Oct 19 2013: 1. Curiosity
    2. Willingness to work
    3. Ability to listen
    4. Ability to think and assimilate
    5. Belief in ourselves
    6. Belief our dreams can be reached and are worth reaching
    7. Strong family support
    8. Opportunity for education and learning
    9. Committed mentors, teachers, and professors.
    10. Opportunity to pursue dreams and goals, and still meet basic needs for survival.

    Perhaps also is a need for some luck along the way.
    • Oct 20 2013: thank you Robert. I think these are all essential and seems to me that strong support from something or someone, is essential to the rest.
  • Nov 13 2013: Dreams just happen, so to speak. Impressions from everyday life - anyone and anything - can evolve into clear dreams and all you have to do is open your senses as well as pay attention to what the brain is telling the mind.

    What you do with dreams is let them remain such or formulate goals (preferably filling the SMART criteria) out of them and you'll see that most of the driving force comes from within, not people or circumstances around you.

    I'm from a country in Northern Europe, so equal rights between genders go without saying; opportunities here should be as equal as they can be in today's society. Finances can be an obstacle depending on how grand the goals are, but hard work can fix some of it. Supporting people are nice to have, but if one doesn't believe in one's own goals, nobody else can do anything to help. On the other hand, if someone tries to shoot you down, will you listen to them or your inner voice? Determination, resourcefulness and elbow grease are key factors.

    As far as intelligence goes, I believe you can get stuff done with a lower IQ, but compensating with lots of hard work and good social skills. It doesn't matter how smart you are, if you don't do anything to move forward your projects based on your goals. I also think it is important how you treat your surroundings in the process, because while your "performance" can be in the stars, the people around you might feel less happy because of you.

    In general, I think we become better people when engaging in projects for the sole purpose of helping others, with no ulterior motives. Gestures don't have to cost a thing, but a smile on someone's face is priceless. When planning our projects, I believe it is of utmost importance to include acts of selflessness in the calendar, since they usually spark new ideas, which in turn help us grow further. Stepping outside of one's comfort zone usually has the same effect.
  • Nov 13 2013: Glad to see some of the same names here as in a previous conversation.

    I have kept a journal almost every day for decades--not to re-read, necessarily, not to save for posterity (I have no posterity),not to publish, but, mostly, to try to stay current with myself. I trust my less-than-fully-conscious self a lot, and assume that my best insights are not likely to be "on the top of my head," just waiting, fully formed, to leap onto the page, but, often, they are NEAR the top of my head, and, as soon as I start writing, they perk up and think, "Wow! She's really going to listen to us again! How nice!" And then they eagerly tumble out. They tumble out best, I find, when I ask a question in writing just before I go to sleep at night, and then write a response to it when I first wake up the next morning--or even in the middle of the night.

    I also think of some of my favorite lines from , say, Erich Fromm, or Carl Rogers, or A.S. Neill, or Robert Frost, or E. E. Cummings, or - - - so many other people whose thoughts pop up like toast just when I most long to look at them again. I think of Julia Cameron's wonderful activities at the ends of each chapter in THE ARTIST'S WAY All these people and many more are just "there" for me to draw on, all old friends I have never met, except through their writing.

    For example, from Fromm: "If one is after quick results one never learns an art." Frost: "A poem begins in delight and ends in wisdom. The figure is the same as for love. It begins with the first line laid down, runs a course of lucky events, and ends in a clarification of life. Not a great clarification, such as sects and cults are founded on, but a momentary stay against confusion." They have popped up so often and so regularly that I feel as if we and they are very old and very good friends

    So--I think "For this day only." I ask: "What are my dreams today? I date my remarks, and write the My hand writes. I listen to what my hand has to say, and reflect.
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    Nov 11 2013: I would name three main ingredients necessary for long term success:

    1) Encouragement from close friends and family
    2) Learning not to fear failure
    3) Focus on soft skills - how to communicate effectively

    There's too much focus on hard skills in everyday life, perhaps because hard skills are easier to test for. The problem with this is that hard skills are much easier to learn than soft skills, so I think a lot of our teaching and testing methodologies are flawed.

    An increased focus on teaching soft skills and encouraging soft skill development would serve us well as a society.
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    Oct 20 2013: This is an except from the comment I made in August on Paul McCarthy's Ted subject Talent Pools Bing Robbed:

    Case in point. In the 1800's there was a young lad whose family income allowed him the freedom to roam far and wide through the countryside endlessly observing and being fascinated by all the wonders of Nature that he encountered. But there came a time when his father insisted he stop his "frivolous" wanderings, be responsible, go to college and become either a doctor like dad or a religious scholar.

    At college the lad shone in his botany classes and was recommended for a position as the onboard Naturalist for a voyage to some pacific islands. The boat was the Beagle, the islands were the Galapagos' and the lad was Charles Darwin.

    Who could argue that the freedom and opportunity Darwin enjoyed as a youth to explore the countryside as often as he wished helped lay the foundation for his later works and evolutionary - pun intended - discoveries? Or that the mentoring of his botanist grandfather and college professors lead to his being on the Beagle when the ship was laid up in a south American port for repair? Or the synchronicity of Darwin seeking out some refreshments at a local tavern where he soon found himself being regaled by a local of islands with all kinds of similar but different looking birds and animals, the Galapagos Islands.

    In other words, what if we simply invested in humanity's innate intelligence and adequately supply the money, freedom, knowledge, resources, and opportunities to our students that would allow them to find their own way of contributing and participating, what wonders then might they manifest?
    • Oct 20 2013: Thank you William! What wonders might manifest indeed....

      This is fantastic.
  • Oct 20 2013: "Most of what I really need to know about how to live
    and what to do and how to be, I learned in kindergarten.
    Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate school mountain,
    but there in the sandpile at Sunday school."- Robert Fulghum
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    Oct 16 2013: 1. Observation
    2. Contemplation
    3. Intent
    4. Honesty
    5. Zeal
    6. Motivation
    7. Imagination
    8. Courage
    9. Compassion
    10. Patience
  • Oct 16 2013: Think you have hit most of influence but let me through in an X-factor - an event outside of anyone's control - it can be personal, it can be local, it can be national, or it could even be international. Examples would be the Kennedy assassination, 9/11, the challenger disaster, the space race, the Vietnam conflict.
    • Oct 20 2013: this is all related to our influences, i agree fully and think we need be conscious of the powerful effects from outside our little worlds and the power they can have upon us.
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    Oct 15 2013: Self motivation and passion are necessary ingredients to start with....
  • Oct 15 2013: Thank you Fritzie. Not really, but seems like few of us discuss these in detail and how much of a role they play. We seem to pass over many of our life experiences, especially youth, when perhaps in hindsight we find more meaning and wisdom. What we are "turned on to", when, by whom, our interests and so many other factors become a big part of this mystery of life. I am curious what others feel is perhaps most significant to some of these influences.
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      Oct 15 2013: It's a good question. Because I have worked so much with adolescents, I am used to talking about this subject intensively with colleagues.

      If you are new to TED Conversations, welcome and let me point out that when you are ready to reply to someone's comment, you will notice a reply button in red to the far right of their names. If you click on that to reply to them, they will get an email alert that you have done so. If you reply rather in that box on top, the person will not know you replied.
      • Oct 15 2013: Thank you! This is helpful, as I am new to TED Conversations. I will continue to follow this method of response.
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    Oct 15 2013: I don't know how you could argue with the statement that the influences you list play a significant role in the trajectory of our lives. Have you heard anyone argue otherwise?

    In terms of ingredients, mentors in every role can help young people have the range of experience that allows them to figure out which things they really love doing and learning about, what they are good at, what they care about in the world around them, and how to build their capacity to engage in the things that interest them.