TED Conversations

Linda Hesthag  Ellwein

Communications, Change, and Photography, Oikonomia, Inc.


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Have you believed something - or the idea of something - and discovered you were mistaken, or wrong? What's your story & what did you learn?

Our world view often conjures up ideas or beliefs that seem to 'fit' within it. We often cluster beliefs with ideas or behaviors that 'sound' right to us. Every now and then, the ideas we hold are simply wrong, or at least need to be questioned. I'd like to hear examples of paradigm shifts that changed your world view or point of view. When have you been mistaken?

These experiences, or paradigm shifts, often surface through cultural beliefs, politics, in beliefs relating to sustainability and environmental preservation, or human behavior/relationships - but are certainly not limited to these. What have you assumed to be true or right, and suddenly found yourself doubting your certainty?


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    Aug 8 2011: I was finding myself making a lot of mistakes psychologically and felt a lot guilty about it. One day I told this matter to my spiritual Teacher and he instantly told me, that whenever you do anything, it is perfect, if you do not find is perfect for you to do, your will not allow you to do it, but the good or bad happens in the eyes of the onloker, some people wil find your act goo and some will find if bad, it all depends on the perception of onlooker that determines good and bad. It has nothing to do with your act. just do it. He told me. Do not be judge of your act.

    From that moment I always try to make sure that I do not judge my act. I simply do it.
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      Aug 8 2011: Hi Mistry,

      That reminds me of the Shakespeare quote:

      "...there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so..."

      (From Hamlet.)
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        Aug 9 2011: my grandpa who is 85, raised up in a village in a rural area of Pakistan says that all the time :)
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      Aug 8 2011: I like what your spiritual teacher told you. It sounds like deep wisdom - the kind that builds an internal confidence and strength, reminding you to trust yourself, and your inner knowing.

      Your story reminds me of a saying we have: "What you think of me is none of my business." Those few words have freed me from needless anxiety on many an occasion. And, Thomas, a friend and I often say to one another, 'Could be good, Could be bad." I know this comes from a spiritual teacher, but not sure who. Perhaps it was Gurumayi. It has brought me peace often, as well.

      What a powerful lesson that is. So much energy is wasted on judging ourselves, which could be much better used towards our goals. Great wisdom...that I can't hear enough of. Thank you.

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