TED Conversations

This conversation is closed.

Too many ideas lead us to lack of focus and too many successful examples leave us rather frustrated (and/or envious!)

"Ideas Worth Spreading"
But how many good ideas are 'enough' to make you say I'm overloaded or to leave you in 'the paradox of choice' (follow Barry Schwartz' talk!)? While your enthusiasm is getting divided into a lot of diverse ideas and you are inspired by too many things at the same time, you may not want to leave any of those undone, untasted or untested. As a result nothing is getting done and you lose focus. And finally not getting things done is leaving you frustrated.

Also you are constantly in the middle of listening to amazing things, learning about other people's great ideas kicking off, getting done, making empires etc. You are left asking yourself 'what's wrong with me?' while feeling a bit envious!
As Alain de Botton said in his talk "...Never before have expectations been so high about what human beings can achieve with their lifespan. We're told, from many sources, that anyone can achieve anything. We've done away with the caste system... We're all basically equal. There are no strictly defined kind of hierarchies.
There is one really big problem with this, and that problem is envy....".

So the point is, should or shouldn't we stop pursuing 'new ideas' at some point? Does the overflow of new ideas and news of great accomplishments disturb us in what we are doing? Or are the continuous flow of ideas and news good sources of inspiration and should the flow be continuous?


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Nov 26 2011: envy is not a problem worth mentioning because it is overridden by the need to acquire the basic necessities in life and the hope to live in a safe world.
    Though I understand your point, I think it is seriously flawed. The Renaissance was a time of many ideas too, and it seemed humanity gained a great deal from that period of time. Now we are in a state of constant renaissance and with the digitization and virtualization of literally anything growing more and more possible, we are seeing more people living their lives in virtual environments wherein all ego needs are satisfied.
    This is not an excuse and should not be considered a viable complaint against TED. I actually find myself wondering if you are part of an obtrusive regime somewhere. Ideas make the world grow and its inhabitants evolve. Little children who grow up playing with digital devices are going to represent a new paradigm in consciousness as they learn the language of computers as quickly as they do human languages...they will build a world unlike any we have seen before it. But powerful, pathological people will do everything they can to fight it. The world is changing though...you will see...ideas are required to save us from the frightful oppression of out-dated economic mechanisms and governments, and brilliant people will not stop creating and inspiring others to create.
    • thumb
      Nov 26 2011: I understand.
      Here the issue of 'stopping the flow of ideas at some point in life' is more of a personal necessity or not. Obviously the global flow of ideas worth spreading must continue. To be clear, this debate is NOT a complaint against the mission of TED's Ideas Worth Spreading.

      But I think sometimes we need to pause all our connections and the flows of ideas, to keep our head concentrated to the works of ideas-in-action that already we have. Otherwise it disturbs, makes us feel anxious, impatience, tends to lead us getting things done in a short-cut way and may also lead us to the tendency of quick show-off.
      • thumb
        Nov 26 2011: I guess what I am curious about is how people are applying the knowledge they learn at a TED event. Do they take those ideas and start making the world a better place or does the brochure go in a drawer next to the bed and people simply looking forward to the next TED event but never apply the ideas?

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.