John Potocny

Student, Kettering University
Charlottesville, VA, United States

About John

Languages

English

An idea worth spreading

Create an engine for change using... Change!

Every day when you come home, put the change in your pocket/purse into a "Change Jar" (a miscellaneous container to hold coins: They go in but they don't go out!). When your change jar is full, take it to the bank and deposit it into its own savings account. As time goes on, the balance in your "Change Account" will grow! Every year (or some period of time, it depends on you) take the money from your Change Account and use it for a good cause! (Donate it to a charity, help to jump start a local project, etc.). Also, try to get your friends and community members involved as well! The more people who participate, the more change we can generate!

Universities

Kettering Unviersity

Talk to me about

All ideas, I want to hear about everything!

My TED story

I saw my first TED talk in my High School Current Events class. The talk was William McDonough on Cradle to Cradle Design. Ever since then I've been crazy about TED and all of the ideas that are shared in the TED community. I have also attended two TEDx events (TEDxUofM 2010 and 2011), and was invited to speak at TEDxFlint (unfortunately I was unable to attend). I have watched more TED talks than I can remember, and I hope that one day I can come here and see myself talk as well!

Comments & conversations

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John Potocny
Posted almost 3 years ago
Apart from meditation, what daily exercises can we do to develop healthy minds?
Hi Jerry, Here are a few things that I try to do to keep my mind sharp, and improve my mental abilities: - Read books, in great variety and as often as you can! - Solve simple problems to keep your skills sharp. I like to go to Kahn Academy sometimes and solve arithmetic problems to make sure I don't lose my skill. You can also improve upon your existing skills in this manner by setting goals (e.g. Solve 100 problems in a row within a certain time limit) - Spend some time just observing your surroundings, and try to take in as much detail as possible. This can be fun to do in a busy place, and is definitely a benefit to your observational skills. - Try to recount your entire day, in as much detail as possible. This is an interesting challenge with the goal of being able to remember your every action during the day, and I find it makes me more aware of my actions as well.
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John Potocny
Posted almost 3 years ago
What is one mistake you made, but would suggest others not to make.
Hi Rafi, The biggest mistake that I have made, and that I would urge others not to make is this: Never underestimate the value you have as a living person. You are capable of doing so much more than you will ever give yourself credit for, and you may have already done far more than you would think, without even knowing it. Thanks for the question, I am sure it will be an illuminating experience reading the answers that everyone else posts!
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John Potocny
Posted almost 3 years ago
I have two young children, and wonder what your thoughts are about teaching religion to children. Why should I, or why shouldn't I?
Hi Ravi, I know it's a difficult idea, but I think it should be left up to your children whether they want to learn religion. I went through Catholic school at my local church and got confirmed, then walked right out the door and never came back. I have my issues with religion, but I won't deny that I resented being forced to participate without being able to voice my opinion and that it played a part in me walking away from it. You can introduce your children to your religion, get them to ask questions, and take them to worship, but it should always be a choice for them, never a requirement.
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John Potocny
Posted almost 3 years ago
Is There any alternative for the website like KHAN ACADEMY ?
Academic Earth offers college level courses; that may not be what you are looking for in this case since Khan Academy covers topics starting from an introductory level. If you are looking for content at this level, I can't think of any other sites that come to mind. If you do need a site such as Academic Earth though, you can also check out http://www.cosmolearning.com/
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John Potocny
Posted almost 3 years ago
Have you ever had a good experience as an intern?
Hi Albert, I am an engineering student at a university that actually incorporates internships into their degree curriculum. While I am not sure that it is quite the same as an education student's internship, I can say for sure that I have had plenty of good experiences as an intern while I have been earning my degree. The last company I worked at had a lot of people who were kind and believed in the internship program there, and the people I worked directly with found me to be a great asset for them. I know it's not always this way though; many of my friends have had bad experiences (I recall one friend telling me about how his assignment for the day was cleaning his manager's office). I suppose in the end finding an internship that you feel values you as much as you value it is the same as finding any: A lot of searching and a little luck!
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John Potocny
Posted almost 3 years ago
What is your favorite quote?
You should read the book Tim, the story is about the decline of mankind after the men of the mind go on strike, in response to demands by a world that tries to take advantage of them. It's considered a very political book, but I admire the intellectual views in it myself.
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John Potocny
Posted almost 3 years ago
What role does music play within your life?
I'm definitely the same way sometimes, I'll feel like I really want to listen to an artist for no reason whatsoever, and I'll listen to them for the rest of the day. Maybe it's just our subconscious picking a soundtrack for the moment.
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John Potocny
Posted almost 3 years ago
What is your favorite quote?
"I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine." - From the novel Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand.
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John Potocny
Posted almost 3 years ago
What can we do about the constant rise of depression and suicide in young adults?
Hi Chris, Okay... When I was about 13 I first developed depression. At the age of 15, I came home from school to an empty house, went to my room and put a knife to my wrist. I had every intention of killing myself and probably would have, except for some small part of me that was left to resist. This is the first time I have ever admitted this. The problem with depression is that the source of it is different for every person. I was never 'bullied'. I've seen people get bullied before; I had things pretty good in high school. I wasn't snapping under pressure; I graduated in the top 10% of my class. For me it was simply my outlook on life. I used to look at the state of the world and think "There's no hope here. There's nothing I can do to make things better. What's the point?" Based on everyone else's comments on their own experiences, I may simply be a minority, but I don't know if there is any one definitive cause for teen depression. If you want to help prevent suicide though, the simplest way that you can is to stay aware of the people around you. You know the signs, you have been there yourself. Not only that, but let the world know that you have been there. JD Schramm talks about breaking the silence for suicide survivors here: http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng /jd_schramm.html Maybe if we give the youth a source who has dealt with what they are going through, some of them will come and ask for help.