Friday, February 24, 2012
Nurture Yourself - Get Inspired By TED Talks
Having worked down the street from the annual TED conference in California for the last 4 years, I always assumed it was some type of Silicon Valley meet-up (this conclusion was based in part on the many "techie" looking participants I saw walking the streets with conference badges around their necks). As street signs and out-of-towners reminded me that this year's conference starts on Monday, I decided to motivate and figure out what exactly TED was all about. What I discovered was an incredible library of hundreds of talks (most are less than 20 minutes), by some of the most intelligent, creative and entrepreneurial people on the planet. Design, food, science religion, technology, philanthropy, art - choose your topic and you will find the worlds's best, talking about things like global warming, spirituality, and the discovery of new species. With a tagline of "Ideas Worth Spreading," TEDTalks are made available with the goal of giving everyone on-demand access to the world's most inspiring voices. Take the time to visit this incredible place for free knowledge and inspiration from inspired thinkers - here are three of my favorites on Life, Food and Art. Do you have any favorites?
Nigel Marsh's talk about our daily struggle to obtain a work-life balance really resonated with me. His assertion that certain job and career choices are fundamentally incompatible with being fully engaged in a young family was an idea I had never considered. He talks about the thousands of people who are working long hours at jobs they hate, to enable them to buy things they don't need, to impress people they don't like. He also challenges his audience to think about your ideal day and how it would be scheduled, and then work towards attaining that. "Get out of the trap that I'll have a life when I retire," he says and a lovely story about a day he spent with one of his sons will motivate you to do just that.
One of my absolute favorites is this talk by chef/activist Jamie Oliver, whose discussion about the relationship we have with food and our kids earned him a standing ovation. Did you know that our kids will live a life 10 years younger than us because of what they eat? And that two-thirds of all Americans are overweight or obese? We spend our life worried about homicides, but the number one cause of death here in the U.S. is from diet-related diseases. His idea for a Food Revolution starts with inspiring families to cook again and I think that every American should be required to listen to this - it will change the way you think and inspire you to act.
JR is a an anonymous French artist (and recipient of the TED Prize) who has pasted his giant images on buildings, trains, and bridges all over the world, often in distant and dangerous places. From the slums of Kenya, to the streets of New York and Los Angeles, he gets in his subjects' faces with a short, fixed lens and creates soulful, real portraits of people to engage and confront audiences. In one project, he took photographs of Israelis and Palestinians, posted them together on both sides of the walls that separate the two, and then challenged citizens from both groups to identify who was an Israeli and who was a Palestinian. You can imagine the resulting dialogue that followed. Listen to his message about his travels, his process and his mission and you will want to participate in his global art project - InsideOut.