If you are reading this, I am sure you know what TED talks are. But, if you don’t, let me quote a few lines from their about page, “TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less). TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, and today covers almost all topics — from science to business to global issues — in more than 100 languages.”
So, now that we all know what TED talks are, let us not waste any more time and delve into the world of these wonderful talks. I have been following TED talks for a while now, and I have also been part of two TEDx (independently organised TED-like events) events till now. Many of the talks have inspired me when I needed the inspiration, so I am sharing some of my favourite talks with you.
The trouble is, you think you have time.
–Buddha’s Little Instruction Book
In his book, “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”, Stephen Covey talks about urgent and important activities. As defined in the book, urgent activities are those that demand your immediate attention, while important activities are those that contribute to results and desired goals in the long run. The book emphasises that one of the characteristics of effective people is that they spend a big chunk of time focusing on activities that are important but not urgent. These include things “like building relationships, writing a personal mission statement, long-range planning, exercising, preventive maintenance, preparation — all those things we know we need to do, but somehow seldom get around to doing, because they aren’t urgent.”
For a while now, I have been trying to start work on a project with a couple of my friends. Unfortunately, the project has failed to take-off till now, even though we have had many discussions about how to start and when to start.
So, naturally, the topic that came up for discussion when we met recently was:
Is it possible to be just as creative as a team, as you are as an individual?
Recently, I was reading Stephen King’s book, On Writing (a book you must read, if you haven’t), and I came across this interesting comment:
“… while it is impossible to make a competent writer out of a bad writer, and while it is equally impossible to make a great writer out of a good one, it is possible, with lots of hard work , dedication, and timely help, to make a good writer out of a merely competent one.”
I was surprised on reading this, because most of my life I have believed that with hard work and dedication anything can be achieved. So, why should it be impossible to become a great writer, even if you are a bad one today, or even if you are not a writer at all?
Let’s say you want to start something new. Something you have never done before.
What do you do?
You read a few “how-to” books on the subject, you seek help from friends who are already doing it, and you visit a few websites that deal with the subject at hand. Chances are if you are serious about doing the thing, whatever it may be, you will soon be doing it well enough.
But, what if you want to get better at it?