These last couple of months have definitely been, in simpler terms, a doozy. It has been difficult for many of us to juggle the many emotions that been flooding our minds and bodies every single day since March.
How are we feeling today? Angry? Bored? Sad? Frustrated? Confused? Overwhelmed? All of the above?
Well today, I am hoping to help you feel a little inspired. This morning, I spent my time searching for TED Talks that I felt helped me see some light in this foggy time. Here are three such TED Talks.
1. Sam Berns: My Philosophy for a Happy Life (12:44)
In this talk, we hear from a teenager named Sam Berns. Sam lives a genetic condition called progeria. Sam makes it a point, though, to not think about his condition much, although it plays a huge role in his life.
Sam considers himself to be happy. And he shares with his audience the three mantras he lives by, which are:
- Be OK with what you ultimately can’t do, because there is so much you can do.
- Surround yourself with people you want to be around.
- Keep moving forward.
Sam reminds all of us that daring to be happy is not supposed to be easy, but it’s possible.
2. Shaka Senghor: Why Your Worst Deeds Don’t Define You (12:00)
In this talk, we listen to Shaka Senghor. Shaka not only has a fellowship at the MIT Media Lab, but also works for the company, Be Me, and teaches at the University of Michigan.
Shaka also spent 20 years in prison for murdering a man when he was just 19 years old.
Shaka shares with everyone the three things that contributed to his “transformation,” and they are:
- Acknowledgment. He encourages us all to take a moment to sit with the facts that we have hurt others, but we, too, have been hurt.
- Apology. When we realize that we have done harm, Shaka shares that the key to moving forward and releasing yourself from the pain is to apologize.
- Atonement. In order to make things right for future generations, Shaka spends his time also working with at-risk youth in his community.
Shaka reminds us that even when we believe can’t come back from our lowest point, we can.
3. Elizabeth Lesser: Say Your Truths and Seek Them in Others (15:44)
In this talk, we learn from Elizabeth Lesser. A former midwife, Elizabeth shares three key lessons she learned when caring for expecting mothers, which are:
- Uncover your soul. Elizabeth says that only when we are babies are we truly are our most authentic selves. As we grow up, though, we make the constant effort of hiding ourselves from the world. Elizabeth urges us to not only unravel ourselves but to also look for that “soul spark” in others, because it is there.
- Stay open, even when it is painful. We will, for all of our lives, be presented with difficult, painful times. Instead of us fighting against the pain, Elizabeth begs us to stay curious and ask the pain what it has to come to deliver to you.
- Step into deep time. What is deep time you ask? Well, its the merging of past, present, and future. It is simply being. Oftentimes, we find ourselves completely hesitant to tell our truths, to reveal our wounds, or to admit our wrongdoings. Elizabeth says that we must, instead, challenge ourselves to put away our pride and defensiveness and simply be.
Elizabeth reminds us of the value of being vulnerable and the power that comes with sharing your truth with others.
[Related: 10 Powerful TED Talks for Depression and Anxiety Recovery]