Tag Archives: worth a watch

Worth a watch: Looking Past Limits

This TedTalk by Caroline Casey is one of the most inspiring I’ve ever heard. She shares with the audience about her big realization at age 17 – she found out that she was clinically blind, only being able to see about 2 feet in front of her. Caroline’s parents had kept this from her, and she’d led a normal life for 17 years accomplishing many things that doctors had told her parents she would never be able to do.
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In a talk that challenges perceptions, Casey asks us all to move beyond the limits we may think we have. “Being absolutely true to yourself is freedom. And I never needed eyes to see — never. I simply needed vision and belief. And if you truly believe — and I mean believe from the bottom of your heart — you can make change happen. And we need to make it happen,because every single one of us — woman, man, gay, straight, disabled, perfect, normal, whatever — everyone of us must be the very best of ourselves. I no longer want anybody to be invisible. We all have to be included. And stop with the labels, the limiting. Losing of labels, because we are not jam jars. We are extraordinary, different, wonderful people.”

Worth a watch: The Sexy Lie

In an age where the media is rampant with sexualised images of women, Caroline Heldman gives a fantastic talk about sexual objectification. She explains how to define it, disproves the notion that sexual objectification is empowering and also offers strategies for navigating our highly sexualized present day culture.

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I wish this had been around 2 years ago when I wrote my thesis, all about the way women are portrayed in South African media. It would have been such a huge help! I’ll say it again, as I’ve said a thousand times before, I cannot stand seeing naked women, or sometimes even just sections of naked women, selling products that have nothing to do with sex. Sex does not sell to intelligent people, and if you need sex to sell your product, then it obviously isn’t very good. The way in which the media portrays women directly affects the way men think about them, and the way women think about each other, leading us to be shunted from influential positions in government, businesses and media. It is unacceptable and needs to stop.

“Girls and guys both need to stop evaluating girls by how they look, and rather evaluate them for what they do or say.” – Caroline Heldman

Worth a watch: Do what you love

DAMN this is a good talk! Gary sets the stage on fire talking all about the importance of brand equity. His enthusiasm and energy are infectious, and make you want to quit your day job to do what you love – and why shouldn’t you? According to Gary, you can monetize anything.
“If you love elves, start an elf blog. If you love the Smurfs, Smurf it up! I guarantee you will have an audience.”

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Gary explains that the way that the web is evolving, we can really be in charge of what we do in life – we now have an audience that spans the entire world, and someone ou there is bound to like the same things you do.

He says that we’ve gotta get a couple of things down first….

Passion
Life is too short to be in a job that you hate. So think about whatever it is that you absolutely love doing, and do that. There will always be a way for you to monetize it – you just need to position yourself so that the right audience can see you. “But if you for half a second don’t believe in what you’re doing – whether it’s your own brand or the product you represent, you’ve gotta get out now.”

Patience
You have GOT to keep hustling – it’s the most important thing for you to do. You’ve got to apply yourself and make the time for what you love doing. If you’re working two jobs 9-5, 7-2 in the morning is plenty of time to start work on a career that you love. “Everybody has time, stop watching fucking Lost!”

Community
Connect with your users, yes, absolutely. But giving a damn about them is even better. People want to be listened to, to know that their opinions and questions really matter to you. That is how you build brand reliability, trust and confidence. And use all your tools to do it – don’t choose Twitter and think that that’s enough. It’s a guarantee that someone somewhere is going to search for you on Instagram or Facebook or Flickr, and think o themselves “Hmmmmm. They’re not there. I won’t look any further to reach out.” Make it easy for people to get hold of you.

Brand Equity
If you love it, you will succeed. End of story. The best thing about doing what you love, is that you believe in it, and you can build a legacy that you’re proud of – “what will my great great grandchildren think of me when they look back” – which is why legacy is greater than currency. If your brand can speak for itself and carry itself, it means that you believe in it, and you’re hustling right.

One of the most important things to remember is that things have CHANGED, and they’re going to continue changing. The old power players – television, media, newspapers – they’re no longer in control. Now a days entrepreneurs, bloggers, vloggers – they’re creating the content that is being read by millions every day. And if you seize your passion, and grab a chance at doing something, whether it seems like too much of a niche or not – could be the opportunity of a lifetime. All it takes is a bit of hustling.

Worth a watch: Your elusive creative genius

Being a creative person is such a fantastic thing. There is honestly no greater feeling than showing people work that you’re proud of, or hearing great feedback that others actually like your work too.

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But if you’re creative, you also know all about the pitfalls. The feeling of pouring so much into your work that you feel emotionally drained. The feeling of doubt – “Am I really good enough?” – or the inevitable “Everyone else is so much more talented that me.” thought. They sneak in and toy with your feelings. Unfortunately, unlike with other jobs, there is no formula for creativity, you need to be bold and brave. (I like to joke that I’m fearless with a pen or a paintbrush.) Yet when we put our work on the line, whether it be presenting to a boss, lecturer or even friends, it’s incredibly hard not to take their criticism of our work personally.

In this fantastic speech by Liz Gilbert, the author of Eat, Pray, Love’, she unpacks the idea that we have collectively accepted this notion that creativity and suffering are somehow inherently linked and that artistry, in the end, will always ultimately lead to anguish. “We writers, we kind of do have that reputation, and not just writers, but creative people across all genres, it seems, have this reputation for being enormously mentally unstable.And all you have to do is look at the very grim death count in the 20th century alone, of really magnificent creative minds who died young and often at their own hands, you know? And even the ones who didn’t literally commit suicide seem to be really undone by their gifts.”

Worth a watch: Claim Your Twenties

Being a huge fan of Ted Talks, I try (emphasis on the word try) to watch one or two a week. I often come across fantastic talks, with inspiring messages that stay with me for days after. I thought it would be a good idea to document them somewhere, even if it’s just for my own archiving, but also because I think these ideas really are worth sharing.

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I’ve just watched an incredible speech given by a psychotherapist called Megan Jay. Her talk is all about the way that many young women believe that they nowadays have much more time on their hands to make the critical decisions in life that result heavily on our futures – career choices, whether or not to get married, have children, live somewhere new… but that’s not true. Our twenties aren’t just a decade made for figuring things out, they’re a decade for making the big choices, and the time is now.

Take a listen to the video below…

Your 20’s are, as Jay puts it, ‘a developmental sweetspot’ – a time to move to a new city, try new things, start a business and to begin treating your body with respect – after all, on average, 8 out of 10 major life decisions that one makes are made in their twenties. “Claiming your 20s is one of the simplest, yet most transformative, things you can do for work, for love, for your happiness, maybe even for the world.”

What if, instead of thinking, “hey, I have 10 years to sort my life out.” you thought, “Hey! I have 10 years to take chances, devour knowledge, do what I love and try to make a career out of it, work hard, meet new people, not waste time on relationships that are below me and work on being a better version of myself.”? Seems simple enough to me.

Here’s a list of 3 things that Jay suggests you can do to get your life into swing, whether you’re 20 or 29.

1. Get some identity capital

Do something that adds value to who you are. Do something that’s an investment in who you might want to be next. Don’t waste time on fickle things that aren’t going to help you become the kind of person you envisage being. Now is the time for that cross-country job, that internship, that startup you want to try.

2. Use your weak ties

Friends are fantastic, and some of the most important people in your life (if you choose them wisely) but continuously spending time with like-minded peers limits who you know, what you know, how you think, how you speak, and where you work. New things come from what are called our weak ties… half new jobs are never posted – they come from people like your neighbour’s aunt, who could give you the opportunity of a lifetime.

3. Pick your family

I hear the “our grandmothers marched so that we didn’t need to be housewives” arguments, but standing your ground and deciding that you want a marriage of integrity (where he does just as much washing up, if not more than you do) is a decision that you need to start processing now. The best time to work on your marriage is before you have one, and that means being as intentional with love as you are with work. Picking your family is about consciously choosing who and what you want rather than just making it work or killing time with whoever happens to be choosing you.

May’s closing words really rung true to me:

” Don’t be defined by what you didn’t know or didn’t do. 

You’re deciding your life right now.”