Archive for the ‘TED Talks’ Category

Why I Left Facebook (And You Should Too): Day 60

In Blogging, Education, Humanity, life, Teaching, TED Talks on August 1, 2012 at 7:53 am

Today is another posting concerning a TED talk–I seem to listen to these in bouts.

This one deals with something referred to as the 30-day challenge.  Essentially, the 30-day challenge requires you to pick one thing in your life, a thing you would like to change or add, and then implement it for 30 days straight.

I found this interesting, especially since I had no idea this was even a  scientific research ‘thing,’ but that I had done this several times myself within the last year or so.  I’ll explain.

I made a decision one day that too many people that know far too little about me (in real life) know far TOO MUCH about me on the internet.  Didn’t like it. So, I started by purging my Facebook friends list, I went from something like 450 friends down to about 250 and then I let it sit for a few months.  When I returned to it, I recognized it needed more purging so I did it–60, let it sit, and then something like 23.


I had 23 people that I felt comfortable with seeing/viewing/intimately gazing in on my life via the line.

It seemed so pointless to me, so I decided to cut the facebook account.  At first, I thought it would only be temporary.  I figured I’d give it 30 days and then go from there.  Oddly enough, I did have withdrawals in those first few weeks of my friendly fbook’s departure.  I’d find myself cringing at not knowing if Suzie had posted her labor and delivery pictures or if Bozo had finally engaged to his 10-year girlfriend.  I’d reach for my phone every time a good picture or ‘moment’ presented itself and then realize, “Oh, I don’t have facebook anymore.”  And then something else happened, I forgot about it. This is something mentioned in this TED research–it is quite typical that if you give something 30 days within your life that it will become embedded within it and serve as a new lifestyle modification/change.  This certainly happened to me, I am coming up on my almost 1 year mark of my facebook departure and I hardly think of the social networking site now–if at all.  I told a friend the other day how great it is now to meet friends for lunch.  Of course they always commence the conversation with some sadness, “I wish you we’re on facebook still…” or “I went to find you on facebook the other day and you weren’t there (sad face ensues)” and of course the occasional “I just KNEW you would want to ‘like’ this one post but you weren’t there.”  Then the conversation goes on and they proceed to update me on all the facebook happenings–makes me quite happy because I get a bulk of very interesting information about a bunch of people I really don’t care that much about, but that feel the need to share their lives with randoms, and all over a very nice meal.  Seems like a win win to me.

Then there is my most recent 30 day challenge.




Whatever you want to call it.

After looking at my cellulite thighs, yes it is true despite those who mock me (you can be 100 pounds with cottage cheese thighs), I decided for a dietary change.  One of those was my departure from McDonalds Coke (they make it the best), and I can proudly say that after 2.5 months now of touching zero carbonated beverages I feel so much better (and the cellulite disappeared like magic!)  My point here is that this 30 day also stuck–they normally stick.

My next 30 day you ask?  Listen to the news/presidential/election coverage for the next 30 days…here we go.

What’s your 30 day challenge going to be?  Everyone should have one.  Good things stick so why not provoke that, huh.

a determined whit.

Day 59: on being wholehearted

In Blogging, Esteem, Faith, Happiness, Humanity, Laughter, Love, Men, TED Talks, Women on July 30, 2012 at 8:58 pm

Today I am on a flight, again.

I had the privilege of visiting NY, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, all in less than 5 days–whirlwind trip. Very fun, though.

What I am thinking about mostly right now, though, is a TED talk that I listened to on my flight into JFK. I was having a long day, sleep deprived, and I just happened to snap on one of the 5 free Delta radio channels (for the record Delta is a joke). There came words I needed to hear and I find it no coincidence that I started to listen to that very station when I did. For those of you that know TED talks, the briefers are limited to a less than ten minute time period to present their research in the most imaginable and insightful way, so the fact that I caught this particular one is quite lucky.

This talk wasn’t focused on the customary scientific findings surrounding most, no, it was centered more on an emotional type of research that could be classified in the psychological jurisdiction; however, I still felt it to fit its own category of sorts having listened to several TEDs and never encountered one quite like this previously.

The speaker, Brenda Brown, was presenting her research on the topic of wholeheartedness. That is, what constitutes a whole hearted individual. She goes on to explain that she had spent several years interviewing several individuals categorized as wholehearted and then those who live, well, unwholehearted. The first problem, if you could call it that, that she encountered in her research was the notion that those who portray a wholehearted esteem recognize that to be wholehearted one must first accept that this requires making everything that you desire to be certain, uncertain. This was problematic for Brenda because, well, she’s a researcher and to be a researcher is to seek the definitive. She segues to note this first encounter required her to take a 2 year research break and attend weekly counseling, lol. However, once she overcame this realization she was able to even further delve into the information that would enlighten her as to what the belief system requires amongst the wholehearted. She goes on to note:

The way to live is not to control and predict, rather, it’s through vulnerability, the wholehearted live with vulnerability because this is the birthplace of love and happiness. The wholehearted let themselves be seen and they love life with their whole hearts even though there is no guarantee. The wholehearted recognize that you cannot selectively numb emotions. You see, when you numb anger, fear, disappointment, you cannot do this without also numbing love, happiness, and laughter. The wholehearted stop catastrophizing and believe in good, they are grateful because of this. They ask themselves, what makes me vulnerable and then they face it head on. They realize that it is this vulnerability that allows them to be them and to live.

Most importantly though, above all else, Brown’s research found that the wholehearted always believe this:

They believe they are enough.

Brown posed the question on her blog, what makes you feel vulnerable? She felt getting to the heart of this might help individuals to reveal their wholehearted nature. She received thousands of responses.

Waiting for doctor results
Initiating sex with my partner
Saying I love you
Getting a mammogram
Going to the doctor
Looking for a job
Going on an airplane

So I pose this question here, what makes you feel vulnerable? How do you find your way through that vulnerability, or do you?

a thinking whit


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