Maysoon Zayid: One of the most dinchack (wow!) TED talks ever!

Wow! Maysoon is extremely inspiring, super funny and very beautiful. One of the most dinchack (wow!) TED talks I’ve ever heard…

You may watch in HD on TED through this link.

“When I grow up I want to be happy, just like I am now.”

Wow, one of the best TED videos I’ve ever watched!

In this inspiring 11-minute video, mature-beyond-his-years teenager, Logan LaPlante, explains why he thinks youth should be taught to be happy and healthy, and how “hacking” his education to follow his dream is helping him do just that.

And with over 270,000 views on YouTube since his talk was published in February, I think he’s on the right path to inspiring other people to do the same.

An extremely inspiring video: Janine Shepherd’s limited body, unstoppable spirit

Cross-country skier Janine Shepherd hoped for an Olympic medal — until she was hit by a truck during a training bike ride. She shares a powerful story about the human potential for recovery. Her message: you are not your body, and giving up old dreams can allow new ones to soar.

Your body language affects your own mind and behavior too!

Did you know: Our body (how we sit, stand, walk, and our facial expressions) changes our minds; our mind changes our behavior; our behavior changes our outcomes.

It’s something I first learnt from ‘Awaken the Giant Within’ by Anthony Robbins – more from his talk than from the book. I’ve been applying, and teaching this principle in all sales/motivational training programs. It’s not only relevant at work, but in all communications with others and ourselves. And now Amy Cuddy’s research on body language reinforces the concept further: that we can change other people’s perceptions — and even our own body chemistry — simply by changing body positions. Whether you are familiar with the concept or not, please stop and watch this inspiring video from TED…

Tali Sharot: We are born optimists!

An excellent TED talk by Tali Sharot, neuroscientist and author of The Optimism Bias: A Tour of the Irrationally Positive Brain. She highlights the following with interesting case studies:

  1. Interpretation matters
  2. Anticipation makes us happy
  3. Optimism changes reality
  4. Optimism makes you try harder

“Whatever happens, whether you succeed or you fail, people with high expectations always feel better, because how we feel, depends on how we interpret that event.” Tali Sharot

My take: Optimism is the only way for a ‘dhinchak‘ life!

Michael Norton: Money can buy happiness

Another excellent TED talk in which Michael shares a simple way to buy happiness – by giving…

Michael I. Norton is an Associate Professor of Business Administration in the Marketing Unit and Marvin Bower Fellow at the Harvard Business School. He holds a B.A. in Psychology and English from Williams and a Ph.D. in Psychology from Princeton. Prior to joining HBS, Professor Norton was a Fellow at the MIT Media Lab and MIT’s Sloan School of Management. His work has been published in a number of leading academic journals, including Science, the Journal of Personality and Social PsychologyPsychological Science, and the Annual Review of Psychology, and has been covered in media outlets such as the Economist, the Financial Times, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post.

Less stuff = more happiness

I’ve lived with this mantra for over five years now, so I was obviously very interested to watch Graham Hill’s talk on TED with that title. He has summarized the benefits very well, but he doesn’t tell us what did he do with all his collections, possessions and stuff. Here’s my story and tips:

When I started the process of reducing my possessions and simplifying my life, I started with the biggest chunk – my collection of books. I realized I wasn’t going to re-read most of them. My hope that my kids would read them all one day wasn’t realistic because they don’t have the same interests as mine. So I gave them all away to friends or charity. I also got rid of the book shelf, so that the books I continue to buy must be given away soon after I finish reading them. Since the iPad, I only buy digital books. They are cheaper, easy to store/backup and environment friendly. You can increase the font size and brightness; you can highlight passages; you can call up a dictionary by just touching the word. And if you really miss the touch and feel and smell of real books, you can visit the book store once a while and get all that for free. I have also tried audio books, and they have their benefits too.

Then I was able to simplify my entire wardrobe to fit into ten hangers and one drawer – plus a small suitcase with winter stuff on one side and special occasion stuff on the other. I took most of the unnecessary clutter out of my life – excessive suits, shoes, belts, ties, watches (I’ve actually stopped wearing a watch), videos, CDs etc. I still need to finish scanning the photos and get rid of the albums. All of this means, I need less space for my possessions and less maintenance time. I can focus on quality instead of quantity/variety. I only buy things that I really need and have space for. If I buy a new shirt, an old shirt has to go.

My travel bag has got smaller and smaller, regardless of the length of the trip, and is now down to a small carry-on, without the additional backpack that used to go with it. I still take all the photos and make all the movies with my pocket Canon Ixus. That means I can pack easily and quickly, travel much lighter and move around easily. I have applied the same principle to my work i.e. office space and desk. It’s all easier said than done, but extremely rewarding and worthwhile. I believe it makes you more productive, more efficient, lighter and happier!

[Photo of my travel bags taken just now in the hotel room. The shoulder bag has the camera, spare battery, spare SD cards, phone, wallet, passport, charger, pens and few other essentials]