Thursday, October 19, 2017

TED Talk #7: What does it take to master something?

Everyone wants the easy route.
The quickest way to get somewhere.  Why waste time?

They enter an address into the GPS just to find a way to get to a destination a little bit quicker.
No, don't go this way.  Go that way!  It will shave 3.457 minutes off your driving time.  3.457 minutes.... Phew, that was a close one.  What a waste it could have been. That's time you can never get back.

We are always rushing.
Fastest is better.

Well, that may work when we are driving around town, but that's not how it is in the real world.

Usually, when someone focuses on the fastest way, they ignore the best way. How many times have you sped through a project, just to get it done?  Sure, it's a little messy.  The details are not quite developed.  Some parts may be missing.  You may have finished quickly, but show no spirit of excellence.

This is a problem.

If we truly want to be excellent at something, we need time: time to create, time to think, time to practice, time to bounce ideas around, time to play, time to explore, time to master.

Image result for albert einstein quotes mastery

You want to be a master.... a master of something :)  I challenge you to find your passion, like our TED talk speaker today, whatever it may be.  Find that passion and then throw yourself into it.  Don't just take the easy way out.  Don't just throw things together and call it finished.  Take the time.  Use the energy.  Dive deep.  Have a spirit of excellence.  After, weeks, months, years, decades... you may be able to call yourself a master one day.

It took a long time for our speaker today to find his passion.  He failed at so many other things.  He was told he was dumb.  Told he wouldn't amount to anything.  Told he was a disappointment. Then, one day,  he found it.  What he was most passionate about: the yo-yo!

Today, check out  Japanese yo-yo world champion BLACK as he tells his inspiring story of finding his life's passion, and gives an awesome performance that will make you want to pull your yo-yo out of the closet.

Let his talk inspire you to find or jump into your own dreams!

You deserve a chance to be excellent.

You owe it to yourself to become a master.

Friday, October 13, 2017

TED Talk #6: The Art of Misdirection


We hear those words a lot. In terms of classes, lectures, activities, and goals.  Where we focus our attention is often where we will go.  As a dancer spins in a turn, he or she focuses on a stationary spot on the wall in front.  If they focus on their feet instead, they fall.  Likewise, our focus or concentration can also predict out paths in life.  If we think we are going to fail, we do.  If we think we are going to succeed and work hard to do so, we often do.

But what happens when something distracts us and that focus strays?  When our attention wavers to rest on something more interesting at the moment? When our eyes catch something shiny, something funny, something cooler?  When the prize set before us gets kind of fuzzy and loses the attraction? When we are distracted by something more glittery, pleasant, appealing?

Just like the dancer whose eyes fall to her feet, we fall.

Focus helps us stay on the right path to achieving our goal.

When we lose that focus or attention on our goals, misdirection comes and steals our wallets and watches.

Wait, what?

Today's TED Talk is all about the Art of Misdirection and a great illustration of what can happen when our focus is manipulated.  Don't let something flashy or shiny come and steal your dreams.  Don't let time pass without you realizing it.  Pay attention.  Stay focused.

Check out Appolo Robbins's TED Talk here.

   Hailed as the greatest pickpocket in the world, Apollo Robbins studies the quirks of human behavior as he steals your watch. In a hilarious demonstration, Robbins samples the buffet of the TEDGlobal 2013 audience, showing how the flaws in our perception make it possible to swipe a wallet and leave it on its owner’s shoulder while they remain clueless.

Friday, October 6, 2017

TED Talk #5: The Magic of Truth, Lies, and IPods

The next TED Talk we're going to watch is about the power of Deception.

As we study and discuss literature, life, and current events, I'm sure many of you have discovered some instances of deception: people in power deceiving, hiding the truth from those that rely on them.  Sometimes, it's done for the better of society.  Sometimes it's done for greed.  Sometimes it's just hard to tell.  Either way, considering how truth, lies, or deception factors into what we've been reading brings up an interesting question:  Is it ever ok to lie?

Image result for is it ever ok to lie?

Our TED Talk today is brought to you by Marco Tempest.  Marco is a techno-magician, meaning that he combines slight of hand (magic) and technology to bring his audience the ultimate illusion.  His talk today is a clever, surprisingly heartfelt meditation on truth and lies, art and emotion.

Image result for the magic of truth and lies (and ipods)

Check out the Talk Here at this Link

As you watch consider these points in general and how they relate to the SSR novels you are reading.
- What is real?
-What are the differences between truth and lies?
-Is it possible (or good) to be totally honest all the time?
-Is it ever ok to lie?
-What is the power of deception?
-How does propaganda fit in?
-Do we deceive ourselves sometimes?
-If you're happy with the lie you're being told, is the lie wrong?
-Is it better to always know the truth?
-Is censorship lying?
-Why do leaders sometimes lie?  

Let's talk Truth vs Lies

Thursday, September 28, 2017

TED Talk #4: Don't Eat the Marshmallow

Money, connections, luck, a rocket-high IQ, sure, these are all helpful things to have in life, but there is one distinct factor behind most success stories: self-discipline.  Self-discipline, or the desire to work hard today in order to reach a goal tomorrow, is a crucial part of succeeding in life.  We may know this, but it sure is hard to remember sometimes!  That extra piece of pizza smells amazing!  That purse would look so good with those new shoes!  That essay can wait until tomorrow! The coach won't mind if I miss a couple of practices!  Our problem usually is that we want what feels good today, without considering tomorrow.

Do you really need another purse??

Let's take all that money you earned by shoveling snow this winter. Did you.... A) save it for something really special and fantastic?! or B) spend it the minute you got it on candy and soda?  If you chose option A then you not only are probably playing with a great new X-box (or something even cooler), but you should also feel very proud of yourself!  In the scientific world, they call this waiting- delayed gratification.  Basically, delay of gratification refers to the ability to put off getting an immediate reward in order to gain a better reward later.

Our TED Talk today deals with just that topic.  Joachim de Posada shares his experiment about delayed gratification and how it can be used to predict success.  Joachim focuses his study on 4-year-olds.  He give the kids one marshmallow and tells them that if they wait 15 minutes without eating their marshmallow they will get two marshmallows!!.  Easy, right? Why eat one, when you can get two??  Well, it's not so easy if you are 4!!  Check out the link here to view this adorable talk.

That marshmallow looks sooooo good! 
Too often people want the reward now, instead of waiting for something better! When something good comes their way, they don't bother to think about the effect it might have on tomorrow.  Learning the secret to delayed gratification, or working towards a big reward instead of settling for an immediate smaller reward, makes a huge impact on how successful we are.  Instead of spending your money on little things, save for something big!  Instead of blowing off practice or training, work hard so you can succeed on the field.  Instead of flunking classes and limiting your future choices, be excellent and watch the opportunities open up!

Don't get caught up in just the immediate "marshmallows" in front of you now.  Wait for the bigger prize!

Enjoy the talk and don't eat the marshmallow!!!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

TED Talk #3- Why Videos Go Viral

When I grow up, I want to be a doctor, photographer, policeman, fireman, teacher, veterinarian, YouTuber!  Wait, what?!  A YouTuber?!

Image result for you tube

If any child mentioned YouTuber on a list of dream jobs ten years ago, people wouldn't have had a clue what he was talking about.  Boy, have things changed.

Media has changed.  Communication has changed.  No longer is the Internet a place for professionals and computer geniuses only.  Every day people are creating and jumping in the deep side of the Web.  It's the ultimate technological power-to-the-people movement.  In this case, the power to create a video.  

The pool of video online is wide and deep!  Sometimes funny.  Sometimes sweet.  Some well-made.  Some very well made, but, honestly, most are really, really, really bad.

Image result for cat playing piano

What fascinates me is that even a horrendously horrible video can still score hundreds of thousands of views. That's right, hundreds of thousands.  It's crazy!

Why do some videos go viral and some fizzle out?  What is the key to getting a large audience for that video of your cat playing the piano?

This guy knows.  I bring you this week's TED Talk from Kevin Allocca.

Image result for Why videos go viral

Kevin Allocca is YouTube's trends manager.  That means he gets paid to watch YouTube videos all day!  He's got some deep thoughts about web video today.  In this talk from TEDYouth, he shares the 4 reasons a video goes viral.

Here's the link.

Enjoy the video and keep those cameras running when you, your friends, your cat, your parakeet, your dog, your grandpa, or your brother does something interesting.  You never know who will be the next trend in YouTube videos.