Tag Archives: ted talks

The World Didn’t End. Now Let’s Make It Better.

21 Dec

The world’s going to end…blah, blah, blah.


Let’s do dumb and crazy things since we only have a few days left to live!

That’s pretty much all I’ve heard the past few weeks.

Congratulations everyone…

We’re still here.

So now what?

Now you watch this video. Because it’s awesome.

The Future is Ours from Michael Marantz on Vimeo.

You get it now?

Get how important innovation is?

Get why we HAVE TO inspire our youth to think outside the box, correction: to think like there is NO box?

If you don’t, watch the video again.

Then, start contributing.

Start thinking.

Start creating.


There’s no greater purpose.


Why We Need to Say Yes to Young People

16 Nov

Who goes to school, when they’re exhausted from work, on a night when they don’t even have class?

THIS GIRL. Right here. Yea, me.

All I wanted to do tonight was curl up in bed and eat ice cream. But no, I didn’t go do that. Instead, I dragged myself to my college campus because my school is pretty awesome and hosted TedxFIU.

For those of you who read my blog regularly, you know how much I love Ted Talks. So obviously, when I heard that FIU would be hosting their very own Tedx event, I knew I had to be there.

And I’m certainly glad I was.

Alot of great speakers presented.

They also served FREE FOOD, which is really all that’s necessary to make a college event successful.

But what I loved the most about this event was hearing from two young students who have sought to change the world.

Philip Koenig is the founder of a local non-profit organization, Leading Miami, which teaches middle school students about leadership through a series of leadership development workshops hosted at schools throughout Miami-Dade County. He also has a British accent, just saying.

Ximena Prugue, at the age of just 19, became the founder of Giving the Green Light, a non-profit organization which seeks to alleviate energy poverty by replacing kerosene lamps in India with solar powered lighting. She’s also friends with a lot my friends, so I’m sure I’ve stalked her on Facebook at some point. Actually, I’m pretty sure I’ve stalked her multiple times. That’s what Facebook’s for.

But really…

Philip and Ximena are amazing young people who are making a difference.

Looking around the room as they spoke, it was obvious how much they were inspiring others. It was evident, without a doubt in my mind, that many of those college students listening to them tonight aspire to accomplish great things too.

In their talks, they both mentioned how their achievements started off as simple ideas. These ideas were then pitched to organizations and individuals. Their countless e-mails and phone calls more often than not, went unanswered.

People thought they were crazy (in case you missed the memo…the good ones always are).

For the most part, people seemed to dismiss their ideas because they were young and inexperienced.

Now, imagine if no one had given Philip or Ximena the time of day…

Imagine if no one had listened to them…

Imagine if they had received ZERO support…

The impact they’ve made on the lives of so many people would have been impossible.

So basically, here’s what I’m trying to say:

I’m tired of society saying no to young people.

Instead of listening to and supporting the ideas that many young people are bringing to our attention, we’re doing the opposite. We’re not taking their phone calls. We’re ignoring their e-mails. We’re not looking for ways to help.

And it’s sad.

Because there are a lot of people like Philip, like Ximena, who want to make a difference.

We NEED those people.

Our society can’t afford for good ideas to be continually shut down.

So the next time that you hear of a young person who has a dream, who has an idea, who wants to make an impact, see if you can help them. See if you can guide them. If YOU can’t, introduce them to someone who CAN.

There is nothing more powerful than a young mind.

So find a way to say yes. Find a way to help make a difference.

Study the Not So Average

7 May

Let me start off by saying that I’m a huge fan of these Ted Talks.

I saw this one today and thought I’d share.

Shawn Achor, CEO of Good Think, Inc., researches and teaches about positive psychology.

Positive psychology… It seems to be a topic of great interest lately.

There are thousands of books teaching people things like how to be happy… how to make the best out of really crappy situations… that your attitude determines your success.

Well it does, but that’s not what I want to write about at the moment.

Achor makes many great points in his talk, but the one that I really loved was his emphasis on the fact that we need to stop focusing on the average (start the video at about 4 mins).

You see, when it comes to business and success, it’s no secret that some people and some companies are more successful than others.

When I think about what I want from life and what I want from my job, I realize that I want a lot. I want to be passionate about my work and I want to make a difference doing something that I love.

It bothers me, though, that when I express this, some people tell me that it’s unrealistic. They tell me that I’m an idealist, that work is work and that’s all it is.

And then I argue and I say it’s not true. I say that Steve Jobs was passionate about his work and a whole bunch of other crazy and successful people get paid to do what they love.

And then they say, fine, that may be true…but only a FEW people really get to do that. Those people are the exceptions. Those people are the outliers.

They then tell me that I’m NOT the exception and that I should therefore focus on finding a job that:

a. pays well

b. doesn’t make me feel like consuming a whole bottle of alcohol when I get home

That’s life and that’s what an average job is.

Well that’d be great… If I was okay with average.

The point that Achor makes in his talk is that rather than focusing on what is average, rather than encouraging everyone to live an average life, we should be learning from those people that HAVE been the exceptions. We should be studying them and figuring out what they did differently that made them so successful.

People like Steve Jobs and Oprah, yes, they’re probably the exceptions. I get that. But they OBVIOUSLY did something right. And so, if I choose to be passionate about my work, and if I desire to live a fulfilling life, I’m going to study people that achieved those goals. Because they’re my goals…those are the goals that I aspire to reach.

Think about it. If we only study the mediocre, what do we really learn? How to be mediocre? How lovely.

Achor makes it clear…

“If we study what is merely average, we will remain merely average.”

So let’s study the crazy ones. It’d be crazy for us not to.

%d bloggers like this: