I was not sure what to expect when I began watching this talk, but I was quickly drawn in by the obvious bravery and strength of both speakers. I enjoyed Pollock’s approach on realism over optimism; I find it a refreshing break from the usual story of struggle and resilience. I hope you enjoy!
Do you consider yourself a realist or an optimist?
I’ve been going through a rough couple of weeks as I adjust to a new job, reach the one year anniversary of a difficult loss, and see a close friend move away. All of these things have left me in a funk and I have not been laughing as much as I usually do. It already takes a lot to get me to the deep, guttural laugh point–and it often kicks in randomly! One of my favorite childhood memories was laughing hysterically with one of my best friends–I was afraid I would hyperventilate! We were simply so deeply joyous and amused by ourselves. In an attempt to make myself laugh a bit more, I watched this video and it definitely lifted my spirits. Laughter is socially contagious at its core–whether it’s in person or in a video.
Did you laugh while watching this video? What makes you laugh out loud?
This is a great talk told in an incredibly personable, relatable way. Her message around the danger of “not yet” is something that rings true for me across numerous areas of my life, but I’ve been working very hard over the past year to lose that outlook. Saying “not yet” helps us cling to certain things, or stay a step away from things, and those choices often come from fear. I hope you enjoy this wonderful talk.
What do you need to let go of? Which rule is your favorite?
The opening of this talk deeply resonated with me; I remember the moment I started questioning, then completely doubting God. Up until that point, I don’t think I questioned the existence of God–I was raised Catholic, going to Sunday school and church every week. Questioning our world view is terrifying, but it is crucial to building our own identity and learning to think critically.
Do you question your beliefs? Does questioning them scare you?
What a wonderful talk; this came out only a few days ago and it might be one the best talks I’ve seen in a while. Dan Cable, a new name to me, wove together a beautiful, complex, and persuasive story of what it means to “activate our best selves” and how we can do it more often.
I’ve completed the peer surveys for friends in the past and see it as such a valuable tool. Cable also mentioned a test to determine your values and positive character strengths–I highly recommend taking it. The survey is called the VIA and can be found here.
When do you feel like your best self is activated?
I picked this talk randomly while looking for a shorter talk. At first I was not enjoying this, but it quickly took a turn halfway through. I was so intrigued how a young girl who was bullied then became a bully herself. I am sometimes naive to think that empathy is inherent and that we always learn by experience. Hearing this young woman reflect on her experiences really made me pause and think.
Are you surprised she was a bully after being bullied?
I love Isabel Allende; she has lived through such tragedies and has come out with such an inspiring, hopeful attitude about the world we live in. As I see people I love age, I think about what aging means today. We perceive those who are aging as weak and tired, but that is simply not the case. We need to tell ourselves the story that vibrance, passion, and excitement do not dissipate as we age, instead we can learn how to make those qualities grow even more.
Do you agree on Allende’s principals of living passionately? Do you live your life how she does?
I am in 100% agreement with this talk; I had an incredibly interdisciplinary education during college. I took classes ranging from the Philosophy of Truth, Certainty, & Knowledge to courses on the biology of the microbiome. I was a fellow for the IDEAS program, Interdisciplinary Education and Scholarship, while at Emory where I had the chance to discuss the value of interdisciplinary education and thought with peers every week. Working at a tech company now, I see the danger in thinking in only one way–so many STEM fields focus on the binary, one-solution style model, but the world and its answers are diverse, multifaceted, and far from binary.
Do you agree that we overemphasize the value of STEM fields?
I have heard so many peers and friends echo the same bleak outlooks about their jobs and sense of meaning about the work they do. I completely agree and I often fall into the same trap myself. I spin my wheels on one task or frustrating outcome and get caught up in the details. I lose sight of the why, the purpose. Schwartz provides a positive reminder about what it means to work and feel fulfilled.
Do you fall into the same patterns Schwartz describes?
Trust: Logic + Empathy + Authenticity. I agree so much with Frei’s analysis of the difficulty of being different, and how that difference can get in the way of authenticity, and hence trust. If you listen to nothing else, fast forward ten minutes in and listen; her advice to individuals and leaders is pure magic. As a young professional, her advice hits an interesting point. Many of my colleagues play on phones during virtual meetings (we are mostly in our 20s), and I found myself occasionally distracted as well. While some people can fake it, I agree that it indubitably detracts from both professional and personal interactions.
Which area do you wobble in?