About 6 months ago my life shifted from an almost-perfect construct to what I can only describe as messy, unpredictable, and nomadic. Quitting my executive job and selling everything I owned to travel was an intense decision- to say the very least. There were many factors that led me to the point where I was ready for such change. The biggest catalyst was self-realization- accompanied by a growing conscious awareness that refused to back down.
Once I realized all that I had become, I accepted that my life- my being rather- was in a rut. I saw the extent to which my depression was taking over. I knew I needed to change, big time. I started making little changes- small daily efforts that ultimately led me to where I am now.
My daily efforts were as small as this:
- Watch 1-2 Ted Talks per day
- Write in my journal (even just a line or two)
- Read…something. Anything!
Often, all three of these things would lead to each other. A Ted Talk would inspire the writing which would increase my desire to read, and so on. It became a cycle of positivity and creative thinking. I loved sharing these videos with my friends and family as I found them and want to share them with you all now. I look back and see clearly now, just how much these talks affected and inspired me at the time I really needed it.
If you haven’t heard of Ted Talks…Firstly: I think you may be living under a rock. Secondly: Do yourself a big favor and start with the ones I listed below. These talks changed me, shaped me and shifted me- all helping me to make the biggest decision of my life and continuing to remind me of what’s most important on this journey.
“I was surrounded by four walls and a low ceiling…of opportunity.”
Wow, is all I can say about this one. I laughed, I cried (a lot), I was deeply moved by this speech and Nick’s story overall. He was born without arms and without legs, yet has not let that slow him down from becoming a worldwide speaker and award winning author. He was suicidal at a point in his life and found a way to overcome it- something I sadly can relate to. I think many of us have reached points in our lives where we believe the negative thoughts that pop into our heads, leading to the inability to see the lighted pathway of opportunity in front of us- always.
Nick powerfully shares his views on living a life without limits. While listening to him, I get the overwhelming feelings of inspiration and a little bit of guilt, for my excuse making throughout my life. May we all learn from this powerful man and remember what’s most important in life, while pushing ourselves to become our best selves.
“Shame can be really well understood as the fear of misconnection.”
“We can’t practice compassion with other people if we can’t treat ourselves kindly.”
“Happy people are willing to let go of who they think they should be, in order to be who they are.”
Brene Brown is such a powerful speaker- and a truly bold, brave woman. Someone close to me sent this talk over at a time when I wasn’t ready to listen. Shame and fear of vulnerability are hard things to recognize in yourself. Since then, I have watched this talk countless times and remind myself daily the importance of this concept.
Now, as I travel around, meeting hundreds of new people, I am conscious and aware of myself and my surroundings. I practice compassion as much as possible (I still have my bad moments), and this helps me get through tough days- because yes, even though I am living the dream, there ARE still tough days.
This talk inspired me and continues to do so. I know now, with absolute certainty, that authenticity and vulnerability are the only pathway to love and a happy life- and I believe I am on that path.
“The places you have the biggest challenges are often times the places where you have the most to give.”
This is a topic we should all discuss before delving into the details of our love lives. Why is it that we are so quick to ask someone how their love life is before asking them how they are doing with themselves? Instead of asking your friend if they have any new prospects lately, why not talk about how they are truly feeling about themselves and their life at that moment.
We have to focus inward, before we can authentically and fully give outward- at least that’s what I have come to learn.
For me, deciding to “marry myself,” as Tracy put it, meant fully accepting the person I had become and the person I wanted to be simultaneously. I needed to hold my own hand while walking into the big unknown and this talk gave me an ounce more strength in that department.
“You must NAME and REJECT your fear.”
Olympia is one kick ass woman and, literally, a rocket scientist. Discussing fear and how to conquer it, she drove home the concept that nothing is out of reach and that everything it attainable, if only you take the time and spend the effort.
I remember listening to this in my headphones while at the gym on the treadmill then rushing home to research her some more. I then sent the video out to friends, coworkers- even my boss. Little did I know at the time just how deeply this message would come to fruition in my life just a couple months later.
I needed the reminder to “name and reject my fears” then, now and always. No dream is too far out of the realm of possibility. You need only to reach.
I could go on all day sharing the talks that have greatly moved me, but these are the ones that are always top of mind. As I keep moving forward into the second half of my first year as a full time traveler, I try to remind myself of these lessons everyday. I hope they light a little fire in you, as they did for me!
CONFESSION: It may be a pipe dream, but one of my ultimate, lifelong goals is to give a Ted Talk someday. I want to build myself up to be the kind of person who is worthy of speaking and inspiring the masses. The way these speakers convey their powerful messages leaves a priceless impact on every listener. I believe sharing knowledge, love and positivity is absolutely key to a sustainable existence as human beings. The more the world listens to talks like these, the more positive growth we will begin to see…and for me that’s what it’s all about.