Archives for category: Thursday TED Talk

I’ve been very silent here over the last two weeks. Originally, I started this blog to get myself started, when I was in a lazy period. Interestingly, it did work. As I started the habit to daily blog, I have gotten more and more active outside that as well. At present, all my personal projects are up and running in a way better fashion than when I started writing.


Basically, I entered my flow. Flow is one of my favourite concepts. My own favourite are the writing flows I’ve been experiencing a lot over the last weeks. Especially in the evening, my fingers just run over my keyboard, writing posts for this blogs, emails to friends, articles and application letters.

I think it’s even a bit similar to a runner’s high. Everybody who has ran a race knows there’s a moment where you don’t feel tired, when you got really in it and it just feels like the street is passing under your feet automatically.

And flow is also the topic of one of my favourite TED talks, by an Hungarian-American professor with a terribly difificult name: Mihaly Csikszentmihaly.


I have been a TED fan for quite some time, and the last months I have been asking myself more and more: where do all these ideas come from?

I mean, from a neurological point of view, can you really say an idea is something that – Eureka! – ‘pops up’ in someone’s brain? Is there suddenly something there – a deep understanding of the working of the economy , the aspiration to write a book about happiness, the dream to meet a personal hero, the idea to call a friend you haven’t seen for a while?

For some of these, possibly yes. But for others, the deep scientifc insights are not just randomly born in someone’s mind. These ideas develop when great thinkers let other people reflect on them. Ideas develop when great minds meet and engage in dialogue. Ideas grow in idea networks. And therefore, coffee houses are great incubators for ideas, as Steven Johson explains.

I am just quickly posting this talk before some friends arrive for dinner, but I should watch it again.

Daniel Pink untidies the knot of motivation and has an answer on the tacky question what a good job involves. In his words, it is

  1. mastery – doing something you are actually good at
  2. autonomy – doing things independently
  3. purpose – doing something that matters.

An important lesson for as long as my job hunt continues! For now, I am pretty autonomous, I don’t really feel that I master anything, but the worst part: (apparently) I don’t have a real purpose at the moment.

Anyway, enjoy the talk and be inspired!

I have been looking forward to posting this Tuesday TED Talk for an entire week. Today, I would like to share two TED talks about animals – and how similar they are with human beings.

The first one is about ‘monkeynomics’. People have built complex economic systems. Human beings often display irrational behaviour. To summarise it, human beings have a ‘loss bias’, which means they may take (excessive) risks in order to avoid a loss. Laurie Santos researches whether monkey have the same kind of economically irrational behaviour.

But there is more animals have in common with human beings: some animals can cooperate and have empathy with each other, as Frans de Waal shows.

In this first Thursday TED talk I’ll be weekly posting here, I’d like to share one which is close to the reason why I started this blog.

Sometimes, there are moments in life where not all things are going as smoothly as you’d wish. In those days, it’s important to remember all these great small things that make life awesome – and to actively look for them. TED speaker Neil Pasricha did just that and started the blog 1000 awesome things. Enjoy!