These short talks teach you that significant statements needn’t take up a lot of time

There is a series of talks on TED Talks which are titled “Less than 6 minutes.” Listening to them brings a smile to your lips and sometimes teaches you things you never knew you could learn. For example, there is a cherubic looking gentleman called Terry Moore and he teaches you how to tie your shoe laces. Beginning with a laugh he says that by the age of 50 he thought if there was one skill he had mastered, that was tying his shoe laces. But, he discovered, he had not. If you are among those whose laces keep untying themselves as you walk, then you get a tip from Moore. He says there are two kinds of knots, the weak one and the strong one. We have always been taught to tie the weak knot. How to tie the strong knot? Well cross the two ends over as you would normally. Loop one end. Take the other end from behind the loop to make the other loop. This is the difference. We normally loop one end and take the other end over the loop on the side facing us. The trick is to take the lace around the knot and bring it over from the other side. The test to check if you have tied your laces well is to pull the knot at its base. If it expands vertically, it is a weak knot. If it expands horizontally, you’ve got it!

There are nine talks in this series and the next one that has something to teach is by Richard St. John who lets you into the eight secrets of success in three minutes. “The first is passion. Do it for love, not money. If you do it for love, the money comes anyway. Be a workafrolic...work hard and have fun. Be good...put your nose down in something and get damn good at it. There is no magic, its practice, practice, practice. Focus. It all has to do with focussing yourself on one thing. Push. Push yourself physically and mentally, just push. Push through shyness and self doubt. Goldie Hawn had self doubts about not making it. It is not always easy to push yourself and that is why they invented mothers,” says John amidst laughter.

The next essential on the spiral of success is to serve. “Lots of kids tell me they want to be millionaires. I say okay if you cannot serve yourself, you have got to serve others something of value. That is the way people really get rich. Ideas. There is no magic and creativity to getting ideas, as evidence I give a lot of simple things: listen, observe, be curious, ask questions, problem solve, make connections. Persist. You have to persist through failures and CRAP (which means Criticism, Rejection, Assholes and Pressure),” finishes the man who says this is the invincible technique to achieving success.

There are nine talks in this series. The other talks are: Matt Cutts on building a habit in 30 days (already reviewed in this column), Stacey Kramer on how an unwanted gift changed her life, and one on some exciting news from Saturn.

There is a talk by Rives which is a hilarious one. Using symbols that have come to replace language, Rives uses emoticons to tell a love story! It is worth watching. It is a typical guy meets girl story told entirely with symbols and short forms...brackets and numbers.

Damon Horowitz talks of the right and wrong. As a philosophy teacher, Horowitz meets his student in prison; who is there because he committed murder without realising it. And then he is condemned to prison for the next 25-50 years. In this discussion between student and teacher, they discuss what makes wrongness? “Our enemy is thoughtlessness, “says Horowitz, “...philosophy...tells us of the starred sky above and the moral law within...what we believe and why...the ontologically promiscuous, the epistemologically anxious, the ethically dubious and the metaphysically ridiculous...”...in the short talk Horowitz adds humour when he gives examples to the four states: Plato, Descartes, Nietzsche and...Bill Clinton!

Web links

http://www.ted.com/talks/terry_moore_how_to_tie_your_shoes.html

http://www.ted.com/playlists/81/ted_in_3_minutes.html

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