8 Sporting Ted Talks That can Change your Life
If you haven’t watched a TED talk before, you are surely missing something jaw dropping, inspirational, fascinating and/or informative. Look at it this way: exceptional athletes become students of sport. They want to know who has got to where they want to be, or beyond. They want to learn every detail that athlete’s experience, hoping to mine even just one tweak that will make the difference to their success. So why not be an exceptional student of life and take in some TED talks. Here are eight with a sporting theme to get your mind humming.
1) John Wooden: the difference between winning and succeeding
Famed coach John Wooden delivers an inspiring talk about his beliefs on success, drawing on a mixture of stories from his UCLA days, his father’s wisdom and topped off with bits of carefully selected poetry. He simply oozes integrity. Take IMPACT Action: Examine your personal definition of success and failure. Whether you like it or not, realize this is inherently driving your life’s experience. Sometimes we must change our definition and perception of the target, not the target itself.
2) Aimee Mullins: The opportunity of adversity:
Paralympian Amy Mullins is re-writing the dictionary. Her first two words of choice: disabled and adversity. Watch this talk and you will be compelled to examine your own definitions, guaranteed.
Take IMPACT Action: In this age of the bubble wrapped child and helicopter parents, challenge yourself to feed back to a child a definition of themselves that empowers their potential. And while you’re at it, trying feeding one to yourself.
3) Diana Nyad: Extreme swimming with the world's most dangerous jellyfish
Diana speaks humorously and passionately of her epic adventures attempting to swim from Cuba to Florida. Her impetus? She was “turning 60 and I didn’t like being 60”.
Take IMPACT Action Ok, swimming 70 hours dodging hordes of dangerous sea creatures may not be your life’s calling. But, something is. Try noticing what feeds your attention so much is causes you to forget yourself. You just may be on to something.
4) A mind-shifting Everest swim: Lewis Pugh
When speaking of his incredible cold water swims, Pugh remarks “there is nothing more powerful than a made up mind”. One of these swims, in a lake on the slopes of Mount Everest, humbled him at first try, causing him to change his mind set before succeeding. Take IMPACT Action A mindset is a belief system that guides our efforts. Sometimes all the skill in the world will not get us there- if we hold our beliefs too rigid. Whatever your goals are, treat them like puzzles to be solved. You are more apt to be open to the tweaks required to get the job done. 5) Janine Shepherd: A broken body isn’t a broken person. Janine was Olympic bound when an accident devastated her body and her dream. Amazingly, she not only learned to walk again, but to fly.
Take IMPACT Action Is there some limitation in your body or your life you are allowing to hold you back? It may be time to garbage that script and recreate a new story, one kindled by a fire inside just waiting to be lit.
6) Amy Cuddy: Your body language shapes who you are:
This one is not about sport, but does relate to performance. Social Psychologist Amy Cuddy shows you how a two minute “power pose” can change your life.
Take IMPACT Action: The next time you are about to face a challenge (race day coming up?) strike a power pose first. Your fellow athletes might think you’re a little off, but let’s see what your results will have to say.
7) Christopher McDougall: Are we born to run?
McDougall is a journalist, runner, author and proponent of barefoot running. In his talk you also learn interesting tidbits. Like women get stronger as distances get longer. And geriatrics can run as well as they did as teens.
Take IMPACT Action: you might not feel you were born to run..barefoot. But how about embracing you were born to move, and to find joy in that ability. Be the athletic animal you are!
8) Ueli Gegenschatz soars in a wingsuit.
Those of you who have experienced a ‘flying dream’ might want to hear- and watch, the man who achieved it for real. Sadly he died doing what he loved, but his accomplishments will stand and be built upon by others.
Take IMPACT Action: Ueli undoubtedly had a big vision, he was an explorer of the air. Someone who believed there was more to do, to try. What territory have you left uncharted? Remember there are so many ways we do not know ourselves or our world.
copyright April Clay, Originally published in Impact Magazine