Quite often in life, we need to be reminded of what is important. And although life itself is an ongoing lesson, you can also gain deeper insight from the experiences and philosophies of others.
These talks motivate and inspire me and I hope they’ll do the same for you.
An extremely brave and insightful talk by the late 17 year-old Sam Berns who suffered from progeria, an extremely rare genetic disorder resulting in rapid premature ageing (it affects one in four million to one in eight million births ), on how to live a happy life – lessons we should all apply! In this talk he speaks about how he keeps moving forward, focuses on what he can rather than can’t do and how sometimes it is really difficult to be brave.
“This mentality includes staying in a forward thinking state of mind. I try hard not to waste energy feeling badly for myself, because when I do, I get stuck in a paradox, where there’s no room for any happiness or any other emotion. Now, it’s not that I ignore when I’m feeling badly, I kind of accept it, I let it in, so that I can acknowledge it, and do what I need to do to move past it.”
"Be OK with what you ultimately can't do, because there is so much you CAN do." Sam said he is very much aware of the things he can't do, but instead of focusing on the negatives, he focuses on the things he can do, and the things he is passionate about. Sam said you can put some things that were impossible or out of reach before in the "can-do category" by making adjustments.
Robert Waldinger is a Harvard psychiatrist, psychoanalyst, and Zen priest. As director of the longest study on adult life and happiness, he's learned some surprising things about what the good life actually looks like. If you think it's fame and money - you're not alone, but you may want to rethink that after this.
“So what have we learned? What are the lessons that come from the tens of thousands of pages of information that we’ve generated on these lives? Well, the lessons aren’t about wealth or fame or working harder and harder. The clearest message that we get from this 75-year study is this: Good relationships keep us happier and healthier. Period."
This talk makes a lot of sense and the message is simple - do work you find meaningful, surround yourself with family and friends, spend a lot of time enjoying experiences with them. Invest in your future self now!
Nick talks about how he has overcome obstacles to create a happy fulfilling life. Nick is another fantastic example of someone who has managed to triumph over adverse conditions and has been able to overcome hopelessness.
"You know, people always ask me you know, what happened to you and how did you overcome what you’ve been through? The title of the message that I’ve been given is ‘’. When I speak corporately, the line that I like to use is ‘Changing Obstacles Into Opportunities’."
It is often not what happens to us, but rather our attitude to what happens to us that affects our happiness and quality of life. What you choose to believe about yourself and about your life dictates the outcome.
13 year-old Logan LaPlante, a forward-thinking little school hacker, believes students should explore their own curiosity, show passion for self-directed learning, and above all else, be happy. A great way to remember what you knew was important during the yesteryears but may have forgotten.
“But what bums me out is to know that a lot of kids today are just wishing to be happy, to be healthy, to be safe, not bullied, and be loved for who they are. So it seems to me when adults say, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” They just assume that you’ll automatically be happy and healthy. But maybe that’s not the case. Go to school. Go to college. Get a job. Get married. Boom! Then you’ll be happy, right? We don’t seem to make learning how to be happy and healthy a priority in our schools.”
Did you know that you can make anyone fall in love with you by asking them 36 questions and then staring into their eyes (without speaking) for 4 minutes? Mandy Len Catron tested this theory with one of her colleagues – and it worked! However falling in love is the easy part – the hard part is staying together!
“So the story that the media told about the 36 questions was that there might be a shortcut to falling in love. There might be a way to somehow mitigate some of the risks involved, and this is a very appealing story, because falling in love feels amazing, but it’s also terrifying. The moment you admit to loving someone, you admit to having a lot to lose, and it’s true that these questions do provide a mechanism for getting to know someone quickly, which is also a mechanism for being known, and I think this is the thing that most of us really want from love: to be known, to be seen, to be understood. But I think when it comes to love, we are too willing to accept the short version of the story. The version of the story that asks, “Are you still together?” and is content with a yes or no answer.”
All this blabber on finding the right people to surround yourself with, we thought ending this article with talk by Hannah Fry is a good cherry on top. Hannah agrees that finding the right mate is no cakewalk — but is it even mathematically likely? In a charming talk, mathematician Hannah Fry shows patterns in how we look for love, and gives her top three tips (verified by math!) for finding that special someone.
“The thing is that I personally don't subscribe to such a pessimistic view. Because I know, just as well as all of you do, that love doesn't really work like that. Human emotion isn't neatly ordered and rational and easily predictable. But I also know that that doesn't mean that mathematics hasn't got something that it can offer us because, love, as with most of life, is full of patterns and mathematics is, ultimately, all about the study of patterns. Patterns from predicting the weather to the fluctuations in the stock market, to the movement of the planets or the growth of cities. And if we're being honest, none of those things are exactly neatly ordered and easily predictable, either. Because I believe that mathematics is so powerful that it has the potential to offer us a new way of looking at almost anything. Even something as mysterious as love. And so, to try to persuade you of how totally amazing, excellent and relevant mathematics is, I want to give you my top three mathematically verifiable tips for love."