Mind expansion through TED Talks

?If your house is really a mess and a stranger comes to the door, greet him with, ?Who could have done this? We have no enemies.? ?Phyllis Diller


Did you know that icebergs roll? I didn?t until a few days ago. I guess it makes sense, they are floating. But I?ve seen ?Titanic? at least 20 times and that iceberg looked pretty solid.

I?ve been hooked on TED Talks for the past couple of months. There?s an app for that, so I got it. TED Talks are ?Ideas Worth Spreading,? like their slogan says. They have annual conferences where speakers have 18 minutes to present their talk on whatever their specialty is. Then, the talks are posted on the website for anyone to listen to.

Last I checked there were more than 1,500 online. (Free, luckily, because actually attending a conference requires an application to deem you worthy. Oh, and $7,500.)

This is where the rolling iceberg comes in. Sort of. But first, there are a few more stops before that destination.

I?m a big believer in bucket lists because they are essential examples of hope. They represent levels of accomplishment that can be spread over a lifetime. There?s a manageable sense of urgency. And sometimes, knowing that what you?re doing now is a prerequisite to what you?ll do then can be an effective motivator.

Wedged between No. 4, ?Take my daughters overseas,? and No. 6, ?Go to an ?Ellen Show,?? on my own bucket list, is No. 5, ?Meet Khaled Hosseini.?

And even though, when the time came, I blew my chance to ask him something smart, I can still draw a fat check mark next to it. It was all I expected because friends shared it with me and I have a block of hardback genius signed by the man who wrote the line, ?For you, a thousand times over.?

He gave an entertaining interview and showed us pieces of the storyteller (and doctor, and father, and philanthropist) that he is. I think his books are some of the best for quotable quotes and his book signing wasn?t any different.

He said he tells his kids that ?the world doesn?t begin and end with your zip code.? (See No. 6 on my list.) In a perfect world, I would prove that belief by stepping foot in as many zip codes as possible. I do what I can, but if I don?t hit the big numbers, I hope I can at least persuade my kids how true that is.

In the meantime, I throw TED talks at them, like the one by nature photographer Camille Seaman that showed an iceberg rolling (http://www.ted.com/talks/camille_seaman_haunting_photos_of_ice.html).

Showing them (and/or pushing) my interests may not result in globe-trotting offspring, which is OK. I?d just like to remind them that even if we can take advantage of what ?where we are? offers, there are a lot that it can?t. And to be open to that.

In the meantime, we will watch TED Talks, deep clean stuff and create amazing bucket lists. On my own productive or motivated days, I remember that a 120-foot tall, 200,000-ton iceberg rolls in the middle of the ocean.

Cleaning some baseboards shouldn?t seem that unreasonable.

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