From Breakfast With Ted

Wait, are you sure you should do that now? | Waiting around with Adam Grant

I’ve been thinking for weeks that It was time for me to write another blog post. When I started Breakfast With TED I was posting almost daily, then I got caught up, caught up doing things that I thought would generate revenue. For so many days lately I’ve been thinking I’ll start posting again, I really enjoy it, I have a chance to learn something from every TED talk I listen to, and when I really do learn something I can share it with both of my readers and maybe they will learn something too.

But every time I thought “I’ll do it today” I then thought “But, but… I’ve got so much real work to do… writing blog posts about TED talks is just procrastination”

This morning as I finished my breakfast shake and was about to step into the shower, done with the rest of my morning routine a few minutes early I decided “what the heck let’s see what’s playing on TED today.” I’ve been learning about habits lately so my search on youtube was for “ted habits” and I settled on this great talk by Adam Grant a Professor at the Wharton School. Adam shares with us in his talk that there is a sweet spot where some procrastination can actually help us change the world. If we rush in early and drive to the finish quickly or wait till the last minute and through something together we’ve never really taken the time required to generate original thought. For more on this topic check out the TED talk below or get Prof Grant’s book “Originals How Nonconformists change the world”

Tai Lopez – how to fill your living room with the smarted people in the world with

If this talk doesn’t make you pick up a book then you should just grab a beer and sit down in front of the TV  because you have already failed at life. Tai tells us “It’s not supposed to be easy” but if we are persistent we will succeed. He lays out a plan in this short talk with practical advice about how we can all move into the life we want. Spend 33% of your time with people 10x beyond the place you want to go, 33% with your peers, and 33% with people you can help and mentor (i guess the 1% left over is for sleep:).

I used to pride myself on reading a book a week. After this video I think I need to up my game a little bit. I’m not sure I want to live in the Hollywood Hills but it would be nice to have the choice and if picking good mentors and reading a book a day got him off a couch in a mobile home in North Carolina and into a home in the hills it seems like a pattern to follow.

I know you are thinking that you don’t have time to read a book a day but Tai notes that we don’t have to read a new book each day, and we don’t have to read the whole thing. Most books he says only have one or two nuggets that have true value to us at any point in time those are the parts to read.

For more on Tai you can check out his web site at or search for him on social media he is present in all of the usual places.

For more “Breakfast with TED” click the Subscribe button on the right or visit my YouTube channel and subscribe there.

Get out of your comfort zone | Do something amazing and change the world

AdamBraunThis is the first in a series of five posts I’ll share over the next five Tuesdays. Each post will look at one of the Five Phrases Adam Braun shares with us in this mornings talk.

This isn’t the first time I’ve included a talk by Adam Braun in Breakfast With TED. Back in May of 2014 I wrote about a video where he talked about the fact that “Non-Profit” companies are really “For-Purpose.” The non-profit thing is just about taxes he explains.  ( I even wrote a haiku on the topic “a promise of purpose” at the same time.

I didn’t search the archives but I know that if Adam isn’t the only speaker with two inclusion’s in this Breakfast With TED, he is surely in good company.

I watched the video this post is about for the first time a little over 2 weeks ago. When it ended I immediately bought Adam’s book “The Promise of a Pencil.” and then found another video on YouTube where he was speaking about his organization.

That was a Friday, by the Tuesday that followed I had read  the book two and a half times. OK, I actually listened to it on Audible, but that’s the same as reading isn’t it? The videos and the book spoke to me on a fundamental level, you see, I’m in the middle of creating a For-Purpose Foundation in the education space and he has done this in a spectacular way. Beyond that though, I’ve been on an self improvement journey for several years now reading at least one book a week in the area of growth and personal development. Adam isn’t just talking about and using examples with technical information I’ve been craving. He tells a story about life that everyone should hear.


Get out of your comfort zone

I’ve had some pretty great successes in my life so far I have a wonderful and supportive family, a truly fulfilling job, a little bit of wealth, and a stable and secure plan for financing and funding the rest of my life. The plan even allows me to grow that little bit of wealth while working only when I want to and on the things I want to. By this time about a year ago I had been living this comfortable life for years and had really started to get used to it.

Once a year I reexamine the plan projecting out expenses and the cost of dreams for the coming 25 years. Factoring in inflation, I put in things like buying new cars, boats, summer homes and college education for the kids. Last year I did the math realized that I had to make some small changes to my investment strategies but other than that things were good. Life was comfortable.

Comfort is good right? I took another look at it and realized we were good and getting better but we weren’t giving anything back. There was no charity in my plan. So I decided at that moment that we would give $1,000,000 over the next 10 years to the university where I work, and if we were doing that we would find one or more additional charities to give another $1,000,000 to. That changed the Math! Suddenly we were behind the curve, way behind, and I knew that I had to become uncomfortable if I had any hope of hitting my goal.

Because of this little shift, this single decision I my life was becoming uncomfortable again. I added true uncertainty to my life and it feels great. I have done more work, and I have grown more, both intellectually and spiritually, in the past 11 months than in the previous 11 years. Comfort is a thing of the past and life is truly happening now.

You can see what Adam has to say about Getting out of your comfort zone and the amazing things he has accomplished  by watching the video below.


A Morning Stroll down Easy Street with Jon Jandai

Living a simple life can bring you to your happiness. Jon Jandai has found his happiness, found his happy life, found it by living a simple life on his farm in northern Thailand. He is living the 4 Hour Work Week in a way that Tim Ferris never mentioned in his book. I bet he would approve though.
     Jon’s life might not be what you are looking for, but sit back and listen to what he has to say. Much of today’s society causes us to work too hard for the wrong things at times.  Take a lesson from Jon’s message and work for the things that are truly important and you will find that you are truly happy.

Happiness, The Meaning of Life, and White Wine | A Harvard man on happiness

Tim Ferris tells us that happiness isn’t everything, “You can get happiness with a bottle of wine” he says in his book the “Four Hour Work Week” And after many bottles of testing I have to agree. 
     But seriously happiness can be had with our without wine. 
     Happiness is a decision. We get to decide whether or not we are happy. We get to decide every day. We frequently get several chances a day to decide. And although Dan Gilbert Doesn’t say it explicitly in his talk this morning, I an happy to believe he believes it.

With My Faith I Will Rule the World | Bulletproof Coffee with Yuval Noah Harari

I learned something this morning. I learned something that  I’ve known all my life. I learned that humans (Homo Sapiens) are not like other animals. Beyond that I learned that a primary difference between we homo sapiens and the rest of the animal kingdom is our ability to have faith, our ability to imagine, our ability to believe in things we have not seen. 
     I’ve learned also that it is my faith in this knowledge that allows it to be true and that it is this same ability that we have to have faith that allows us to have a global society. If you want to here more about this take a look at what Yuval Noah Harari, author of “Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind,” had to say on the topic:

the meaning of life and what makes us human with Michael Stevens

With a discussion of nuclear explosions, cheese, and talking apes Michael Stevens brings us a little closer to the meaning of life in his TED talk.
     He notes that humans are the only animals that we know for sure question things. We can train apes to communicate with sign language but no one has ever observed one to ask a question…
     We, as humans, learn to learn by questioning the people around us. As soon as we can speak as a child, we begin asking the question why and we, at times, unceasingly ask why and this makes us what we are. As we grow older we stop asking why possibly because we don’t want to show that we don’t know, possibly because we got tired of the answer: “Just because!
     It’s hard to ask good questions but we must continue to ask them and continue to grow as humans if we want to have any chance of achieving the meaning of life.
And if you are wondering why there is a picture of a computer on a treadmill at the top of this post well you can watch my video:

“Do you want your kids to get sex education or sex training?” – Scott Geller

Can you educate without training? To educate is to draw out knowledge and empower your students to learn. To train is to display knowledge and allow your students to copy it. 
     Scott Geller’s TED X talk is titled “The psychology of self motivation” and in it he talks about how to empower people to be self motivated or to feel empowered. To feel empowered 

  • you must feel that you can do the thing you need to do, 
  • you must believe the thing you need to do will work, and
  • you must believe that what you need to do is worth it.

He challenges educators to empower their students to learn.
     As someone who “works” in higher education I often here colleagues say that we are here to educate not to train that we need to concentrate on the theory not the practice yet the motto of my institution is Theory and Practice and I know that you cannot educate unless you also train. and training can take many forms but it must involve action.

  • The training allows the students feel empowered to learn; it let’s them know that they can do the things they need to do. 
  • After training you must give the students the opportunity to build confidence by repeating the action steps. A lecture without activity that follows is a waste of breath.
  • Our most important job as educators is to inspire the students to want to learn.
If your students are not inspired they will not learn but if you listen to them you will here them say things like “It’s only a hundred questions I can memorize that long enough to take the test.” So please train them and educate them.

get off your ass with Mel Robbins

Simple – not easy! This is the simple premises of Mel Robbins TED Talk this morning. For the most part we know what to do or we can find out what to do. If you want to start a nonprofit foundation and don’t know how you can get 60 million examples in under a second and you don’t even have to know how to spell it! (lmgtfy.)
     Mel tells us that it’s not the how that is hard the how is simple it’s the why.
     You just need to know what you want, and why you want it, then get off your ass and do it (I’m paraphrasing here but you get the picture.)