TED Tuesday: Get More Sleep

Ladies, what do you think about joining me in my mission to sleep my way to the top?

And by sleeping I really do mean getting the best night’s rest possible, no strings attached.

I love this TED Talk because it glorifies one of the most wonderful things Dan and I cherish on weeknights and weekends -some quality Zz’s.

Through college, I lived off of short naps and craved those long weekends where I could shut down my brain and re-group on my sleep. I wasn’t losing sleep because I was out having a great time, I was losing sleep because my day was full of classes and practice and my part-time job.

At that point in my life I didn’t have any other time to cram in my homework other than in the ugly hours of the night. I’d force myself to stay awake by doing laundry at 1am, brewing coffee, setting an alarm for every 40 minutes, just in case I accidentally fell asleep while cramming for my next big exam. I’d hunt out the best late night coffee shops and would even become a regular at these places, occasionally scoring a cute guy’s phone number out of the deal who was the same kind of ‘crazy’ that I was.

Because I was still successful and “able to function” with this snooze schedule, I fooled myself into believing that little sleep made me highly productive. It was a poor illusion that I had where I truly believed that those who slept in on weekends, didn’t take 8am classes and didn’t have bags under their eyes were fools for all the hours they were missing out on.

No Sleep Til’ Brooklyn was my jam.

As I’ve grown older I understand and appreciate the beauty and benefit from a wonderful night’s rest. My skin looks better, my eyes are brighter, I’m enthusiastic, I’m driven and all the way around I’m an easier person to communicate with. As a Type A woman driven to make a difference in my world, sleep deprivation is my very worst enemy and Dan’s done a great job of getting me into that routine. We are in bed by 9pm most nights and still get 7-8 hours, depending on whether we decide to run or rest in the morning.

More sleep, less caffeine, better decisions and healthier outlook. It’s easy.

So thanks for the great reminder, Arianna. We could all use a better night’s rest and an opportunity to shut down our engines.

TED Talks: Ideas Worth Spreading

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TED Tuesday: Ask for Thanks

My favorite day is here, TED Talk Tuesday!

First Question: How often do you say “Thank You“?

You say it genuinely and with purpose, don’t you? You say it when people provide you a service, you say it when you receive a gift you love or don’t even like. You say it to your co-workers for giving you a hand and you probably even say thank you when your boss or someone in power gives you more work, just like I do.

You say it when your spouse or significant other does the laundry, and not only does the laundry but folds/steams your clothes and lays them neatly on the bed. (Thank you, Dan). 

Better Question: How often do you ask someone to say “Thank You” for something you’ve done?

….no, me either. And why don’t we?

I believe I’m worthy of a “thank you” for working 12 hours non-stop yesterday. My soul would benefit from a “thank you” for being a cheerleader, a motivator, a hard-worker, an innovator, a risk-taker, a leader, a voice, a heart, a scratching post – so why don’t I ask for it?

It’s not my nature to reveal myself to people and give them a view of what I need emotionally. In the video below, Laura Trice nails it on the head when she says that the reason we find it scary to ask for thanks is because someone could neglect us, they could abuse the information, or they could actually meet our need and change the way we feel. terrifying.

Ask for thanks when you do chores, ask for thanks when you go the extra mile, and make sure that you’re asking your loved ones what they need thanks for. It matters.

In today’s short and sweet TED talk, Laura takes three minutes of your time and asks you to “true your wheels” and be honest about the praise you need to hear. I recommend watching more than once.

Thank you, readers – your support means the world to me!

TED Talks: Ideas Worth Spreading

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TED Tuesday: Power Posing

Stop for a moment and look at yourself. How are you sitting, standing, walking right now? Is your back straight, is your head up? Are you folded up and looking down?

No matter what you’re doing right this moment, what you’re doing at any given moment is telling a complete story about who you are, what mood you’re in and how your day, week or life is going. Your body language communicates more non-verbally than anything would ever express coming out of your mouth. Perception is more often reality, which unfortunately is something you do not always control.

Your non-verbals (including your hand placement, arm position, the way your feet are pointed, whether you’re taking up space or making yourself small) speak an honest story about you and your confidence, personality, and the way you’re going to handle a conversation. It can impact everything from making a connection, landing a job interview or simply the way strangers may approach you.

Our non-verbals govern the way others view and perceive us, but what we explore today is whether we may be able to fool ourselves through body language to make ourselves look and feel more powerful?

Amy Cuddy in the TED Talk I’ve shared today recommends that we should be taking time out of our day to assume ‘high-power poses’ to teach our bodies to change our minds. Take two minutes out of your day as sort of a ‘power boost’ to open your arms out wide like a gorilla, spread those wings like an eagle, heck – even flaunt your gills like our Betta fish! It’s a primal instinct to assume a large and dominating stance when we want to project power and confidence, so why don’t we find it useful more often in our everyday lives?

It’s okay to feel powerful. Powerful people feel more optimistic, they take more risks, they react better to stressful situations and they give others a reason to have confidence in them as a leader.

Take 20 minutes on your lunch break (or just listen) and learn how you too can benefit from power posing.

Don’t fake it till you make it, fake it till you become it.

TED Talks: Ideas worth spreading

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TED Tuesday: Take a Walk

Before you get settled and comfortable, I’d like to ask you to grab your mobile device and go for a walk while reading this post today. If you’re unable to read it while taking a walk, at least stand up or get moving. You don’t want to be sitting down for the next five minutes and I promise the video is short!

Today’s journey through TED wonderland tells us that the average American sits more hours a day than they sleep, and combined sitting and sleeping make up more than 2/3 of your day. I’m an avid believer in standing at my desk throughout the workday and only sitting for moments of deep concentration or when I previously would eat lunch at my desk. Not anymore, friends!

This weekend through all of the airport travel, it amazed me to see how many people sat at their departure gates waiting to get on their flights. Did they not realize that they would be sitting without a personal bubble for a few hours in the air, that they’d have no access to fresh air for duration of the flight, that this was their opportunity to stretch their legs, that sitting is killing them? Dan and I both had the itch to move around and get some airport antics underway as evidenced by our back to back photo shares all night Sunday.

I think you’ll like Nilofer’s brevity and clear call to action in today’s TED Talk.

She shares her secret and invites the rest of us to begin asking people on ‘walking meetings’ rather than the traditional meeting over coffee, drinks, lunch or in a stale fluorescent-lit conference room.

Fresh air leads to fresh ideas and a different setting can open the door to out of the box thinking. Ultimately, it can lead to better health for you, your colleagues and future generations.

TED Talks: Ideas worth spreading

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TED Tuesday: The Power of Grit

Welcome back to the work week! I hope everyone’s weekend was relaxing and re-energizing.

The topic of today’s TED Talk is Grit. What is it?

Grit is “passion and perseverance”. Grit is continually setting goals for yourself, being self motivated, having stamina through long term goals and sticking to your future.

Talent doesn’t make you gritty, wealth doesn’t make you gritty, education doesn’t make you gritty.

What does?

Hard work, courage, confidence and trust in yourself.

I’m fortunate to have parents who instilled the idea of grit into my mind at a young age. They were entrepreneurs who worked harder than anyone I know to make a future for our family. That mindset has guided me through life and has yet to fail me.

In school I wasn’t always the most intelligent of my class but worked hard to get exceptional grades. In my final four years of softball I was challenged mentally more than I’ve ever been in my life and came out of it with a hard shell and a resilience that can’t be taught. In my current job I wasn’t ready for the pressure that would come my way, but through focus, stamina and my can’t-fail attitude I’m happier than ever.

The man I have fallen in love with has grit. When he was diagnosed with Cancer in 2008 after he’d moved to Portland he found the strength within himself to not give up, to see himself through his treatments and to continue his life as if nothing had happened. I’m proud of him and it proves his ability to face any future adversity that may come our way.

Enough about me, observe the confidence of Angela Lee Duckworth in today’s TED talk. She’s captivating, motivating and hopefully she can encourage you to find the grit somewhere deep within yourself. 

TED Talks: Ideas worth spreading

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TED Tuesday: 30 is Not the New 20

Twenties – the “developmental sweet spot”.

Turning 25.5 last week + Brooke’s link to a great TED Talk = Hello Jessi, you’re growing up.

In today’s TED Talk share, clinical psychologist Meg Jay draws from the memories and cases of her patients who were shuffling through their twenties without aim, because they didn’t feel like they had to. It’s become a social norm to extend our youth through our twenties, travel while we’re young, accept not having a ‘real job’ yet and dating to just ‘experiment’ while waiting to find the one.

There are a cited 50 million other 20-somethings living in the United States (hey bloggers!) who are going along this ride at the same time as me, at the same time as you or learning all of the same things you yourself learned when you were in your twenties if you’re already out of them. My twenties so far for me have been where I’ve established myself as a contributing member of society, where my career has blossomed, where my personality has changed, where my priorities are set toward building my future, where I’d rather have a handful of quality friendships than pages of Facebook friends.

I love who I’ve become in the first half, and can’t wait to fulfill the vision of myself I’ve always had.

Growing up when I daydreamed about the woman I would become, the perfect version of myself was a tall, confident beauty in her late twenties. She had her life figured out, she was happily in love and was paving a career path that would set her up for her professional prowess. She spoke with confidence, walked with grace and aimed to never hurt another’s feelings. And I still like the sound of that.

Watch this video and make your own pledge to claim your 20’s, or 30’s, 40’s, 50’s – just claim you!

TED Talks: Ideas worth spreading

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The Happiness Advantage

Let’s slow it down, shall we?

I have a desire to get more intellectual, so that means you’re going to be taken on the ride with me whether you’d like to or not. Lately I’ve only been feeding my brain with business details, spreadsheets and the occasional leisure-read of my favorite blogs – but there’s a need for new thoughts to expand my brain and get my creative centers firing.

Today I’m sharing a TED Talk (love ’em) that was published 15 months ago but was recently brought to my attention. Shawn Achor, researcher and teacher of positive psychology, walks us through the first time positive psychology crept into his youthful mind and in the twelve minutes of footage had me convinced that my brain is capable of showing me any world I want to see.

In his humorous presentation, he inspires me to challenge myself to reverse the formula I’ve always used for happiness and success.

For many of us, our picture of success is measured as the following:

If you work harder, you’ll be more successful | If you’re more successful, you’ll be happy

I don’t know if it’s the same for you, but when I work harder and am successful – I just keep placing the bar higher and higher. While I may experience short-term elation and pride, I’m never fully being satisfied with my accomplishments nor experiencing the “happiness” I’d expected in all the hard work placed into my goals.

Shawn challenges us to re-write the formula for ourselves by training our brain (as we train our bodies) to seek out the happiness and optimism in the world. He cites that your external world does not predict your happiness – but rather the way your brain processes the world around you can create happiness and boost productivity, creativity, understanding, clarity and attitude.

Afterall, perception is reality.

If you do anything today, please click ‘play’ below and engage in an inspirational conversation with your subconscious:

The Happiness Advantage is also a book you can find on Amazon – I’ll be downloading it for my Kindle on iPad soon!

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