Before I graduated from Creighton University, I had an incredible opportunity to present at a TEDx event hosted by the University. I started thinking about the theme talk because of a comment made by an old Jesuit priest while he was leading a class on Ignatian Spirituality. He said, “Fear of the future comes from believing we will be a failure in the eyes of ourselves or others.” As soon as he said that I sat up and immediately thought, wow that’s great advice… except how do you define failure and maybe success while you’re at it? With that thought in mind, I crafted the talk looking to put forward the questions I asked myself in order to define those terms.
For a TLDR* here are the three questions I put forward:
- What is an experience that has made an impact on me and how can I live that out every day?
- When am I most happy and how can I maximize those opportunities?
- What does success mean to me?
I had about a 45 days to write and prepare for the talk. If you ever find yourself in a similar position I have some advice to share. The talk was much better because of edits made by my two brothers. I created a google document and shared a working draft of my speech with them for feedback as I was writing and practicing the talk. I also made a deliberate effort to raise my heart rate as I was practicing. My strategy for this was to run around a track and say the speech over and over as I jogged. I would also sprint and then stop and immediately say a random couple paragraphs from the talk.
All in all, it was a fantastic experience and I highly recommend that you think about what you would give a TED talk about if you could talk about anything. Perhaps one day you’ll have the chance to try out for it!
*TLDR is internet slang for Too Long Didn’t Read for those who have never had the pleasure/misfortune to browse on Reddit.