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Sandra Ghitescu speaking at TEDxBucuresti

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Good evening. My name is Sandra Ghitescu, trainer and consultant in communication and human relationships What does this mean? It means I work on personal development through playing. As Alexandru said earlier, I think we have a lot to learn from children. From 0 to 5-6 years old when they're sent off to school, kids play. The volume of information a kid processes to be able to walk on two feet... Is the equivalent of going through medical school. The information they process to learn how to speak, is the equivalent of going through law school. So by playing for a couple of years, a child learns the equivalent of two tough universities. What happens after this? The kid goes to school, college, maybe a master's degree, a doctorate... Things don't seem to come so easily anymore... So what I try to do is to bring back games and play in our lives, in personal development programs. What is personal development? A way to use instruments, techniques, to live more easily to reduce stress, to be more relaxed, to have more energy. Personal development is to the head and heart, what fitness is to the body, a way to keep yourself in shape and to have more energy. As in body fitness, this personal change can happen in two ways. You can go to the gym, get a trainer who tells you what to do..lift weights, run on a rubber band with headphones in your ears. Or, you can go out in nature, jog between trees and improvise weights from potato bags... that you`ll grill afterwards and eat with your friends. All these can help you keep your body in shape.It's the same for personal development. You can read self-help books, like Dale Carnegie or "How to be more..." this and that. You can go to workshops, seminars, or.. You can play, just invent your own games to help you live with more ease. I'm a militant for balance, I think you get the best results combining a gym with jogging in nature or in personal development, when you combine information, serious ways of learning, with playing. I will give you a couple of personal examples. The first is from my professional life. I used to have a boss, maybe you know the type "deadline: yesterday" Has anyone met someone like this, or is it just myself? So I had this boss who gave me more or less impossible tasks, and he wanted them done yesterday. The first step was to get mad each time it happened and go and cigarettes and coffee breaks with my colleagues to vent and have them vent as well, and have one big venting spree: "This is sooo frustrating". Then, I would get home, totally drained, in the mood for doing nothing not going out because I was to tired after a tough day. Step two was to raid bookstores, buy books like "I have a dumb boss, what do I do?" or "The Art of Manipulation", I would go to seminars about professional relationships and so on. I would then go back to the office where I would try to reproduce lines I had learned and all sorts of theories. Guess what? It didn't work. I kept on getting frustrated, the boss kept giving the same deadlines. Until one day, when I decided my boss was the Evil King and that I was Prince Charming. When he would send me after gems from the deer's horns, I would only need to find my allies in the office, the Queen Ant, AllEatMan, AllDrinkMan [n.tr. - Romanian fairy tale characters] and all the rest of the gang to help me get the gems from the deer. What do you know, my boss didn't change a bit,but I started to enjoy myself, to get home in shape, to have more energy, to laugh when he would send me after "the bear's salad". Another personal example would be, and I don't know if this is also familiar to some of you in the audience the time when I was very unhappy with my partner, because he wouldn't want to "talk about us". I kept on trying to make things happen and, of course, it didn't work. He was obviously stressed out because he didn't understand what I wanted from him. Again, raids in bookshops, "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus" and other bestsellers. I would try to sneak a book on his nightstand, "Look honey, this guy seems so right...". Nope, didn't work either. So I told myself I should try something different, these guys with their books can't be totally off they must be at least a little bit right, that's why they wrote best selling books. I should try to combine this with some playing, let's just have fun! So instead of asking "what do you like most about me?", I asked him "If I were a fruit, what would it be?" He answered right away, a smile on his face, without hesitating, "Berries, definitely". At that moment, I realized we had found a common language. I don't have to force the man to speak my language, I can try to find a common ground and this common ground has always been games and playing. Another example of game I play regularly is a blog called "Composition Cubs". I found out that a lot of kids copy-paste their compositions from the internet because they get the same assignments we used to get and our parents used to get in school. Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter, my friend the school,my best friend - the book, my teacher's portrait etc So I collect these subjects and for each I give three fun, stimulating ideas to start writing on. "Write about Autumn on planet Mars, they don't care about red leaves, because everything is red there anyway". This is all fun and games, but what did I get from it? After about half a year of writing on this blog I noticed that each time I'm confronted with a problem, I can find three different solutions right away. So I can write "Cubs" for anything. Give me a problem, done, three different starting points, to stimulate you find different solutions. This is what the "Composition Cubs" game has brought me. Another type of play I've been practicing for more than a year is juggling. I can juggle poi, balls, flower sticks, astrojax and all sorts of other toys. Not only is it the best stress relieving exercise I know and it looks really nice, but but, even though my right hand is still dominant, my left hand is almost as "smart" as the right one. Juggling has taught me to learn everything else. For example, this is a pair of poi. I will show you a simple movement, easy to learn. Does someone think they could do this right away, without ever having tried to juggle poi? Ok! If I tell you that the most basic movement is this...do you think you could do it? Yes? Great! The next movement is this. Do you think once you can do the basic one, you could do this one? Super! This is the way I see any personal change process. You see something you want to change you identify the new model you would like to learn, you divide it in basic, simple moves, for instance removing "i have to" from my vocabulary, or only today, I will refrain from criticism 3 times. Small, simple things you practice until you control, until they become yours. Then you relax, and take it to the next level. Because I can't change people around me, I've tried and failed I can only change myself. And this change of mine can be a long, difficult process, or it can be a child's play. Thank you! [Applause]

Video Details

Duration: 9 minutes and 28 seconds
Country: Romania
Language: English
Genre: None
Producer: TEDxBucuresti, Hydra Society
Views: 1,412
Posted by: tedxvideo on Jun 21, 2009

Sandra Ghitescu – is a young trainer interested in personal development through games. Her point is to show playing can teach you things about yourself.

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