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TEDxWarsaw - Sandra Bichl - 3/05/10

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You know, four weeks ago I enthusiastically told my boyfriend: "Robert, I just got an e-mail. I am a confirmed speaker at TEDxWarsaw." His reaction: "OK, cool." I'm like: "OK." Two days later he comes back to me and says: "Sandra, I've been thinking." I'm like: "OK, that's not good." "And I have doubts about you being the right person to be a speaker at TEDxWarsaw." I'm like: "OK, how's that?" " You know, look at yourself. Compared to all the other speakers, you haven't really achieved anything, You're not successful. You're a nobody." (laughter) So... True story. No, he's there. (laughter, applause, boos) So, despite his intensive discouragement, I have decided to come anyway, and speak to you. (applause) I'm actually here today to challenge that underlying hypothesis, "2 + 2 > 4." I mean, let's be really, brutally honest. Who here, and please raise your hands, truly enjoys teamwork? Truly, and prefers that to working individually. OK. Now, those who did raise their hands, you are in one of three groups. Group number one: You are exceptionally lucky that you've found a team you can reliably work with, and that's fantastic. Group number two: You get never frustrated when people don't communicate with you, don't meet deadlines, don't get their stuff done. So congratulations for being so freaking patient. Or you're in group number three: You're simply lazy. In German, the word "TEAM" is an acronym for: "Toll, Ein Anderer Machts" meaning-- (laughter) Meaning: "Great, somebody else does the work." Seriously, I claim that two plus two is less than four, and I will tell you why. We collaborate with each other, we work with each other based on tasks and learned skills. We take a project, break it down into pieces and steps, we distribute the tasks among the team members, we set the desired outcome, and a deadline. We carry out tasks like, send e-mails, do a list, call somebody, write a report, prepare a document, draft a contract, do a PowerPoint presentation, and Excel spreadsheets, etc., etc., etc. I mean, who here gets really excited, doing those things? Anybody? We are not productive. We do not meet deadlines, we are frustrated. We are ineffective at work, at our community, and at home, because we do things we do not enjoy doing. It's like working in a factory. And we do not enjoy them, because we were not born to do those PowerPoint presentations and spreadsheets. I mean, yes, it's useful to a certain degree, but enjoyable? I doubt it. Now, in 2004, I was one of 17,000 lucky people to listen to a guy called Miguel Angel Cornejo, who told us a story I'd like to share with you. For our purposes, we will call the main character of the story, "Robert." At the age of 45, Robert dies in a car accident and goes up to heaven. On his first day, he walks around heaven, and this guy approaches him, saying: "Hi, Robert. I'm God. I've been looking through your file, and I have some questions. Do you have a moment?" Robert is like: "OK." So he sits down with God to have a coffee. And God says: "You know, could you please tell me a little bit about your life? And please start at the beginning." So Robert says: "Well, kindergarten? You know, in kindergarten I really enjoyed drawing and painting, but my teachers really didn't like it that much, because I wouldn't, you know, be within the lines, so I gave that one up. God is like: "OK, next." "In primary school, I was four years ahead of my classmates in mathematics, but all my teachers would fail me, because I didn't show them, how I did the calculations." "Oh... OK, what happened then?" "In secondary school, I still really enjoyed mathematics and IT, but anyway, my parents put me into additional grammar classes, because, you know, I'm dyslectic, and they said it's better to work on my weaknesses." And God is like: "Whoa! Your weaknesses? Sorry, I mean, I don't want to interrupt you. Go ahead, Robert. What happened then?" "Well, then I finished school and I did some projects, but my girlfriend forced me to get a proper job and..." "Whoa, whoa. Hold on." God now gets really angry, and says: "Robert, what's wrong with you? Are you saying that you have wasted all those gifts and talents I gave to you?" When I heard that story for the first time in 2004, I actually started crying. Because, I must admit I felt a little bit like Robert in that story. I felt that I really was special, that I really had those talents and gifts, and this really huge potential nobody had ever noticed. Now, my question is: has anybody ever felt that way, that you are special, unique, that you have talents locked inside you. Anybody? Okay. Again, you can be in one of three groups. Surprise! Group number one: you know your talents and you actually make a good living off them. Group number two: you know your talents, but you're afraid of telling people, or you don't know what to do with them. Or group number three: you don't know your talents yet. Summarizing, group number one: you stand out, group number two: you fit in, group number three: you're still lost. Now, the good news is, we all have talents. We all have gifts. Every single one of us in intelligent in their own way. Every one of us is bright and brilliant. You are special. You are unique. And the world needs that "you." Now, I'd like to borrow the words of Marianne Williamson: "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who you are not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There's nothing special-- there’s nothing enlightened about shrinking, so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we [are liberated] from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others." On a daily basis, we work with each other superficially, like in a factory. So, yes, two plus two is four at its best, but usually it's less. Now, don't get me wrong: two plus two can be much more than four. Once we start collaborating with, and at our core, add our talents and gifts, and our true selves. You know, as Robert put it, I might not have big successes to show, but please rest assured that the biggest success you and I will ever have is to be who we really are. Thank you (applause) Questions? (Ralph Talmont:) I have no questions. Where do I sign up? (Sandra Bichl:) I've prepared a question you can ask me. (RT:) OK, fine, fine. (laughter) (SB:) Seriously. (applause) (RT:) This is collaboration of a... (SB:) ... different kind. (RT:) Yeah, well, it's spontaneity. It's a good thing. Let me have it, go on. Can I read this writing? (SB:) Shall I help? What Ralph wants to ask me... (RT:) Yes, I have a deep feeling that I need to ask you this question. (SB:) "What do you do to be really yourself?" That's what you want to ask me. (RT:) Yeah, really. Go on, tell us. (applause) (SB:) Ralph, thank you very much for asking me this question. I am happy to answer it. I guess to be truly yourself, I will say: be naive, meaning, ignore the rest and be yourself. Thats it. (applause) Thank you.

Video Details

Duration: 10 minutes and 51 seconds
Country: Poland
Language: English
Genre: None
Producer: TEDxWarsaw
Director: TEDxWarsaw
Views: 167
Posted by: tedxwarsaw on Mar 15, 2010

Sandra Bichl was born to a Polish mother and an Austrian father and grew up in a home where learning of languages was celebrated. This prepared her for a career in recruitment, business development and training. Youd be forgiven for thinking she is older than her twenty six years seeing as following her studies in Austria she has already had a busy career in Hungary, Latin America and now Poland. She now runs her own training and consultancy company in Warsaw.

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events which bring people together to share a TED-like experience. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.*
(*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

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