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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Belated TedXAustin 2010

I was one of the lucky 300 selected to attend the first ever TedXAustin, and boy was I thrilled to be there.  Along with the amazing talks, the energy and the people there were firey and alive.  Everyone I met had an interesting story, interesting accomplishments, and fun personalities.  The energy at TedXAustin was exciting like a rollercoaster; any second there you would be surprised with a great speaker, story, or remarkable person in the audience.  The theme for TedXAustin was to Play Big.  Playing Big was about building a community in a playground.  Judging from all the new friends made that day, I'd say TedXAustin got it right. If you haven't seen it  by now, the cover of the Play Big program was created by the Bulter Brothers.  Kind of anyways.  It was actually created by kids.  Watch the video.  It was amazing.  

Two of my favorite talks at TedXAustin were Doug Ulman and Steven TomlinsonDoug Ulman from Livestrong speak about many things that were related to cancer; rather he spoke about things that helped people cope and beat cancer.  As oxytocin and health is one of my research areas, I couldn't agree more with Doug's message.  If we all give, we all profit.   Building a community of support, especially for those who need oxytocin the most, benefits us all.  

Steven Tomlinson reminded me of myself.  He's a man with many different passions, none of which are seemingly related.  I have different passions, and they used to be unrelated.  Hypermiling, Food, Beer, Cooking, Dogs, and, skating. They actually are becoming somewhat related now that I'm combining events involving multiple passions.  Steven's advice was to integrate all the things you enjoy, and don't worry about having a career.  Once you are good at the loose collections of hobbies, the lines dividing them will blur, and you'll do something you love.  Do something you love, do it well, and market it in a way that people will pay for it.  Also, he says to say yes to everything, which sounds eerily like me already.  As I'm nearing the very end of my graduate career in the depths of analyzing data, it was wonderfully uplifting to see what I might be able to to do just by doing what I like and trying to do it well.  Thanks, Steven for that glimpse into what it's like to have passion for many things and doing it well. 

I'll also add that Ruby Jane was incredibly talented.  She had amazing stage presence, and certainly a bright future.  She was so stunning that I kind of want to start listening to Willy Nelson.  TedXAustin was a wonderful experience.  I can't wait for the next one!

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