We are looking forward to seeing you at TEDActive and are thrilled to confirm your acceptance to present at our Palm Springs TEDYou Living Desert Stage.
I wanted to communicate a few things to you about your TEDYou session and what to expect prior to your arrival.
Your TEDYou session will be at the Living Desert Stage at the Living Desert Amphitheatre and take place on MONDAY FEBRUARY 28 from 3:30pm – 5:00pm. We have allotted 9 minutes for your talk. You may not exceed the time allotted.
Firstly: There will be no formal rehearsal for this session as most presentations have minimal or no video requirements. If your presentation has onscreen visuals, please indicate this on the attached AV requirement form.
Secondly: There is a mandatory call time of 3:00 pm for all TEDYou speakers on Monday afternoon at the Living Desert Amphitheater. We will give you the order in which you will present on Monday afternoon, and walk you through the running order of the afternoon.
Finally: I have attached an AV requirements form and a speaker release form. Please be sure to indicate if your presentation is Keynote/ Mac or Power Point/PC, or if it includes video. If your presentation has no AV requirements, please still fill out the relevant information on the form. Please complete and return to me by scanned email, no later than Friday January 28, 2011.
I will be your main point of contact for any technical requirements, running order, and show logistics. Nick Weinberg will be in touch with you soon to schedule a time to chat about your presentation with Kelly. If you have any questions regarding your presentation content, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I look forward to meeting you in Palm Springs. It is going to be an amazing event. We are excited you have chosen to be a part of it.
Katie Schaeffers | Manager, TEDActive
TED Conferences LLC
#206 Ė 930 West 1st Street
North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada V7P 3N4
I would speak, even when I’m not spoken too: I have had various bugs in the past. Once upon a Time it was the Toastmasters and Public Speaking bug. I would use every possible opportunity to speak in public. Toastmasters was a great platform for that. And when I joined Toastmasters, I was infected. I got the Toastmasters-bug. The spirit of the Dubai Toastmasters club was simply outstanding. You couldn’t come out of a meeting feeling excited and all-charged up. Man, I get a high just thinking about it.
But like all bugs, it comes and it goes. After several years of being an active Toastmaster, the magic wasn’t there for me anymore. The meetings were just as good. But something in me changed and I felt that I had to give my time elsewhere.
In the long run
i had been a chubby kid all my life. My trousers just kept getting wider and wider. I hated exercise. I would wonder why would anyone want to put themselves through hours pain and exertion. Yet I loved the image of being lean-mean exercise nut. Finally when I outgrew every possible trouser that I had with me when studying in London. While travelling on a London Tube, I came across this easy-peasy schedule that Nike printed. It said that just follow the schedule and I’ll be able to run 10 Kms by the end of three months. Wow. Me chubby, tubby Arif would be able to run 10 Kms at the end of three months. And all i needed to do was exercise like 3 times a week. I mean like, hey, why not, worth a shot. I hit the pavement the next morning and since then I’ve not looked back. I have run 100′s of Kms. I had got the running bug and it was AWESOME! I registered for races, and completed them. I paid huge bucks (while on my measly articleship salary), and subscribed to Running magazines all the way from UK and US. Would peer through every page statistic. I have run Bangalore roads in the dead of the night, and Dubai’s streets in the afternoon in the peak of summer. I ran so much that I injured my knee. Yet I continued running.
The bug is not as infected as it used to be. I am not consumed by the thought of running. And it’s several years since my subscription to international magazines have expired. Yet the hangover continues. Even today I do an approximate run of 5Kms almost every day. Whenever I travel, I always travel with my running shoes. Here’s a travel-tip, the best way to experience a city, is on runner’s foot at 6:00 Am in the morning when the city is waking up.
The GTD bug
This bug my blog-readers would be familiar with. I was obsessed with GTD. Every moment I was online, would read up about it. In my car I would hear all possible lectures and podcasts on it. And every possible chance I would get I would speak to others about it. I did not even spare the Maulana who accompanied us on Hajj. Even him I tried to convert him into a GTD enthusiast. I was not successful with the maulana, but to some extent I influenced my father, my brother and several of our staff at Vakil Housing. They didn’t much of a choice as I would stand behind them at their work desks and would be spewing the various processes of GTD, pushing them to implement it.
Other Misc bugs:
There was the blogging bug and the Spirituality/Sufi bug, each of which had taken my fancy for a significant time and then moved on.
and now it’s the Sketch Notes bug
We all take notes. We’ve done so from school. My note taking evolved from plain linear notes like this, to mindmaps like this. Yet I was always fascinated by sketch notes. Notes that involve both text and pictures. They look so cool, one wants to revisit them and most of all it’s so much fun just creating such notes. Each note is a work of art. I never knew how to take down such sketch-notes. Till I came across the following online seminars:
That was it. I had that all familiar feeling again. My heart began racing, I was getting feverish, it was like falling in love. Yup, I was catching yet another bug. Now every possible meeting that’s what I do, I sketch-note and it feels awesome. And here are some recent sketch notes that I have taken.
The Moral of the Story is
You know when you’ve got the bug. It’s when every possible moment, that’s what you want to do. The good news is, a bug is a healthy thing. A very VERY healthy thing. It should be encouraged, nurtured, so that it blooms into a Virus, maybe even an epidemic, so that it has the maximum number of people infected.
Whenever I have caught the bug, I have emerged as a stronger, faster or simply a better me. And sure after a while the bug passes on, yet the after-effects linger infact they stick with you for a lifetime. Pay attention when something catches your interest which is beyond a mere fancy. Infact each time you have a bug, it’s a gift from the gods. Go all out. The energy that is generated with a bug, is beyond human strength. It comes from a realm that is beyond our five senses. It permeates into our world and it’s the chosen few that it reaches. Make the most of it. Cause it’ll last only for a short while. Invest every possible resource you have to make the best of that bug. It doesn’t have to be a hobby like the one I listed above. It can be a bug for family, entrepreneurship, and believe it or not, even your job. Thank the gods, load your weapon and go out your guns blazing.
Yesterday Maryam took her first few independent steps. She’s been holding furniture and toddling along for a while. But yesterday was the first time that she picked herself up from the floor, waddled the length of our drawing room and then crashing with a soft thud on her bottom. It seemed so miraculous to me. Oh my God! She’s walking, she’s walking. Look look everybody, she’s walking. Jeez, I was acting as if she was defying gravity and flying. I have seen kids and adults walk all my life, but never it evoked any emotion from me what so ever. And now every little thing that Maryam does drives me into a mild frenzy. How strange is this relationship between parents and children.
The most adorable thing that she does these days is the way she mimics the world around her.
Before dinner, we put our hand together to say short prayer (like so), it’s so cute to see her do the same. Ofcourse all her antics are not all to be encouraged. Just the other day, she was crawling on a dust part of the floor, she promptly sits up, pats the ground to gather some dust in her tiny palms and then proceeds to dab her face with the dust as if to apply powder on herself.
The imitation that has had me most confused on how to react was just a few nights ago. There she was beside me, rollicking all over the bed, refusing to sleep. I go on, become a tough daddy and decide to scold her for the very first time. She probably doesn’t understand what I speak, so I guess I don’t need to actually tell her, that, “Maryam go to sleep, see how late it is etc. etc.”. I figured I can speak gibbersh while acting sternly and she’d simply follow my instructions. So, I raise my index finger, screw my face to give an angry look, point at her and then the bed repeated while saying, “Och, koch, koch, koch.” She’s on all fours while I was mock-scolding her. She looks up at me blankly, blinks and then without a moment’s hesitation, raiser her right hand, her index finger comes out like a loaded weapon, and explodes with the very same gibberesh that I was telling her, “Och, koch, koch, koch, koch.” She continues to wag her finger at me while sputtering out gibberesh for the next 15 minutes! Oh my Gosh, I just didn’t know how to react. A part of me, wanted to burst out laughing, another bit of me wanted to hold, squeeze, hug and kiss her and a part of me just wanted to just keep staring in fascination and wonderment, which is what I did. Ofcourse none of these moments are captured on film. Just my mind’s eye. Which is so dodgy that I’ll forgot these precious memories in a matter of few weeks. She’s growing up so fast. Oh, I so wish I had Harry Potter’s pensieve, where I could download these memories and preserve them forever.
Other than blogs and podcasts that I read/listen, there are quite a few enewsletters that I am subscribed to. Most are free, some are not. Below are the ones that I get most value out of and have survived my ruthless email filters and unsubscribing-trigger-friendly finger.
McKinsey Quarterly Top Ten Newsletter
The McKinsey quarterly emails me the best/most popular articles of McKinsey consulting for the past quarter. Itís something that Iíve subscribed to just so that Iím some what in touch with the best practices in the Corporate Circle. I have not got tremendous value from it yet. But since the newsletters are just once a quarter, itís not that much clutter that I need to unsubscribe to it.
Iíve found more handy information from Verne Harnishís weekly newsletters. Theyíre shorter, punchy and let me know of what are the cool useful things that Corporates around the world are up to and if thereís anything that I can implement at Vakil Housing immediately.
Some people are born with the Metaphor gene. The can put their point across to you in mere moments by explaining you what they mean with the most appropriate Metaphor or Similie. Itís a skill I have long envied. Anne Miller has written this brilliant book called Metaphorically Selling where she explains a methodology on how to come up with a Metaphor on the fly. I have read it and highly recommend it. In her monthly newsletters, Anne gives really good examples of metaphors that you can use and prods you to keep your eye open for them. This newsletter is probably one of my favourites and can be subscribed to here.
Itís the Comics and the TV pages that enticed me as a schoolboy to begin reading newspapers. Unfortuantely the comics I enjoy do not always appear in the newspapers I read today. I have recently renewed my subscribtion to Ucomics, by paying $11.95 for the year. Now Everyday I get emailed to me the latest Calvin & Hobbes’s imaginative world, or Jasonís latest tiffs with Paige in FoxTrot or Diane make obvious the nonsense of the political world in Non-Sequitur.
GTD Connect is premium membership service where one can get access to a whole range of Audio, Video, Text material to help enhance your personal GTD process. Click here to learn more about GTD. Being such a busy bee that I am, I donít get much time to hand around the GTD Forums to see what conversations are taking place or whatís the latest Audio/Video material on GTD thatís out there. However, being a member of GTD Connect, I get an email of whatís the latest out there in the GTD World. If you are serious about implementing GTD, I highly recommend becoming a member of Connect, even if itís just for a month or two. Give it a try, sample the Audio material that they have in store, specially the Tele-seminars by David Allen. Itís been worth my investment.
Productivity Principles Newsletter
For those who are not ready to be members of GTD Connect, but still want to gain traction on your practice of GTD, you may subscribe to the newsletter of David Allen himself called Productivity Principles, where he writes tips and reminders for all to stay strong in the GTD Wagon.
Emails by Vital Smarts
Crucial Conversations and Crucial Confrontations are two brilliant books by the Vital Smarts team. Infact I’d say they almost the next best thing after GTD (and you all know how much I love GTD). One of my personal challenges in life is to be able to hold a Crucial Conversation and/or Confrontation with skill so that both parties come out as winners. Whatís a Crucial Conversation? Well, common examples are possibly when there’s something you need to tell your collegue but he’s highly sensative about it, or you have a difference of opinion on an important business issue, or possibly even dealing with a customer complaint. etc.
In all the above conversations the common elements are that:
- Both parties have conflicting opinions/interest
- Emotions run high
- Stakes are high.
Observe yourself itís when these three elements are in place that you get a crucial conversation. When faced with a Crucial Conversation, there is a roadmap on how to get from tongue-tied, raging emotions scenario to a cool, slick, dialogue smart situation. The Roadmap is long, and thatís the topic for another blog post, however, to get started you may subscribe to the newsletter by Vital Smarts Team. In each edition they address they demonstrate how one can talk one’s way through seemingly impossible highly sensitive topics. Examples of Crucial Conversations addressed in their newsletters are:
- Conversation with an employee over mediocre Performance
- Conversation of a Parent with her daughter on being overweight
- Conversation with a sibling on a difference of opinion on a certain matter in their family business
You can access the above and further past newsletters in their archive here.
Learn Out Loud free resource of the day email
Itís been a really long time that I was meaning to blog on the excellent material that Learn Out Loud has. Do browse this website. There is amazing education I have got from many of their Audio programs. In addition to those, you may also subscribe to their daily newsletter where they are continuously scanning the web to find inspirational/motivational/educational audio/video content.
BBC Breaking news alert and Documentaries:
BBC, is the best International news site there is. Period. They hit you with just facts, no exaggeration, as less biased as they can be, and provide you with sufficient analysis and history so that you can make your own opinion. To stay upto date on the latest breaking headlines round the world, Iíve found the BBC Breaking news alert really handy.
Furthermore BBCís documentaries are also the most insightful in the world. To stay abreast of the documentaries coming up on BBC World in the coming fortnight Iíve subscrived to their BBC World New enewsletter here
Quotes by Dr. Mardy
Iíve recently subscribed to this quotation service, by Dr. Mardy. Iím generally quite conscioius of the number of emails I receive and if a newsletter Iím subscribed to doesnít really add value to the subjects/topics Iím interested in, Iím quick to unsubscribe to it. The weekly quotes that I receive from Dr. Mardy have held my attention for the last couple of weeks. I admit I donít read every single email I receive from Dr. Mardy. The days I have my inbox flooded, I am quick to delete the email without giving it a second glance. But the days that I have the time, Iím glad I have I subscribed to Dr. Mardyís service. Here is an excerpt from his weekly email for the week ending 2 May 2009:
“I want to be thoroughly used up when I die,
for the harder I work the more I live.
I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no ‘brief candle’ to me.
It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment;
and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible
before handing it on to future generations.”
George Bernard Shaw, in a 1907 lecture
“I would rather be ashes than dust!
I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze
than it should be stifled by dry-rot.
I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow,
than a sleepy and permanent planet.
The proper function of man is to live, not to exist.
I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them.
I shall use my time.”
Jack London, a remark made to friends in 1916
As soon as my Sunshine gave me the “good news“, I began scouring all over the net for books, websites on pregnancy, babies etc, till I came across Baby Center. Baby Center provides this terrific service with their weekly updates, that let you know just the information that we needed throughout the pregnancy. Which was emailed to us just in time. It really saved me immense amount of time in researching the same online or in books. Furthermore the service continues till date guiding fledgling parents on the little nuances in bringing up children. I highly recommend parents and parents to be to subscribe to this service. The best part is that this service is also personalised for India, so get tips specific to the Indian context.
Top 5 ads from Adforum.com
Advertising. An old crush of mine. I used to be a subscribed member of Adcritic and keenly track the latest TV spots being released all over the world. Now I quench myself with the Top 5 Adforum weekly email that email me the most popular 5 TV ads over the week.
*Phew* that’s one hell of a long list.
I had no idea I was subscribed to so many enewsletters till I began compiling them. Any of the above enewsletters that you are glad you got to know about? Is there something else that you are subscribed to which you think I and other fellow blog readers would enjoy and look forward to. Do leave a note in the comments if so. Happy reading.
Maryam turned four months old on 30 April 2009. By the time you would be reading this it would have been close to 30 May and she would have been 5. I overheard my dad mentioning once to someone on the phone, that, watching your kids growing up, makes you realise how old you yourself are becoming.
FoxTrot (c) 1998 Bill Amend. Used by permission of Universal Press Syndicate. All rights reserved.
Unfortunately Maryamís sleep schedule and my work schedule arenít really synchronised yet. What I mean is that sheís fast asleep when I leave home and by the time I return sheís well into her nightly slumber. But because I see her so less during the week, makes my time with her on the weekend that much more special. Oh, I could here her gurgling and cooing all day long. The simplest of things fascinate her. Itís just the fan rotating on the ceiling, but she will stare and stare at it in amazement. The creaking of a door, the tinkle of a bell, the faintest and most of ordinary of sounds is enough to distract her. What a wonder it is to see from childís eye and hear with babyís ears. For some reason Iím not able to get her to smile very easily. Therefore most of her pics that I have of hers, has a sad, blank look. My Mum gets her to smile real quickly and easily. Itís probably one of those things that you have to be a mum to know how to do.
When Iím with her, a part of me would like her to grow up instantly. So I could take her to walks in parks. Read to her my favourite books (which I actually do anyway), re-watch my favourite Disney cartoons, play family board games together. Another part of me wants her to stay a 4 month old toddler forever, so that we can just hug and cuddle, so that I can hear her coo and gurgle, is there any greater joy in this world?
The following passage from Hadith-e-Muffadal by Imam Jaffer-e-Sadiq, comes to mind
If the infant had been born mature intellect with an understanding of his functions, there would have been few occasions for the sweetness felt in the nature of the offspring, and the exigency, under which the parents find a full time pre-occupation with the affairs of the young ones, would not have arisen. Love and affection, felt for ordinary children, following the inconvenience undergone for their sake, would not subsist between the parents and their offspring. Because of their mature intellect, the children would not have needed parental care. A separation would have taken place just after birth of the infant from its parents. Even a mother or a sister would have been strangers to him and as such within wedlock limits. Don’t you see that everything big or small has been created on a flawless plan without fault or error?