You have heard of TED, because you are always on the lookout for new trends and developments in science, technology and economics, right?
If you do not know TED, you are missing out big time. It is one of the most spoken about conferences where “the world’s greatest thinkers and doers” meet every year to present their newest findings, discuss, engage and enjoy.
TED started out in 1984, and stands for “Technology, Entertainment, Design.” Participation is expensive – and chances are, even if you have the cash you won’t get a seat, because TED is sold out in advance, way in advance. But do not despair! The internet is here to save the day for you.
Almost all TED talks are available online, making ted.com one of the most inspiring and interesting resource for brain food I know of these days. You can search by attributes “inspiring, funny, jaw-dropping…”, topics, speaker – and trust me, almost all of those talks are more than worth the 5-20 minutes you will spend watching them. Seriously. So take the time and dive in. You will laugh. You will be excited. You will be surprised.
Here are some of my favourite talks – your mileage may vary of course:
- Clifford Stoll – 18 minutes with an agile mind
- Malcolm Gladwell – what we can learn from spaghetti sauce
- Lawrence Lessig – how creativity is strangled by the law
- Rives – select from three videos on the site, and once you are hooked, his website has some more media to indulge
- Ben Saunders – three things to know before you ski to the north pole
- Will Wright - toys that make worlds
- Aubrey de Grey – why we age and how we can avoid it
- Richard St. John – 8 secrets of success
- Hans Rosling – the best stats you’ve ever seen (well, at least as non-consultant, as the Consultant Ninja points out)
And you will find John Doerr, Bill Clinton, Philippe Starck, Richard Branson, Larry Page, Stephen Hawking, Norman Foster, Jane Goodall… it just goes on and on. (To be honest, it took me two days to complete this post because whenever I was looking through the list of talks for the one I really liked, I discovered new ones that I just had to at least skim through)
To round things off, this year’s sponsor Autodesk has had visual artists work out pictures mirroring the contents of the various speeches, which you can download in one big (over 50MB) PDF from their site. They call it “TEDBIGVIZ”. This way of visualization is really powerful. You can grasp the concepts and ideas of the talks without having heard/seen the talk, but of course it is even better when you use this to recap contents already familiar to you.
So, instead of getting dull TV, I recommend you feed your brain with some quality stuff.
Of course, if there are other resources (preferably free) for inspiration and insight, please share them in the comments!
Today’s “staying alive” is about liberating yourself from the gym. Why, you ask?
Needing a gym for your workout gives you too many excuses for not working out at all.
I mean, let’s face it. We all prefer to stay at really fancy hotels with great gyms (why not a full spa!), and of course also prefer heading to that fancy hotel while still awake and that gym is still open. But reality often speaks a different language. The hotel might be nice, but it has no gym, or one that would rather not enter. Or it is full of sweaty old men… and even if there is a gym, chances are that it is closed once you return from the client site.
Introducing: The gym-liberation-set.
First. The mindset.
It starts in your head first. Don’t worry, in a minute I’ll tell you what you can do in terms of exercise and what equipment you might like to take with you – but we gotta take care of the attitude first. So let me make this clear. Sports-is-not-an-option. It is a necessity. Without regular exercise, you will end up out of shape (fat?), you will lose well needed energy, you will feel bad and you will look bad. It just comes with the demands of the job: At the desk all day, high stress level and a bad mix of fast food (before milestones) and very good food (after reaching milestones).
Don’t make sports optional. Build it into your week. Twice, at least. Half an hour, at least. Good boy.
You don’t need a personal fitness trainer to get good info on workouts that you can do with minimal or no equipment – the internet gives you an abundance of places to look:
- Hotel room workout tips from Work&Travel Magazine
- Hotel room workout from Times Online
- On the road? Don’t skip workout from CNN health
- A plan for the road from BodyBuilding.com
- The already mentioned hotel room workout video from cbathletics
I said this was about liberating yourself from the gym, and now I talk about equipment? Right. You do not need anything except your own body (and willpower) for most of the exercises described here. But to expand your possibilities, you might want to take some things on your shopping list.
- Running shoes.
Of course, your sneakers take you around the corner well, but if you pick up the good habit and get running (especially good when you get on a project on the countryside!), treat yourself for some good running shoes. Go to a specialized store. Don’t look at brands or design, it is about function only in that case.
- The Reebok Travel Gym.
No, this is no product placement. I just happen to have gotten that as a birthday present from my loved one last Monday. It contains wrist weights, a skipping rope, a resistance band and a pair of hand grips – all in a little case that fits easily in your luggage. Can be obtained at various places, for example at Amazon - and I think it is great. With the pack you get a little leaflet that gives you many exercise options, which perfectly complement and/or enhance the exercises you can do in your hotel room without any equipment already.
There you have it. Now go, do something for yourself!
And once you tried out your new habit – come back here and share your experiences in the comments!Read More