It seems so counter culture to make a New Year's Resolution like wanting to expand. In our Super-Size Me world of no trans-fats, sugar-free, fat-free culture, we're constantly looking for ways to trim down. But I'm not talking about your love handles or how your butt looks. I'm asking you to make one New Year's Resolution that is not only easy to keep, but it's fun and will make you smarter.
Expand your mind, open yourself up to new ways of thinking and all of the possibilities that will come along for the ride.
I came to this New Year's Resolution last night. Austin Hill, Blogger at Billions With Zero Knowledge and the person behind the very noble Gifter.org project (I promise to Blog about Gifter.org soon), invited some friends over to his home last night to watch speakers from past TED conferences on DVD.
Here's how Wikipedia describes the very exclusive (and always sold-out) conference:
"TED (short for Technology Entertainment Design) is an annual conference in Monterey, California that describes itself as a global community of remarkable people and remarkable ideas, which is debated by those who see it as a self-congratulatory meeting of wealthy attendees. Its content is extremely broad, including science, art, business, global issues, architecture, music, and comedy. Speakers are from a variety of communities. Speakers have included Jane Goodall, Freeman Dyson, Bill Gates, Billy Graham, Bono, Sergey Brin, Larry Page, Richard Dawkins, and Steve Pinker. TED also has a companion conference, TED Global, whose location changes, but which was last held in Oxford, England and will next be held in Arusha, Tanzania. Ted Global speakers have included Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales."
I have not had the pleasure of being invited, but Austin has gone, and he has the full DVD-sets of all of the speakers to prove it. Last night, as we watched people like Sir Ken Robinson, Rives, Gregory Colbert, Rick Warren (author of The Purpose Driven Life) and Dan Dennett, I started thinking more about the skills needed to be successful in marketing and communications. I began listening to what these people have uncovered in terms of art, creativity, science and the mind and I was able to link it directly back to my every day life.
As I get more platforms to talk about marketing and communications and share the stage with others, I'm constantly overwhelmed by how much knowledge there is out there. From books to Blogs and from speakers to Podcasts - how will I ever find the time to ingest it all? I won't. But, as along as I stick to my new New Year's Resolution of "expand," I'll be just fine.
Last night, while watching these brilliant people share their insights on the screen and then having the chance to talk about it with people like Austin, made me realize that as long as I am open to "expand," I'll keep growing... even if I don't get to read every page of every book or listen to every Podcast I download.
You can check out a lot of what happens at TED too. They are now posting videos of some of the speakers over here: TED Talks.
If any of this moves you, I also encourage you to check out Austin Hill's new project: Gifter.org.