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How to Shift Mind – TED Talk

This image containg the photo of Ted speaker Rivett carnac wearing blue shirt
Motivational Speaker

How to shift mind and choose your future by Tom Rivett-Carnac.

Transcript of TED Talk


I never thought that I would be giving my TED Talk somewhere like this. But, like half of humanity, I’ve spent the last four weeks under lockdown due to the global pandemic created by COVID-19. I am extremely fortunate that during this time I’ve been able to come here to these woods near my home in southern England. These woods have always inspired me, and as humanity now tries to think about how we can find the inspiration to retake control of our actions so that terrible things don’t come down the road without us taking action to avert them, I thought this is a good place for us to talk. And I’d like to begin that story six years ago, when I had first joined the United Nations. 

Now, I firmly believe that the UN is of unparalleled importance in the world right now to promote collaboration and cooperation. But what they don’t tell you when you join is that this essential work is delivered mainly in the form of extremely boring meetings — extremely long, boring meetings. 


Now, you may feel that you have attended some long, boring meetings in your life, and I’m sure you have. But these UN meetings are next-level, and everyone working there approaches them with a level of calm normally only achieved by Zen masters. But for myself, I wasn’t ready for that. I joined expecting drama and tension and breakthrough. What I wasn’t ready for was a process that seemed to move at the speed of a glacier, at the speed that a glacier used to move at. 


Now, in the middle of one of these long meetings, I got a note. And it was handed to me by my friend and colleague and coauthor, Christiana Figueres. Christiana was the Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. She had overall responsibility for the UN reaching what would become the Paris Agreement. I was running political strategy for her. I took the note and looked at it. It said, “Painful. But let’s approach with love!”.

Now, I love this note for lots of reasons. I love the way the little tendrils are coming out from the word “painful”. Its really good visual depiction of how I feel at that moment. But I particularly love it because as I looked at it, I realized that it was a political instruction, and that if we were going to be successful, this was how we were going to do it. So let me explain that. 

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Written by pragya singh

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