5 TED Talks For Your Playlist

I’m trying to be more intentional about how I waste my time. Stick with me for a moment. While I like to spend time reading, there are too many times when I waste time trying to beat a really hard level of Cookie Jam.  I’ve decided that in those moments where I’m just wasting time I’d prefer to do something more productive. I decided to start listening to more TED Talks.

What are TED Talks?

A TED Talk is a showcase for speakers presenting great ideas. Usually, the format calls for presentations on the shorter side. Think about all of the lectures we’ve all (almost) fallen asleep listening to. The talks are thought-provoking and stimulate conversation. They can be inspirational, funny, or mind-blowing and they cover almost all topics — from science to business to global issues.

One of my favorite TED Talks even ended up in a Beyonce song: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s We Should All Be Feminists.

Here are a few of my favorite TED Talks that you may want to add to your playlist.

5 TED Talks For Your Playlist - The Palmetto Peaches -

5 TED Talks For Your Playlist


How boredom can lead to your most brilliant ideas

Description: Do you sometimes have your most creative ideas while folding laundry, washing dishes or doing nothing in particular? It’s because when your body goes on autopilot, your brain gets busy forming new neural connections that connect ideas and solve problems. Zomorodi explains the connection between spacing out and creativity.



Your Elusive Creative Genius

Description: Elizabeth Gilbert muses on the impossible things we expect from artists and geniuses — and shares the radical idea that, instead of the rare person “being” a genius, all of us “have” a genius.



Embrace the near win

Description: At her first museum job, art historian Sarah Lewis noticed something important about an artist she was studying: Not every artwork was a total masterpiece. She asks us to consider the role of the almost-failure, the near win, in our own lives.


Year of Yes (Book Review)

Year of Yes (Book Review) - The Palmetto PeachesI have a love/hate relationship with Shonda Rhimes, television titan, the genius behind Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, Private Practice and How to Get Away With Murder. I question my loyalty to a woman who would cause me to spill gallons of tears over fictional characters. And yet, when I was deciding what to put on my 2016 reading list I couldn’t resist her book: Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person.

Shonda Rhimes writes this book like she’s having a personal conversation with you. You know just a chat with a good friend – over wine – and I loved it. Year of Yes was an easy and encouraging read. I found myself literally laughing out loud. Shonda Rhimes gets real and talks about her struggles with balancing motherhood, her business and being an introvert in an industry that requires you to be social.

I was hooked from the epigraph page where I found one of my favorite Cristina Yang (Grey’s Anatomy) quotes:

If you want crappy things to stop happening to you, then stop accepting crap and demand more.

Amen, Mama Shonda. Amen.

Shonda Rhimes takes her readers on a journey of how saying yes changed her life. Through the help of her sister, she realizes that she never said yes to anything. Her no’s were holding her back and she was saying no because of fear. It’s through her stories about relationships, weight loss, and her children that she inspires her readers to find the courage to say yes and change their own lives.

One of my favorite parts of the book is her account of the Dartmouth commencement speech she gave in 2014.  Within the first few lines she says the word poop. So, yup, I’m listening. Forgive me, I’m a 26 year old child. Without giving too much away – here are some of the lessons she shared with the class of 2014.

  • Lesson One: Ditch the dream. Be a doer, not a dreamer.
  • Lesson Two: Tomorrow is going to be the worst day ever for you. (But don’t be an asshole)
  • Lesson Three: Anyone who tells you that they are doing it all perfectly is a liar.

Year of Yes (Book Review) - The Palmetto Peaches

She concludes the commencement speech with the following words:

Be brave. Be amazing. Be worthy. And every single time you get the chance? Stand up in front of people. Let them see you. Speak. Be heard. Go ahead and have the dry mouth Let your hear beat so, so fast. Watch everything move in slow motion. So what. You what? You pass out, you die, you poop? No. (And this is the really the only lesson you’ll ever need to know.) You take it in. You breathe this rare air. You feel alive. You are yourself You are truly always yourself. Thank you. Good luck!

If you’re looking for an inspirational read, I would definitely recommend this book. With each chapter, I found myself wanting to embark on my own year of yes, be my own person, dance it out and stand in the sun. Not convinced Mama Shonda has some words of wisdom to impart on you. Check out another stand out quote:

Happiness comes from living as you need to, as  you want to.

Take the challenge and find the courage to say yes. The opportunities that come from opening yourself up to new experiences could be life-changing. What are some things that you often say no to that you should consider saying yes to? Leave a comment below.

Donni Siggy--The Palmetto Peaches