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TED talks life as good or bad

I watched this TED Talk and thought you would find it interesting.

Heather Lanier: “Good” and “bad” are incomplete stories we tell ourselves

The speaker questions the assumption about what makes life good or bad; and challenges us to apply this ancient parable to our everyday lives.

As the saying goes, there are two sides to life.

There is good and bad, left and right, up and down, front and back.

TED talks life as good or bad

Labelling life’s happennings as either good or bad, may help us have better understanding or confuse us. Either way, it creates an awareness of some sort.

For instance, getting bad grades as a student, is bad to everyone even the one with the bad grades.

But just like the farmer, it is hard to say. Because there is a chance that course is not what he or she should be studying.

I remember doing very well in mathematics, while in secondary school, my grades were always between As and Bs. And every other subjects of course.


I was admitted to study mathematics at the university (I suppose the school thought I’d make a wonderful geek based on the results I was admitted by).

To everyone’s amazement except myself of course, I did quite badly for the first two years, and eventually fell on probation.

At that point, all I could see was the bad in the situation.

For some people, they could have seen things differently than I did, siezed that moment as a spectacular time to drop out of school and go chase money.

Similarly, someone else could have considered it an opportunity to change their course of study as well as their location.

It seems though, that we may never stop telling ourselves these incomplete stories.

We have become conversant with labelling and packaging situations and happenings, perhaps because it is the only way we would understand them.

A blog I admire and follow had this to say about labelling things, generally.

None of us want to be put into a box, but the reality is, boxes are really the only way that we understand things as people.


Unlike the farmer in the story, you may not be able to see past the disappointment.

And unlike Heather who saw the abilities in her daughter rather than the disabilities, you may only see bad as bad, where it applies. No in betweens or slight glimpse of hope.

In my case, I saw bad grades, that to me was hitting rock bottom. But I’ve learnt that when you fall down, you’re a lot closer to the foundation; which makes it naturally easy to start rebuilding.

How do you handle the aftermath?

Hitting level zero is a reminder that there is another side, the opposite side to where you are now.

If something beyond your control happens, do you let yourself give in to the situation or make the best out of it.

When you hit a low point, do you take it as a moment designed for that, pick up the pieces to make a new whole or stay fallen and miss the moment of uprise?

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

It is not easy to see the good in a situation that is obviously not a good situation.

If I broke a hand today, I would probably fall into depression firstly, with a million things running through my mind, before I would remember any pick me ups to cheer myself on.

Which is okay, as long as you in fact, do pick yourself up.

As long as you push off limitations and aim to reach the top.

As long as you don’t succumb to letting yourself stay fallen.

As long as you break the surface, start rebuilding and let yourself live.

This video has remained a source of inspiration to me, and I hope it does same for all the amazing people who gets to see it.

As always, thank you for reading. You are unique.

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