We humans

So many introverts, and other insights of the week

Jul 13, 2014

Each week, we collect tantalizing ideas in response to TED Talks. This week brought us the results of a TED community poll inspired by Susan Cain (TED Talk: The power of introverts), a TED speaker’s insight regarding Nikolai Begg (TED Talk: A tool to fix one of the most dangerous moments in surgery), and a TED guest blogger’s account of a mid-career sabbatical motivated by Stefan Sagmeister (TED Talk: The power of time off).

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More than 1,000 readers responded to a TED poll inspired by Susan Cain’s talk on the power of introverts:

“More than 1,174 of you answered our first question, which asked how closely you identified with Cain’s definition of introverts as those who “feel at their most alive and most capable when they’re in quieter, low-key environments.” 47.2% of you said that the description fit you perfectly, while 40.8% said that it described you somewhat. Only a slim 12% of you didn’t see yourselves in this description at all.” Read more poll results here.

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Winston Chen wrote about how Stefan Sagmeister’s talk on the power of time off inspired him to take a mid-career sabbatical and spend a year on a remote island with his family. Here’s an excerpt:

“I think that people hesitate to make bold moves like the one my family did not because it’s hard to leave: leaving is actually the easy part. I think it’s the fear of what happens after re-entry that keeps even the most adventurous families from straying far from home. When we headed home after a year, we had no jobs and no medical insurance waiting for us. And we were immediately up against mortgage and car payments, plus all the costs of living in an expensive city.

But strangely, we felt truly at ease on our first evening back in the States as we sat on an outdoor patio with good friends talking about our respective summers. For our friends, summer had been a juggling feat—the careful balancing of their two demanding full-time jobs with their children’s jumbled activity schedules. The logistics of this had been worked out with two other sets of parents months in advance, in a strategy session that required laptops, a projector and plenty of wine. In contrast, our summer had entailed waking up in the late morning every day and making a big breakfast, then exploring an unthinkably beautiful island.” Read more of this guest blog post here.

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Steven Schwaitzberg remarked on the true power of Nikolai Begg’s talk about a tool to fix one of the most dangerous moments in surgery:

“This is a wonderful talk. The issue isn’t really whether this is the best design or where the greatest risk is in laparoscopic surgery; this talk is about seeing a problem and being inspired to act. This is a message to those who dream about making a difference and doing something about it.” Learn more about the commenter here.

Post your thoughts alongside any TED Talk or on social media; we read everything and will publish a collection of your ideas each week here on ideas.TED.com. (Note: comments are edited for spelling and grammar.)