I've Crossed Giving a TED Talk Off My Life List


I wrote a life list last October. It was the kind of life list where I threw on everything from the small (#58's "hold a live chicken") to the fantastical (#100's "invent a self-cleaning house"), and I wasn't going to stress myself out if I never got to complete #29's "witness the ins and outs of a crematorium". I decided that any item crossed off the list would be a victory had and not sweat the rest.

The thing is, though, words are powerful. Capital-P Powerful. POWERFUL. When you say things you truly desire out loud, they often find a way of being born.

See, when I say stuff like that, I kind of want to roll my eyes and kick myself in the groin, because I sound like I should be weighing my sensitivity to one crystal over another in a hippy witch shop listening to gregorian chanting and inquiring about the quality of their nag champa back in girl-powered 1993, but, the thing is, it's true. Words, when written or said out loud, make things happen.

#80 on my life list, "deliver a TED talk", was supposed to be one of the fantastical ones. I live in Regina, Saskatchewan. I wasn't even in a location where those things happen. And I'm me. I don't deliver TED talks.

Well, #80 happened. It actually happened. I got the call and started preparing in late April, and on Wednesday I stood on that red square of carpet pictured above and talked about self-doubt and the power of personal narrative.

This is me five minutes before I left the house on Wednesday morning to go to TEDxRegina as a speaker:

dressed for TEDxRegina

My body was a live electrical hum all day, and I went out of body during my talk and listened like an extra audience member where I heard myself throw out half my talk and ad lib like a mad person, so I can't really tell you how the day went yet, but I think it went well.

It's hard to tell. This was the first time I have stood in front of a group of people alone to deliver a talk since at least 1989. People who were in kindergarten then are billionaires now. That talk I gave 23 years ago was about Shakespeare's MacBeth, I think, and I delivered the speech through the mouthpieces of two plastic spoons I dressed up in miniature capes while I hid behind my English teacher's desk.

This time, I left the spoons at home, though, and it felt incredible.

Elan Morgan

Elan Morgan is a blogger, designer and consultant, and speaker who blogs and works from schmutzie.com, spreads gratitude through the graceinsmallthings.com social network, celebrates quality blogging with the canblogawards.com, and speaks all over. She has been seen in the Globe & Mail, Best Health and Woman's Day magazines, TEDxRegina, and on CBC News and Radio. She believes in and works to grow both personal and professional quality, genuine community, and meaningful content online.