Categories
Develpoment Learning

Don’t Break the Chain: Doorway to a Productive You

Don’t Break the Chain is a productivity strategy popularized by the renowned comedian Jerry Seinfield.

The productivity technique requires you to commit to achieving a daily objective over a long period of time. You have to cross off each day that you achieve your daily objective on a calendar. Eventually, you’ll create a chain of Xs that spans weeks or months and gradually form a long-term habit that will last forever.

Every “X” on your calendar signifies a step closer to your objective. For example, every night, your schedule to study ensures your academic achievement in the future.

The tiny things that you do every day help you move closer to your big goal. Success stories may appear to be instant achievements, but most people fail to notice all of the small details that contributed to the great win. The greatest approach to work on your big goal every day is to make it a habit.

Most students find it pretty difficult especially when dealing with daily procrastination. However, the “Don’t break the chain” technique is an excellent solution to this problem. It’s a basic technique and all you need is just a paper calendar and a pen. Even though you don’t need a lot of prep for this trick, it is a really powerful approach for forming healthy habits.

How “Don’t break the chain” is beneficial for students?

Don’t break the chain helps you concentrate on the present moment. It emphasizes performing your daily habits rather than requiring you to think about the next day or the year after today. Instead, you only need to extend your streak of “Xs” by one day.

This approach focuses on the current action that you have full control over, rather than a long-term objective with multiple variables at play. So, you get short-term rewards for habits that pay off in long run.  For example, read two pages every day to build a long-term habit of reading.

 Don’t break the chain helps you gain the benefits of compounding. You have to complete the daily task and add an “x” to the calendar. Eventually, you’ll discover that your efforts compound as you continue to prolong your streak.

Getting Started with “Don’t Break the Chain”

It’s really easy to get started with your chain. You just need a paper calendar, and you’re all set to go. Here are the fundamentals:

Set your goal

Goal setting is the foremost process, where you have to think about your ideal future and drive yourself to make it a reality. Setting objectives allows you to decide where you want to go in life. Knowing exactly what you want to achieve allows you to focus your efforts in the right places.

While setting this goal, be realistic. The key is setting SMART goals; goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely. For example, there’s no point in setting a goal to read 10 books a month if you’ve never even read one. First, determine your big goal or long-term goal and break them into smaller, more manageable goals. Write it down on your calendar why you want to do this task every day.

Set boundaries

Taking breaks is utterly important—whether you are sick or cannot get out of your bed, or you really want to go on a vacation— take a break is fine! Don’t be too hard on yourself. Taking breaks for your mental well-being as well as physical health is important in order to be able to continue along your chain.

Adam Dachis suggests adding an “S” in the calendar for sick and “V” for vacations. Set your specific boundaries and do not cheat. If you take a day off for reasons that fall outside your boundaries, start afresh.

Reward Yourself

When people know there will be a reward at the end of the road, they are more likely to succeed. This is especially true when it comes to forming new habits. The streak of “Xs” in your calendar is increasingly rewarding.

However, if you don’t feel satisfied, start rewarding yourself on every milestone to stay motivated. Just be careful while picking your rewards. Pick something that you will be looking forward to, meanwhile don’t pick something that somehow undoes all of the hard work you’ve put in over the year.

Picking up the tool

The technique originally includes large monthly calendars printed and stuck on the wall. However, if you want to go for a smaller and more convenient option, you can choose a diary or a single sheet calendar. You can also choose to go digital. However, we personally do not recommend that as it can be quite distracting. That said, the technique is all about finding what works best for you.

Summing Up

The “Don’t Break the Chain” productivity approach is an extremely effective tool for creating goals and forming new habits. However, if you’re starting for the first time, start with one activity and do it for at least 10 minutes a day. You can always push your limits as you improve over time.

Remember: No matter how big your goal is, you will ultimately succeed if you take a small step towards your goal every day.

Categories
Learning Music

6 YouTube Playlists to Enhance Focused Learning

Photo by Zen Chung from Pexels

Study in silence is an old aphorism that no longer applies. Today, learners listen to YouTube playlists as they go through their lessons. Listening to music while studying is a great way to enhance your focus.

Music has a way of revitalising our spirits, removing negativity and bringing order to our otherwise chaotic lives. The soft and the serenading beats mask the undesirable background noises. It uplifts your mood and energy levels and motivates you to study and increase your efficiency.

However, you need to be careful while choosing the music for study. Research reveals that if the music isn’t distracting, it usually encourages focused learning. The key is finding music that works for you and elevates your focus rather than distract you.

In a previous post, we had covered YouTube Channels for a Fruitful Learning Session. Now, we have more YouTube content for you—only this time we are here with some music to your ears.

After much research, I have compiled a list of study-friendly YouTube Playlists. Are you ready to meet your academic goals with some music on the side?

Quiet Quest- Study Music

Duration- 5 hours 56 minutes

  Study Music| Deep Focus is a music playlist by Quiet Quest that is ideal for listening to while studying or working. It can also be used for deep focus and concentration. The YouTube playlist includes serenading choir music and galaxy images that help you relax and embark on a journey to a distant galaxy. The music, however, can also be used for deep sleep.

Just Instrumental Music

Duration- 3 hours 3 minutes

Just Instrumental Music uses only the greatest in soothing piano sonatas for absolute focus. The playlist comprises more than 3 hours of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s greatest compositions for studying, concentration, and reading. Just Instrumental Music boosts your brain functions by blocking white noise, creating a learning ambience that’s free of distractions.

Brilliant Classics

Duration- 3 hours 5 minutes

 Minimal Piano Music Compilation for relaxation and studying by Brilliant Classics serves the best when you just need to plug in and concentrate. Piano Study Music not only improves attention and concentration but also stimulates creativity, allowing you to develop more productive study habits. The Minimal Piano Music Compilation for relaxation and studying brings together some of the most serenading piano beats ever produced.

Buddha Tribe- Relaxation Bar Music Vibe- Studying Music

Duration- 50 minutes

Piano Songs to Increase Brain Power and Concentration by Buddha Tribe is a soft and soothing piano music that is composed to relax your mind and boost your brainpower. The soothing beats overpower the racing thoughts that annoy you while you’re attempting to jam important knowledge into your head.

Buddha Tribe has added gentle piano beats to the playlist to add to the soothing impact and make the learning process easier. The playlist comprises Studying Music, Soothing Music to Increase Cognitive Skills, Brain Training Music, Mind Power, Music Education for Anxiety Treatment, Study and Meditation Music.

Relaxing Records

Duration- 2 hours

Concentration Music for Learning is a study playlist by Relaxing Records. This playlist has a relaxing and rejuvenating effect, making it ideal for long study periods. The playlist includes alpha waves and binaural beats in the playlist to help you focus, concentrate, and think more clearly. The music serves as an anti-stress relief and helps you prepare for the exams. The playlist has a varied range of music including classical background music, jazz and instrumental music that makes learning interesting.

Relax Melodies

Duration- 4 hours

4 hours Peaceful & Relaxing Instrumental Music-Long Playlist by Relax Melodies is one of the most effective playlists ever created. The four-hour length is ideal for back-to-back study sessions. Also, the playlist improves attention while also assisting in the creation of a peaceful and soothing learning atmosphere. The sedating properties of this playlist are essential for post-study relaxation, in addition to boosting your attention during study time.

Summing Up

As long as it doesn’t distract you, music may be pretty useful for studying. Classical music is particularly effective since the low / no lyric approach is less likely to distract you. What’s worthy of noting here is that this list of YouTube Playlists is not restrictive.

Given how subjective music is, deciding on the best study playlist boils down to what meets your own needs. The standard procedure is to try out each of the above study playlist suggestions and see which one works best for you.

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Develpoment Education

Ways to Teach Students with Learning Disabilities

If a child can’t learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn

Ignacio Estrada

Children learn a lot of skills throughout their lives— reading, writing, listening, comprehending, calculating, and communicating. Some skills are more difficult to master than others. Every kid is unique and has varied needs. When some kids learn these skills really quickly, others struggle to keep up with their peers.

Surprisingly, learning disabilities or special learning abilities are rather prevalent, yet often misunderstood with academic failure. Kids with special needs fail to develop the knowledge, competence, motivation, and self-control needed to excel in important academic areas. They often drop out of school and end up being vulnerable to precarious employment prospects.

However, various research studies have proved that we can teach kids with learning disabilities to “learn how to learn”.

There are multiple institutions and support groups all around the world that are committed to helping these kids overcome the challenges including the British Institute of Learning Disabilities, National Center for Learning Disabilities, Council for Learning Disabilities, Mencap – The Voice of Learning Disabilities, Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities, and more.

In this blog, we will discuss the various ways we can teach students with learning disabilities.  Let’s dive in.

What are Learning Disabilities?

Learning disability is a phrase that refers to a variety of learning and thinking differences that can alter how the brain receives, processes, stores, and transmits data. The disabilities impair one’s use of spoken or written language, comprehend, perform mathematical computations, coordinate movements, or focus attention.

Children with learning impairments are just as smart as their peers, if not smarter. However, they may have difficulties writing, reading, spelling, reasoning, recalling and organizing if left to their own devices or taught in traditional ways.

According to Healthline, Dyslexia is the most prevalent learning disorder, accounting for 80 to 90% of all learning disabilities.

The most common Learning Disabilities or Special Learning Abilities include:

  1. Dyslexia – It is a learning disorder that impairs the kid’s ability to read, spell and speak.
  2. Dyscalculia – It refers to the difficulty in understanding numbers, retaining simple mathematical facts, or reasoning through word problems.
  3. Dysgraphia- The disorder impairs the individual’s ability to express themselves in writing. They may take hours to write a few sentences or have poor spelling problems.

Ways to Teach Students with Learning Disabilities

Homeschooling, tutoring and special schools can help children with a learning disability to learn at their own pace. Teachers can use a variety of strategies to assist students with learning disabilities.

Teaching Kids with Dyslexia or Reading Disabilities

  1. Do not ask the kids to read aloud.
  2. Give them quiet space to read.
  3. Use audiobooks or textbooks with large prints.
  4. When reading, encourage children to engage both their visual and auditory senses.
  5. Provide chapter outlines or study aids to students that emphasize important points in their reading.
  6. Ask students to reread the old stories to develop fluency.
  7. Encourage students to read the topics of their interests.
  8. Concentrate on exercises that incorporate the sound of words rather than letters or spellings.
  9. Demonstrate and teach your students to break down the short phrases into distinct words.
  10. Ask the kids to clap out syllables and try to generate rhymes.

Teaching kids with Dysgraphia or Writing Disabilities

  1. Provide printouts to the kids with Dysgraphia so there’s less to copy from the board.
  2. Be patient! Allow kids extra time to copy from the board or take notes.
  3. Allow your students to use laptops or computers for writing assignments.
  4. To aid in the formation of letters in the correct space, provide paper with different-coloured or raised lines.
  5. Teach students to proofread their assignments or allow them to use proofreaders to look for errors.
  6. If required, use speech-to-text or scribe so that students can dictate their answers.
  7. Give the student a partially finished outline to fill in the information beneath the key categories.
  8. Permit the use of tape recorders in the classroom.
  9. Provide them with a quiet area to write their tests.

Teaching Students with Dyscalculia or Calculation Disabilities

  1. Teach your students to draw diagrams and sketches to solve word problems.
  2. Show your students how to apply math in real life.
  3. Create tailored worksheets including word problems and number problems.
  4. Provide your students with graphical charts of formulas or multiplication tables.
  5. Allow the students to use calculators if required.
  6. You can use puzzles, coins and block to teach the math concepts.
  7. Use graph papers to align numbers and problems.
  8. Teach students how to comprehend the problem, devise a strategy to address it, follow out the plan, and check their work to ensure that the solution solves the problem.

To increase students’ grasp of assignments and the quality of their work, you can employ the following methods:

  1. Humiliating the kids with learning disabilities is a big no. Never display their work to their peers as an example of poor work. Rather, provide them with opportunities and praise them for every achievement.
  2. Explain the lessons and include step-to-step instructions, so that these children can understand the lessons.  
  3. Break down the learning tasks into smaller assignments.
  4. You can also use graphic organizers to present the information in a more understandable manner.
  5. Set specific expectations and communicate them clearly.
  6. Probe regularly to check progress and provide quality feedback.

Summing Up

Learning disabilities are surprisingly common around the world. In fact, difficulties with reading, writing or comprehending during the school years are the signs and symptoms of learning disorder.

However, the disorder doesn’t make the students less intelligent or lazy. They just learn differently.  In fact, students with learning disabilities possess average or above-average intelligence. However, there’s a gap between their potential learning and actual achievement. That is why learning disabilities are also referred to as “Hidden Disabilities”.

It is extremely crucial for the teachers to implement the strategies that are tailored according to the needs of these children. Moreover, kids with learning disabilities learn slow pace. So, you need to be patient and consistently work with them.

Categories
Edutainment

Understanding The Game of Life by John Conway

Life is full of unexpected twists and turns!

Jeba Philip

The Game of Life by John Conway advocates the aforesaid statement. Looking at the initial patterns or configurations, you will not be able to see what will happen in future. You just have to patient and stick to the rules of the game.

Devised by the famous British mathematician John Horton Conway in 1970, The Conway’s Game of Life or simply Life is a cellular automaton with a group of cells that takes place in an infinite two-dimensional grid. The cells can be alive or dead as determined by the “rules of the game”.

The patterns follow the specifications of the initial configuration and evolve from iteration as the clock ticks the next generation. Conway defines it as a “Zero player game” as it requires no further human input. Though, the game of life is not a game in its conventional sense as there are no players.

Rules of the game

The rules of the game are simple. You have to place any pattern of cells on a grid and observe the cells evolving based on the laws that govern the game. Each cell in the grid has eight neighbors in all directions including the diagonals.

  • The Birth Rule: A dead cell or an empty cell with exactly three neighbors becomes live on to the next generation, as if by reproduction.
  • The Survival Rule: A live cell needs two or three neighbors to survive i.e. a cell with two or three neighbor lives as the clock ticks to the next generation.
  • The Death Rule: A live cell having 4 or more neighbors dies of overcrowding and a live cell having 0 or 1 neighbor dies of solitude on to the next generation.

Every time the clock ticks to the next generation, some cells evolve, some survive and the others die. These transitions represent the process of life and death and hence, precisely named the “Game of Life”. The initial configuration forms the seed of the game and every generation is a “Pure function” of its’ previous generation.

Conway tried and analyzed various combinations to satisfy the following three criteria:

  1. There should be initial patterns or configurations with unpredictable results.
  2. The initial configurations shouldn’t ensure explosive growth.
  3. The rules should be as simple as possible.

Undecidability of Game of Life

Although the rules of the game are pretty simple, the game can generate a wide range of configurations as the generation clock ticks. Some patterns evolve and become stable (Still life), some oscillates in the loop (Oscillators), some travel across the grid (Gliders or Spaceships) and the others keep growing and generate other patterns (Guns). Hence, it’s very unpredictable to guess the fate of the game. However, the Game of Life (GoL) isn’t the only system that’s unpredictable. We cannot decide the fate of several other systems including Quantum Physics, Wang tiles, Set Theory and more.

Patterns in the Game of Life

Based on their behaviours, the patterns are classified into three broad categories: Still life, Oscillators and Spaceships.

Still Lifes

It includes those configurations which do not change from one generation to the next. You can also define it as an oscillator with Period 1.

The most common examples of still life include a Block and a Beehive.

  1. Block

2. Beehive

The Still Life configurations can also be eaters i.e. they collide with other configurations and return back to their initial state after the collision. Eaters are extremely important as they control the debris resulting due to complex reactions. Also, the Block is the first discovered eater and it is capable of eating the beehives.

Oscillators

These configurations return to their initials state after a finite number of generations. The number of generations a configuration takes to return back to its initial state is called the “Period” of the oscillator. The Blinker was the first oscillator that was discovered in 1970 and is known to be the smallest oscillator. A finite number of oscillators exist in each period. Let’s look at a few of them:

  1. Blinker (Period 2)

2. Star (Period 3)

3. Cross (Period 3)

4. Pinwheel (Period 4)

5. Pentadecathlon (Period 15)

Spaceships

These are the patterns that translate themselves throughout the grid and return to their initial configuration after a finite number of generations. We can calculate the speed of the spaceships by dividing the number of cells by the period length. We categorize the spaceships on the basis of their speed and direction.

  1. Middleweight Spaceship

2. The Copperhead spaceship

Discovering “The Glider”

Richard Guy, a member of Conway’s research team discovered “The Glider” in the year 1969. The glider is a five celled organism that moves diagonally across the grid at a speed of c/4 and is considered the best to transmit information. However, it can collide with other cells to form more complicated patterns.

Soon after the discovery of Glider, the first known gun i.e. the Bill Gosper discovered the Glider Gun at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It follows a definite pattern with unbounded growth.

Game of Life applications in real life

A cellular automaton is an important tool in science that can be used to model a variety of natural phenomena. Cellular automata can be used to represent the interactions of species vying for environmental resources in ecology. By creating a 3-dimensional map of the brain and progressing cellular development through time, cellular automata may be utilized to mimic brain tumour progression.

However, these are only two of the many disciplines of study where cellular automata can be used. There are multiple areas where the rules of Game of Life can be applied including operational research, biology, hydrodynamics, ecology, dermatology, chemistry, environmental science, cognitive science, agriculture and many others. The Game of Life is used in a variety of musical composition approaches. There are a number of applications that can produce sound from patterns formed in the Game of Life.

Biological and mathematical data can travel through a game-space formed by Game of Life, in which some thoughts and facts are turned off while others are turned on, allowing new connections and hypotheses to develop. Without heuristic procedures like GoL simulations, research may be unable to verify and uncover the fresh findings that have historically been science’s greatest justification.

Categories
Education Math

4 Fun Applications of Math in Real Life

Math is quite popular as a subject that most of the students hate. It’s not very uncommon to hear that “I hate math. How is it going to help me in my real life?” Those struggling with the subject often find it dull and boring. Thus, they put all their efforts to escape from the subject. You can also hear students saying “I chose Commerce or Humanities because I don’t want to study math”.

Often, the way Mathematics is taught makes it monotonous even though the subject is quite magical.

However, Math is the universal language and we can find it pretty much in our everyday applications, whether we’re aware of it or not. From cooking to managing finances, Mathematics help the students explore their creativity and solve the real life problems.

Here, we are listing some real-life applications of Math that would help students relate to the subject and thus, making Math fun and engaging.

Time Management

As a student, one of the most difficult tasks is to manage time. We always have to complete several assignments with very limited time in our hands. You can solve this problem by adding up the hours you contribute to each activity and see which activity consume most of your time. You can analyze where you want to spend less time, and what you would benefit from spending more hours in.

“Time is the most valuable asset”. Math not only helps us to manage time but also to value it. In a fast-paced world, time management is a key to student’s success. One who learns the art of time management leads a balanced lifestyle.

Students should also learn about the time on a digital and analogue clock, world clock, calendars and time zones.

Managing Finances

Whether you’re a student or an adult, money management is a skill everyone should learn. Understanding and managing your money implies deciding what percentage of money to spend for your needs and what percentage should you save for your future. Money Math that we learn in school help us count, budget and keep a track of our money.  The concept of exponential growth and compound interest help an individual to manage their debt in a better way.

Also, the experts claim that without appropriate knowledge of money math, individuals usually spend based on their emotions which eventually lead to financial mistakes. Parents and teachers should teach the students that how math lessons can help them a budget and handle their personal finances in real life. This would encourage students to engage in the lessons and understand them better.

Using Fractions

We use fractions in our day-to-day tidings without even realizing it. Think of the fruit seller who probably doesn’t have an idea of what Fractions actually mean and yet he manages to sell you ½ a dozen bananas at a particular price. Here, he uses fraction even without knowing them.

Let’s take another example. We use Mathematics in the kitchen more than anywhere in the house. Adding ¼ cup of milk & ½ cup of chocolate to ¾ cup of flour, to bake the delicious chocolate cake on your birthday involves fraction.

Also, splitting a bill at the restaurant, calculating body mass index, the new price of the product during the sale or shutter speed of the camera, you need to apply fractions.

Architecture and Construction

Did you know that Math is fundamental to architecture and construction work? Mathematics and Construction are highly related.

Architects use trigonometry, geometry and algebra for designing the architectures and planning their blueprints. Architects are using Geometry and Pythagoras for planning spatial forms of the building since ancient times. In 300 B.C., Euclid, a Greek Mathematician has defined the “Golden Ratio” as the Mathematical Law of Nature. The ratio is known to be found in every living and non-living thing. The ratio is considered a basic geometric principle in architecture and is used to design proportions in buildings for more than 2000 years. The pyramid of Giza, Taj Mahal and many more architectures are built using the Golden Ratio.

A lot of mathematical concepts, calculating area & volume, estimating costs, preparing budgets and setting targets are to be followed for construction and design purposes.  

For example, constructing a building requires the calculation of wall angles, room sizes and roofs. The constructors need to calculate the volume of water required to fill up the swimming pool.

Concluding Thoughts

Till now, you must have an idea that Math is an indispensable part of our life. There are innumerable applications of math in real life. Math is not mere numbers but much beyond that.

Shopping at Grocery stores or planning a trip, playing a sport or learning the musical notes, Math operates all around us. Math is everywhere you walk in, be it a hospital, pet store, school or home. It helps us think rationally and explore our creativity.

So, the next time anyone asks you, How is Math going to help me in my real life, you have the answers.

Categories
Develpoment Education

Why students must watch Ted talk shows

The COVID-19 pandemic and the implementation of a lockdown hasn’t given us much to do. Everyone is eager to step outside the closed walls of their home and experience something new again. However, we can use this free time to enhance our skills and learn something new. Don’t worry, we aren’t stopping you from binge-watching the series you have saved in your watchlist. Although we would suggest you to check out something that’s fun to watch and help you discover new ideas – TED Talks.

TED is an abbreviation for Technology, Entertainment and Design. It is a community of people from different disciplines who believe in themselves and feel they have the power to change people’s thoughts, lives and eventually the world. These are conferences, only 18 minutes long yet jam-packed with knowledge. Leaders from a variety of fields present thought-provoking speeches that you can watch from the comfort of your own home for free! In this blog, we are outlining the top 5 reasons why students must watch TedX.

Learn from the best

Most, TED talks feature speakers who have defied all odds to pursue their dreams and achieve their goals. Hearing these experiences may challenge your thinking and inspire you to reevaluate your personal objective. Tuning into TED talks, you will get to learn from people like Bills Gate and Bills Clinton who have talked about subjects that have inspired their lives and molded them into becoming better humans. Moreover, these talks can motivate you to follow your own passions with confidence. Where else could you find all the thought leaders deliver charismatic lectures in the same place?

Bite-size, free & accessible

As students, you might not be able to pay for the expensive counselling & therapies. Also, you must not have enough time to spend on two hour-long movies to boost your mood. However, these free little media slices can help alleviate your stress and anxiety and also fit it into your schedule. That means you’ll have access to thousands of hours of inspiring content right on your phone. So, the next time you are having a tough time at school or feeling demotivated, plug in your headphones and just hit play on one of these shows.

Enhance your skills

If you are a high school student or have just started going to college, TED talks can help you improve your skills. Watching TedX will amaze you that how well the speakers present their ideas. Observing these articulately will help you improve your own public speaking abilities and enable you to communicate your ideas to others in a succinct way. TED Talks may also help you get an early start on understanding how to think, behave, and handle a challenging circumstance in a professional manner. Moreover, TED talks can help you polish your interview skills and boost your confidence.

Content for everyone

TED Talk is an ocean of content and has speakers from multiple disciplines. Hence, it has something for everyone. Whether you want to improve your skills, explore new ideas or simply laugh, TED talks has you covered. While there is content that matches your passions and interest, it’s very likely that you will get to learn something out of the box, something that you have never considered even giving a thought. Tuning into TedX helps you expand your perspective and broaden your horizon. What a fantastic place to be your digital self?

Get prepared for after school life

School life is all flowery and glossy. However, the real challenge begins after school. You will meet new people from different places, face questions and ideas that you have never thought about. TED talks helps to make you more aware of the world around you, increases your empathy and helping you to build lasting relations. Listening to TED talks not only helps you to learn but also to prepare for life after school.

You’ve probably already heard of TED Talks, they have grown really popular over the past few years for exploring out of the box ideas. The bite sized pieces of information helps one to learn multiple skills during a short period of time. Everyone who’s anyone has given a TED Talk. It serves as a platform for the dissemination of new ideas & lines of thought. TED Talks are also routinely held in college campuses which helps to expose students to new topics.

There is a TED Talk for almost any and every field out there. Exploring these is a joy you’re missing out on if you haven’t already done so. So take our advise and begin your TED Talk journey.