An afternoon of sheer inspiration

Thanks to my brother-in-law (Daniel Kraft from ifridge), who gave me a ticket to the TEDx Rhein Main event, I spent this afternoon listening to some inspiring talks. The topic today was “Subject to Change”. 2012 is the proclaimed year of change for me. Therefore I was curious on how the various speakers would interpret the subject.

The host Ossi Urchs looked like an Indian guru with a long beard and waist long dreadlocks. His introduction should have come with a glossary. Ossi mentioned an interesting point about how deconstruction is a necessary part of change as it leads to the formation of new structures. I got reminded of a short story by Graham Greene titled The Destructors. It is about a group of boys, who work on demolishing the house of Mr. Thomas. De(con)struction itself is a form of change and creation and is required in order to make room for construction.

One of the most interesting talks was a video from Ted Talks by Matt Cutts. He spoke about the 30 day challenge. He claims that 30 days is all that is necessary to get rid of a bad habit or realise a dream. All you have to do is try something new for 30 days. He also mentions that one should start with small changes, as these are sustainable. I agree with Matt on this point, as it reminded me of my “Willpower is like a muscle” post, which made a similar point. Like the way I have kept blogging everyday for more than 30 days now. I am feeling optimistic that I would fulfil my resolution to blog daily for a year. After all beginnings are difficult but once you get going the momentum would carry you to the end. That is my hope at least.

The other interesting talk was by Jon Kearon titled “Time to kick up a commotion and get emotional about advertising”. I have to admit that before today I have not heard about System One (Emotional/ Instinctive) and System Two (Cognitive) thinking. In essence his message was that emotions are a strong foundation to build upon because it is how we tick. We are guided by emotions. Even when we think we are making a decision based on cognitive reasoning, it is only to justify the decision our guts have already made. He talked about 7 emotions; happy, fear, sad, anger, contempt, disgust and surprise. He added that with reference to advertising any reaction is better than a neutral response. Neutrality marks the lack of emotional involvement. The failure to emotionally imprint on the target group would seal the failure of the advert. Jon’s message is also applicable to our private lives. In one of my earlier posts, I blogged about letting passion be your guide. Passion can be one or more of the abovementioned emotions and being emotional provides one the impetus required for change. Advertising is part of branding and as part of his personal branding Jon made use of the element of surprise. He mooned the audience right in the middle of his presentation and the sight of his bare derrière would always remind us of this talk. Thereby he has formed an emotional link to rest of us, whether we like it or not. That I call branding!

All in all it has been a fruitful day for me; received inspiration, made some new contacts and had a happy day. What more can I ask for?

(P/S: This topic is continued in the blog: TEDx Rhein Main – Continued)

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