Resources or ResourcefulnessHave you ever been exposed to something so cool, so motivating and so simple that you are just tickled with joy that some group of people came up with the idea?

From the first time I watched a TEDTalk, I was hooked. If you don't know, TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) is a nonprofit dedicated to what they call “Ideas Worth Spreading.” It started in 1984 as something small but more recently has become something massive.

If you enjoy having your mind blown, seeing unbelievable presentation value, or just enjoy watching some of the brightest people discuss what they are most passionate about, make TED your friend.

TED is so much more than any one talk but I want to speak specifically about one by Tony Robbins. I write about other amazing talks at the end of this post too so stick around for that.

Resources Versus Resourcefulness

As someone obsessed with resource management, I eat up anything with the word “resource” in it.

The TEDTalk by Tony Robbins where he asks why we do what we do has it all. Gripping information, beautifully delivered content, emotionally charged calls to action, and at 6:11 into it, the statement in the title of this post.

“The defining factor (for success) is never resources, it's resourcefulness.”

When Tony talks resources he means time, money, technology, contacts, experience, and management. These are all things we want, or want to use well. To get these resources, he believes our only limitation is in how resourceful we are.

And by resourcefulness he means creativity, determination, love or caring, curiosity, passion and resolve (among others). To him, emotional strength and psychological fitness is the key to success. Now that's a different way of thinking of things.

Before watching this talk I didn't think in terms of using my resourcefulness to get resources. After watching the talk I have trouble thinking in terms of anything else.

Speaking of Getting Resourceful…


Some people thought so much of TEDTalks that they wanted to organize their own TED-like events. Their resourcefulness turned into TEDx.

TEDx are offshoots of the official TED conferences, are independently coordinated, and allow anyone with enough connections and energy to spread their own ideas. The amplification of ideas worth sharing has been magnified strongly by these events over the years.

And if English isn't your primary language (or you don't speak it at all), The TED Open Translation Project offers interactive transcripts, subtitles and translations in 86 languages and counting.

See how all this resourcefulness goes from abstract to real very quickly? It all starts with an idea, something I'm sure you have many of. Think of one you'll start to spread today and communicate it to someone now.

What's At Stake for You

Watching a TEDTalk doesn't contribute directly to you taking action most of the time. In watching it, you're physically inactive, but everything else within you could be leaping with action. Your heart might flutter, your spirit may rise, your emotions may be overwhelmed, and your intellect will be fully engaged.

Although TEDTalks like Tony Robbins can inspire, motivate, generate awareness and persuade, they can't compel you to take action. Even with a big spark from a TEDTalk, only you can force yourself into action.

But it's the catalyst that's key.

I'm trying to be a catalyst for you like other people have been for me. If you have just 15 minutes, any of these TEDTalks could be anywhere from eye-opening to transformational.

  1. Dan Pink on the surprising science of motivation: If you struggle with motivating yourself or motivating others, maybe you don't know as much as you think about the topic. Dan Pink is here to illustrate that traditional rewards like money, fame, and power are only effective in specific situations. And the incentives that do prove the most motivating? Definitely surprising.
  2. Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action: If you want to become a leader some day – in business, in your religious community, at a non-profit…wherever – you will need to know how to inspire others. Simon Sinek knows a ton about this and it all starts with the first question any of us ask when we learn to talk: “Why?”
  3. Chip Conley: Measuring what makes life worthwhile: At 9:33 into the talk, Chip repeats a quote from the King of Bhutan: “Bhutan's goal is not to create happiness. We create the conditions for happiness to occur. In other words, we create a habitat of happiness.” Chip is a master at creating an ecosystem of happiness and he excels at framing what makes life worthwhile in persuasive and simple terms. Hint: it has something to do with happiness.

Now that you know all about TED, how are you going to get resourceful and spread your ideas worth sharing?

Who are you going to be a catalyst for?