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TEDxPeachtree: An Eye-Opening, Unforgettable Experience

What is TEDxPeachtree? What is TED?

A year ago, I had no idea what TED was or what it was about, nor did I know the existence of TEDxPeachtree. I was invited to step in as an interim Content Editor for the weekly blog posts on TEDxPeachtree by a dear friend, Wendy Ho.

She explained to me what TED was and introduced me to TEDxPeachtree. I Googled TED and learned more about ideas worth spreading. Admittedly, I had no idea such an awesome concept existed. I quickly got acquainted with TED Talks and was eager to be a part of the TEDxPeachtree team, made up of all volunteers.

It was exciting to learn more about TEDxPeachtree and TED through our writers while editing the weekly blog posts. I was exposed to many inspiring and wonderful TEDx and TED Talks. Working alongside the TEDxPeachtree team and being the Content Editor, I was able to learn about and meet each of the 2013 speakers before the event. This made my first TEDx experience very special and I treasure it greatly.

Thanks to Wendy Ho and the TEDxPeachtree organizers for this valuable, eye-opening, unforgettable experience. Not only did I work with great people, but I made some meaningful friendships. I truly feel like I am a part of something greater.

As I step back this year, I would like to part with this inspiring presentation by Rashid Nuri, a speaker from the 2013 TEDxPeachtree. Looking forward to discovering what illuminates us in October 2014!

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Pek Suan Yew-Wyland enjoyed her role as the Content Editor in 2013 TEDxPeachtree, and wishes the best to the 2014 team!

Posted in General, Speakers, TED, TEDx, Volunteers0 Comments

Why You Will Fail

You will fail, not because of what you will choose to do, but because of what you will choose not to do.

The time we live in now calls heavily on the need to draw on inspiration to achieve our minds’ idea of greatness. Yet, as University of Waterloo’s Professor of Economics Larry Smith brilliantly argues in a talk he gave at TEDxUW, this is just simply not enough. “It doesn’t matter how many times you download Steve Jobs’ Stanford commencement address, you still decide not to do it!”

I appreciate Larry Smith’s brutally honest reflection on the follies of fearful stagnation and the nonsensical excuses that accompany them. He humorously digs to uncover each and every excuse, plucking each to the surface for full observational review, battling each one with charming wit and humor.

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The world will indeed give you the opportunity to work hard, but in sight of what and for whom? I often re-watch this talk to remind me of the importance of having a true passion and vision and to focus on pursuing that vision as a real means to a greater overall happiness. This is a reason to work really hard.

This is a way not to fail, but to illuminate success.


Nicole Smith



Nicole Smith is a Marketing Analyst and Consultant for companies such as The Coca-Cola Company and Intercontinental Hotels Group. She lives in Midtown where she loves to hang out with both the tech and art communities.

Posted in General, TED, TEDx0 Comments

21 Days to Create Influence


Photo courtesy of Kris Willis

Think about the last time you were inspired by another person.

What about them affected you?

It may have been a feat they accomplished. Or perhaps it was a speech they gave.

I’ve always been fascinated with charismatic people; they seem to have a superpower of energizing those they come in contact with to join their cause, however large or small it is.

I recently began reading Talk Like TED by Carmine Gallo to learn more about what makes certain people such influential communicators. I happened upon a passage (one of many) that resonated with me.

“Passion is aroused not because some [entrepreneurs] are inherently disposed to such feelings but, rather, because they are engaged in something that relates to a meaningful and salient self—identity for them.”

Shawn Achor’s TEDxBloomington talk comes to mind when thinking of charisma and TED Talks. He has a unique combination of humor and intelligence that arrests your attention from his first words, but what made me think of his talk was that it inspired me to actually make a change in my own life.

Shawn Achor offers a challenge that can help put you on a path towards a more fulfilled, happier life: Try 21 days of recording three things that you are grateful for and a positive thing that happened to you a day to help shape your outlook on life and your present circumstances. I tried it, and can attest that it works!

But don’t take my word for it; listen to his talk, and try it for yourself.

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Kris Willis

Kris Willis is an observationalist, a loner who doesn’t like being alone, a fitness junkie and lover of creativity.

Posted in General, Speakers, TEDx1 Comment

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