We are the stories we tell ourselves. My talk at TED.com

I am a very shy man.
I went in and came out of my TED talk a little uncomfortable. I am not a speaker, but if I do, I use the platform to hear words from myself that I have not heard before. I like to surprise myself and see if I can get in to a situation where my mind has opened up out of the sheer panic of being in front of an audience that is judging every word that comes out, an audience that has heard the best speakers and the most brilliant minds speak to them.
What, after all is the point of being there if you do not take the opportunity to bare yourself, not to the audience only, but to yourself. How often do you get a chance to do that ? To allow the truth to come out of you rather than manipulate it through the prejudices and manipulations of your own mind.
So what have I to lose, I ask myself ? Only my pride, and that is not much of a loss in the face of the truth is it ?
So I know I left people a little perplexed at the and of the talk. And later people asked me what I meant I could not really remember the words I had spoken. Why would I when the words were really not mine ? But suddenly I am seeing a huge interest all over the world in my talk, and through others interpretation, I find the meaning to my words. What a wonderful and surprising life this is.
You can see my talk at : http://on.ted.com/8DK0
Here is a point of view from Caroline who reviews Ted talks @ http://www.talktalk.ca/
“Context – Ted India Hollywood/Bollywood director Shekhar Kapur (“Elizabeth” & “Mr,India”) 2009.

Analysis – There is something about this guy that I find not only fascinating but there is a part of me that feels compelled to watch him. Is he the most phenomenal public speaker in the sense that he follows ?all the rules?? Nope, he follows no public speaking rules, but that is just fine with me because this guy, this guy knows himself. He?s honest with his emotions and deep with his message. I found myself having to go back and listen to sections a few times over to really digest its contents which isn?t the most favourable environment to create when doing a presentation but I?m not going to be terribly harsh with Shekhar…I have fondness for him and thus I excuse some of methods in which he presents, I think you will too. It is fascinating to me that the audience will excuse a lot if they like the presenters character.
Finding moments of what Shekhar calls ?organic truths? in film is the goal…”if you can get 5 moments like that in your film then it is all worthwhile”. Shekhar walks us through how organic moments can be harnessed; through panic, visual storytelling, not measuring…but for me the key to his message comes down to how we talk to ourselves. If you?ve been following this blog at all you know the term ?Pep Talk? and what I would consider to be one of the keys to doing a superb talk (and, I might add is the key to: life, the universe and everything…shout out to the Hitchhiker fans out there)

It is not the physical brain that guides us in our internal dialogue. It is our experiences and how we view those experiences through our internal dialogue. The experiences a person has had in the course of life become firmly anchored in our brain and becomes the foundation for our current and future behaviors. This in essence is what Shekhar is saying. Our experiences define our expectations, they steer our attention in very specific directions, they determine the valuation we put on our lives through and how we react to our surroundings. Thus, these individually acquired experiences and how we house them internally are the most important and most valuable treasure a person possesses.
These experiences become viewing portals. We’ve all met people that consider themselves to be indispensable or people that have low opinions of themselves or people that think they are God like or omnipotent or people that are controlling or small or power hungry or narcissistic excetra… these behaviours are a direct correlation to ones experiences. I suggest that you take your experiences whatever they may be to teach others, to help others to use it, whatever ‘it’ is as a springboard to make a difference in the lives of others. Why else could we possibly be here for? Recognize too, that our experiences are the nucleus to how we talk to ourselves in our internal world. Begin the process of recognizing that your experiences are the foundation of the conversation you have with yourself. Kinda important if you plan to have conversations with others and certainly conversations in a crowd (aka the presentation). (whoa…that post hurt my head…you?)
Tip – Use your experiences to teach others in your talks!”

13 thoughts on “We are the stories we tell ourselves. My talk at TED.com

  1. (1)In between of tall trees and bush greenery a beautiful and plush wooden house is situated which is surprisingly functioning automatically (self powered) by machinery also build by wood. In this house which is situated on a bush green small island which is surrounded from the sprawling infinite Ocean, only 3 people lives, One man who is busy in cutting wood, inside the house his wife is probably cooking something really tasty & their only son climbedon a high tree, he is arranging moving egg of a bird which is being on the edge of the nest & touching the eggs surprisingly and putting there in the center of the nest. Suddenly the mother bird come & starts hitting the boy from back. Bird hit close to the eye & he falls down from 100 feet height. he lie down for some time and move to his father in such a way that nothing happened. the monkeys sitting close to his father carefully watching him working on that wooden things, get up and starts following the boy on a single call seem like that he is the leader of group of monkeys.
    (2)This story is based on a boy and a small, alone and undiscovered island which is surrounded an unfathomable sea. The boy had never seen any human being except his mother & father. The boy has nothing to do except talking allot & playing with the animals. His questions were endless. His father reminds that night and tells that when their ship was sinking in the sea the tides float him on this faraway island in unconscious condition. When eyes opened a green but scary mountain appears like the most dangerous area of the world. The island so faraway and undiscovered that not even one airplanes fly above its sky. After 2 days he met a girl she also traveling on the same ship & brought on the island same as him. Now they letter starts civilizing there own world on that island & turn it into a heaven. The automatic machines which are working without any fuel appears like the sketches of Leonardo Da Vinci. These designs was offcourse unprofessional but functioning very fine. it reflects one morning when some monkeys are sitting on a hill and working on an ordinary but automatic engineering arrangement which is big wooden wheels and small baskets hanged on ropes, monkeys use to get fruits from tree put in basket, when basket get filled they remove the hold & it starts moving on the rope gravitationally to the kitchen and dump fruits on the table in the same time the empty basket reaches to the hill top. Ceiling fan running through wind mills, a mechanical trolley running through a combination of big wind mills which was used to carry family members top of the mountain from their house. All of these were build within a year.
    (3) He also tells that how after the birth of a beautiful son their life is filled with joy and happiness. Suddenly a trouble takes place; they had faced such a dangerous guy. It was almost impossible of getting rid of him. Under this time full of fear & thrill, the only thing which works was courage & power of child’s mother. After getting a strugglefull win everything got on the right track. There was a daughtfull question which the parents considered so late which bound them to give a turn to his education. The parents were bound to teach their child about the world across the sea. They have to teach him about all the things machines, social activities etc. It was strange that why should they enhance his Imaginative minds impatience to things of the outer world which they cannot reach or even think about it like cars, airplanes, ships, machineries, TVs, Video, Refrigerator, AC, Camera, schools, Clubs, Doctor etc seems meaningless.
    (4) But the future is unfortunate and if the time come to face the outer world it was important to tell each and everything about the outer world. So that the differentiating distance can be ignored and they were working on it. There is a fear also that he could be remain alone further. And suddenly that fear comes true. Once upon a day the boy saw a UFO (unidentified flying object) crashing he rush to his father ask them about the UFO, both his mom & dad get surprised they all went to search for the crashing object and what they saw a beautiful 20-20 years old girl is lying there unconscious. The parents of the boy saw any other human being after 22 years. But the boy had seen such a creature first time in his life which was so beautiful. The boy who uses to dream about the world across the sea was surprised after knowing that the outer world had moved forward about 20 years in terms of modernization.
    (4)The boy asks the girl to go & see the outer world with her the boy gets depressed when he realize that the only medium do means of carrying them to other side that was the electrically generated antigravity through which that UFO type aircraft runs Is no more in condition of flying because his father was working in it for a long time to know about it. After loosing the aircraft it seems impossible for the boy to reach to outer world as well as for the girl too. After some days the girls father reaches the island searching his daughter.
    (5)Ending of unknowingness & loneliness to go to their city which has been changed and modernized 20 years, father meeting his enemy after 20 years and defeating him in unexpected boxing, Making their island a tourist spot and furnished it with all the luxury & comfort, starting their 3rd stage of life as a owner of that island, enjoying all those luxuries by the every of which he use to dream all the time etc.
    The whole thing is that it is a film which gives a good feeling.
    In above 5 paragraphs is a Detailed Synopsis
    All the mechanism I wrote in the synopsis and in the complete script are really practical, I have all the sketches about.. that demand special effects or physically wood work (by expert carpenters)
    The main script is in about 250 pages.. Without exaggeration all the scans are really thrilling and exciting, this kind of film will be first time in India or even in Hollywood also.
    I want to send it to you.

  2. Dear Shekhar,
    Knowledge becomes the weight on the wisdom. True creativity will not emerge if we are not in the state of Harmony.
    These words are so truthful and full of meaning.
    For a while I thought that I’m listening to a Mahatma not a film director. Every true artist definitely has a philosopher and a saint in him, without that you might become a commodity for showbiz but surely not an artist.
    Sant Kabir, Guru Nanak dev, Raheem and many like these great souls were actually the true artists, who reacted to the society of their time and people called them saints after many years. Their work survived and will survive for ever. To create that kind of a work in any field Yes! You need to be in harmony like those great souls.
    Creativity is spiritual and I truly believe in that. Be creativeits lot easier than being spiritual
    Thanks for sharing such an insightful speech and I hope lots of people will get to know the core of creativity. Watching those scenes from Elizabeth was pretty nostalgic. Will watch it again soon.

  3. Shekhar,
    Can we have this video over youtube? Streaming quality is bad when I am trying to watch it.
    Perhaps your popularity.
    Another question.
    Are you leading a content life ?

  4. If awareness is sound The words are simple And deep And may be that is called Talk/s but at the same time it is good to develop queries And find out answers if possible.

  5. You are probably trying too hard to portray the indescribable in words. When the creativity comes from great depths, words become meek and feeble. But when it comes from that source, it will connect with the audience, and that is all that matters. Good objective pointers though. Keep the soulfulness going, and do not fall prey to intellectualization.

  6. The talk was really interesting and reminded me of a presentation at IIMB recently by Prof.Saras Saraswathy on Effectuation “a logic of entrepreneurial expertise, a dynamic and interactive process of creating new artifacts in the world”

  7. It is deep and thoughtfull Shekhar.
    Really an honest answer to your thoughtprocess.. rather a confession to learn, to grow.

  8. very powerful and moving indeed!
    i’ll watch every movie with a renewed eye from now onwards but what about the ones i’ve already seen.
    can we undo those blank viewings now? thats what the onset of a new knowledge does to you i guess!!

  9. Hi Shekhar,
    I read this some were, it is so stuck with me.
    Wanted to share.
    Don’t make life so hard, – look for the doors!

  10. Dear Shekhar ! Now I wish to be in your films Paani and Buddha as an Actor. Please remember me when you want to Sign me for you Great Dream Projects ! Take Care ! Yours . . . . faithfully Rajesh Vivek Upadhyay.

  11. No doubts should remain. It was brilliant and profound: “…the effect of looking for the harmony in the contradiction…The acceptance of contradiction is in the telling of the story, not the resolution….Harmony is not resolution…it’s much larger than resolution…Resolution is finite, harmony is infinite.”
    This was the pinnacle of a conversation several of us were having on LinkedIn. It was just the right ‘clues’ needed on a path of discovery and insight.
    It not only adds brilliant dimension to thoughts many of us are pursuing, it (even in it’s rush of time) brilliantly circled back to the beginning of your story. In that sense it resolved the circle to its own harmonic existence.

  12. Shekhar ji Pranaam!

    It is incredible and very insightful talk… Knowledge becomes the weight on the wisdom. . Creativity from chaos. I follow you on twitter.. Your short stories on twitter – ‘She said’ and ‘I said’- beautiful, creative interaction. Brilliant !!! Thanks for sharing.


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