Want to change the world, smash institutional silos and gain cred at work? Don’t cultivate weeds (Life lessons from TEDxUNB)

Written by Cherise Letson

February 10, 2014

Professional speaker, comedian and radio host Corey Poirier knew he wanted to make a difference in the world. The way to do it, he thought, was to study some people already making a difference.

Through his interviews with these high achievers, he noticed certain qualities or “weeds” that are absent from these people’s life-gardens.

“What I had to do was go out, find the people who were making a difference in the world, find out what they were doing, and emulate it,” Poirier said, during his talk at TEDxUNB last Thursday night at UNB Fredericton. “What I’m going to be talking about is the weeds they pulled out of their life, to make their life as such, to be able to that difference in the world.”

Here the five weeds Poirier said these world-changers pulled:

  1.  The “Poor Me” weed: One thing Poirier noticed is that people he interviewed don’t feel sorry for themselves. “In other words, they have an attitude as such ‘you know what? I’m going to go out and make this happen and I’m not going to feel sorry for myself or feel like I can’t do this because,” he said.
  2. The “TMI” Weed: Poirier said we’re living in an “information heavy” and “wisdom light” society. “What I discovered is the high achievers, the people who are making a difference, have realized they needed to find the sources they needed to learn from,” he said. “So they can sort through all that information and get to the information that’s going to make a difference”
  3. The “Technology Dependency” Weed: People texting or emailing someone else on their phone while they are having a human conversation with you has become the norm. However, Poirier said the people he interviewed held back the urge. “Not once did they ‘I might just have to send this text before we start the interview,’” he said.  “Are they dependent on technology? Absolutely . . . but one difference that I noticed is they don’t do it when they’re with me.”
  4. The “Other Weeds” Weed: Poirier recommends removing the negative people from your life and replacing them with those who bring positivity. “By taking out some of the weeds that were taking my life in the wrong direction, I was able to make room for some of the people who were able to take me down the right path and teach me lessons I wouldn’t have learned otherwise,” Poirier said.
  5. The “I Can’t” Weed: Because you might not believe it, but you totally can. “I think this is the hardest one and the biggest challenge, because it’s the one we tell ourselves,” Poirier said.

Great advice, now the trick is to follow it. So here’s what we want to know. Wicked Ideas is bashing down the toxic conversation barriers that prevent us from having honest and open conversations about the stuff that matters to us. Help us build a site that gives you the information you need to make a difference in your life. Tell us what you want and how you want it delivered. That seed of an idea will help us grow.

 Cherise Letson is the News Editor @TheBrunswickan, Atlantic Bureau Chief for Canadian University Press and Wicked Ideas newest contributor. Yeah, we’re pretty happy to welcome her to the Wicked Ideas team. Show her some love and follow what she’s got to say @CheriseLWrites

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