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Thursday, February 25, 2010

What matters to you, matters

The other day I was watching an old episode of "Big Ideas" (taped off Australia's ABC1 TV station). Jonathan Safron Foer was on reading from his book "Eating Animals" (his speech can also be read here: What made the biggest impression on me was the incident during the war when his grandmother was given some pork and didn't eat it, inspite of the fact that she was starving and it could save her life. She didn't eat it because it wasn't kosher and she told her grandson "If nothing matters, there's nothing to save."

Today I got on the ted website ( and watched a few of videos.

The first video I watched was A.J. Jacobs' year of living bibically ( This guy wrote out all the rules in the bible and lived by them for a year - he even stoned (well, threw a pebble at) an adulterer. I like his attitude of running experiments with his life, to see how things work out, rather than just dismissing things. One of his conclusions from this experiment was that it doesn't matter whether things are true or not true, rational or irrational, as long as they don't hurt anybody.

The second video I watched was Rick Warren on a life of purpose ( This is the guy who wrote the book "The Purpose Driven Life", which I have read and attended a group, however that was nearly 4 years ago and it all went a bit fast for me, so I can't really remember much about it. One of the things Rick says in this video is that God created you and is happy when you do the things he designed you to do. So you should do the stuff you are good at and that you enjoy.

The third video I watched was Rory Sutherland: Life lessons from an ad man ( He talked about how advertising is about changing peoples' perceptions about things so they place a higher value on them and enjoy them more. He recommended not trying to change reality (which can be difficult and time consuming) and instead just changing how you perceive things.

This is what I get out of all of the above:
  • its important to have things that matter to you
  • don't discount things that are important to you because they are not important to someone else
  • people use a wide variety of paradigms to explain why things are important to them (the main two I can think of are science and religeon). This being the case, it doesn't really matter why the things that matter to you, matter to you - if it matters to you that you have a reason, select what matters to you first and find the reason second.
  • something said by a woman I have never met 30-40 years ago, a woman had no public life - was not an author / CEO / celebrity, can influence how I live my life now. That being the case, how I live my life now, could influence how people in future live and I want that influence to be positive.


  1. So glad I decided to start at the beginning Isabella. So glad. I absolutely LOVE this post and LOVE your little synopsis at the bottom. I agree 100%. Really made my day this post. Thank you!!! I have to run now but I will definitely be back for more.