Why a Positive Outlook Means Everything

Sir Ken Robinson: My father had a catastrophic accident when he was 45 and he became paralyzed the rest of his life.  But that wasn’t the end of his life.  It wasn’t the end of our family.

The SWOT Analysis is a look at your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.  And you can think of the first two as being related to passion and aptitudes.  But opportunities and threats are to do with your circumstances and the way you read them.  

I give a lot of personal stories in my book about events in my family, including my father having a catastrophic accident when he was 45 and he became paralyzed the rest of his life.  But that wasn’t the end of his life; it wasn’t the end of our family.  He had a tremendously positive outlook.  He was just a very strong-minded person, very funny, very sardonic, and wonderful company.  He broke his neck at the age of 45 when he had my mother, a young family and all kinds of responsibilities and challenges to face including not earning not much money at all at that point.  

But what he illustrates and what other people illustrate is that it’s not what happens to you in your life because bad things happen to all of us, it’s what you make of what happens and what you're prepared to do in the circumstances and what opportunity you can see for moving forward.  

In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think's studio.

Image  courtesy of Shutterstock


The 4 types of thinking talents: Analytic, procedural, relational and innovative

Understanding thinking talents in yourself and others can build strong teams and help avoid burnout.

Big Think Edge
  • Learn to collaborate within a team and identify "thinking talent" surpluses – and shortages.
  • Angie McArthur teaches intelligent collaboration for Big Think Edge.
  • Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
Keep reading Show less

Do you have a self-actualized personality? Maslow revisited

Rediscovering the principles of self-actualisation might be just the tonic that the modern world is crying out for.

Personal Growth

Abraham Maslow was the 20th-century American psychologist best-known for explaining motivation through his hierarchy of needs, which he represented in a pyramid. At the base, our physiological needs include food, water, warmth and rest.

Keep reading Show less

Scientists reactivate cells from 28,000-year-old woolly mammoth

"I was so moved when I saw the cells stir," said 90-year-old study co-author Akira Iritani. "I'd been hoping for this for 20 years."

Yamagata et al.
Surprising Science
  • The team managed to stimulate nucleus-like structures to perform some biological processes, but not cell division.
  • Unless better technology and DNA samples emerge in the future, it's unlikely that scientists will be able to clone a woolly mammoth.
  • Still, studying the DNA of woolly mammoths provides valuable insights into the genetic adaptations that allowed them to survive in unique environments.
Keep reading Show less

Believe in soulmates? You're more likely to 'ghost' romantic partners.

Does believing in true love make people act like jerks?

Thought Catalog via Unsplash
Sex & Relationships
  • Ghosting, or cutting off all contact suddenly with a romantic partner, is not nice.
  • Growth-oriented people (who think relationships are made, not born) do not appreciate it.
  • Destiny-oriented people (who believe in soulmates) are more likely to be okay with ghosting.
Keep reading Show less