When you reach a certain age, maturity, and experience, you won’t immediately stop questioning yourself. On the contrary. The more you live, the bigger and stronger the insecurities. What have I achieved so far? Should I be proud of myself? What are the truths I’ve surely learned?
These are just some of the questions you might have in your mind. So did the famous writer, Anne Lamott, before she gave her well-known speech during a Ted Talks session in Vancouver, April 2017. At the prolific age of 60, she decided to gather all the indisputable truths she has discovered in her tremendous life, with a lot of ups and downs. Anne Lamott Ted Talk is so popular because it gives you some answers you’ve been looking for. It’s not only for middle-aged women searching for new goals. Her speech reaches for the truth deep down in the entire human existential experience.
Who is Anne Lamott?
You may be wondering who is this woman and why should you hear and believe her “truths”. And, if you have read none of her books, then the first thing you should learn is that her life wasn’t easy. She has overcome a lot of obstacles, which she genuinely described in her non-fictional books.
Her first major trauma was her father’s disease. “Hard Laughter” was her first published book and she dedicated it to him. This book was followed by many others, most of them autobiographical. Afterward, she struggled with drug and alcohol addiction and single motherhood.
Nowadays, being sober and clean for more than 30 years, she puts her experience in the service of humanity. Her deep concern about revealing new ways of thinking for people in their every-day life, for discovering more and more layers of life through writing help a lot her readers. Therefore, being called “People’s Author” is entirely deserved.
Her most famous books are: “Almost Everything”, “Small Victories”, “Stitches”, and “Help Thanks Wow”.
In 2017 she was invited to give a speech in Vancouver and her topic choice is more than appealing: “12 hilarious truths I learned from life and writing”. She wrote down some precious ideas and shared them with the world. If you want to find them out, keep reading this article.
Anne Lamott Ted Talk
- All truth is a paradox
Before learning any other truth, it’s of paramount importance to understand that we live in a very strange system. A lot of things happen and, most of the time, they exclude themselves. If you are born “sensitive”, there will be even more bad matches in your life’s circumstances. That’s why this life-system is weird – it hosts both the happiness of the rich and the hunger of the poor, the geniality of people like Mozart and the invalidity, the dead and the alive.
- Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes (including you)
This may go down to the cliche expression: “Keep trying”. In reality, it includes an important aspect most ambitious and goal-oriented people forget – “unplugging”. When things don’t go the right track, just turn yourself off. Let your engine cool down and gather some fresh energy. Only then, you can try again.
- There is almost nothing outside of you that will help in any lasting way (unless you’re waiting for an organ). Life is an inside job.
What Anne Lamott means is that everything you need is inside you. All you have to do is keep searching for the answer.
- Give yourself a radical self-care.
The world’s peace begins inside individuals. Once you care much enough about yourself, you are more likely to start caring about others, too. People around you shouldn’t become your binder to the world. Find the binder inside yourself because that’s the only world you truly know. Everyone else is struggling, too, although this might not be visible from the outside.
- Chocolate with 75% cacao is not actually a food.
Ironically speaking, this one is about how certain things become what they weren’t precisely meant to be.
- Every writer you know writes really terrible first drafts, but they keep their butt in the chair.
Perseverance is what Anne finds to be the secret of life. Most writers never even keep the first draft as it is. They write and rewrite although this may be so consuming.
- Publication and temporary creative successes are something you have to recover from.
What most people see as a blessing can become a curse for others. This applies to the act of being published, too. You don’t only become popular, you become exposed. A writer appears with his bear thoughts and feelings in front of the reader and this isn’t something to cope easily with.
- Families are hard, hard, hard. Remember that Earth is a forgiveness school.
Not all families are love nests and sources of happiness. For some people, they represent the main cause of sorrow and sadness. If you are one of them, and if you have trouble sitting around the table with your folks, remember that “Earth is a forgiveness school”. Start with that.
- Food: try to do a little better.
With no more details, Anne knows that the subtle message will get to those who genuinely need it.
- The movement of grace is what changes us, heals us, and heals our world.
According to Anne, grace and spirituality will save the world.
- So go outside a lot and lookup.
Anne doesn’t want you to be that poor bee that gets trapped in a jar without a lid and can’t escape it. The bee won’t look up to see how free it can be. But you can do it.
- Don’t be scared of death, it’s as sacred as birth.
When those few beloved ones pass away, the most important thing for you is not to close up your soul. If you let them in, they will continue living inside yourself. Anne makes reference to Leonard Cohen’s words: “There are cracks in everything, and that’s how the light gets in.”
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