How I Faked being Smart and Got a TEDx Talk

Translator: queenie lee reviewer: peter van de ven so how many of you over here have always wished that you were as smart as that person? If that is you, then why don't you raise your hands or give me an " ehhh!" so that I know that we have some people in the house that feel like that.

Audience: ehhh! Wow! Well, you know what? i never wished that. I was never a grade a student and I was never considered clever.

But a lot of you sitting over here in this audience and those of you that are watching tedx at home, you're probably going to go out there and do some pretty amazing things, at which point you're going to make my youtube channel seem extremely frivolous, and I also hope that you do go out there and get yourself a tedxtalk.

But unlike you, not me, not my teachers, not my friends, or my parents, no one ever considered me as smart. In fact, if you asked my teachers they would have told you what a smart ass I was.

(Laughter) I was always taught: get a job, secure yourself, and everything else will work out. And I did just that. I did my ba in english literature, got a job in radio, did a couple of tv shows in between, and then one day something happened.

I had a problem with my computer and I asked my brother if he could fix it. And he did. And I was surprised because he was just in school at that time, and I was really proud of him.

And I asked him, I said, " how did you just do that?" and he said, " it's really simple. I googled it." at that point, I realized that the only thing that was allowing him to do it and that was stopping me is that he was able to jump out of this dimension of " I don't know" into " let me figure it out." now I know being curious is something that is intrinsic in a lot of people's dna, but for me, your clichéd vogue, cosmo reading girl who liked to party which I still do by the way this was like a turning point in my life.

Suddenly, I stopped and I realized that some of the most interesting people I knew, they were multi-dimensional in this really weird way. Like there was this architect who was writing songs.

There was my friend who was interning at nasa, who was a theatre actor. And I realized that if I wanted to be like these people, if I wanted to break down all these preconceived notions that I had about myself, then the only tool that i could arm myself with is google.

Googling something; it's like this ocean of knowledge, ideas, thoughts and concepts that is just waiting for you to explore. And it's as simple as just saying " let me find out" it's not that difficult.

And that's how my journey with my youtube channel whack began. The only reason I am standing over here in front of you today is because I run a channel called as whack, and a lot of people today look at me as a source of information and knowledge.

And i'm going to tell you my secret. My journey with my youtube channel, it began like three years ago. I made my first video ten times. I made it again and again and again till I was ready to share it with the rest of the world.

Your journey with your youtube channel from your signature words to your endings, to your hoaxes, to your voice, that is something that you and the channel take together. What also happens with that journey is that you realize that it's so easy for people to just shoot a video and upload it, especially with mobile phones.

And by the way, that is how I made my first 40 videos, just on my mobile phone. And I thought all of that is very easy, but finding your voice, that is a beautiful journey and a trial-and-error process.

So what I really hope to achieve with a channel like this besides the lights, the views and the subscribers which, honestly, i'm going to tell you, is pretty good, doesn't hurt the ego at all (laughter) but what I truly hope to achieve with something like that is that people like me, not you, who have decided to limit their sources of information down to facebook, scooppoop and - god forbid arnab goswami will one day turn around and say that there is so much more happening in the world, in the fields of.

Art, music, science, other than just bollywood, ipl and politics. 65% of our population is below the age group of 35, which means that we are going to have one of the largest workforces in the world a workforce that wants to be smart and clever.

You can't imagine the number of people that write into me every single day saying that they want to be that person in the room that drops this awesome fact and everyone's like, " wow, that was so cool, where did you hear that?" maybe some of them might just say they heard it on whack.

So be that person. Be that person who realizes that there is a lot happening in this world. There's a lot happening other than just bollywood, politics and sports. I feel like there are a lot of forces out there that are trying to dumb us down, whether it's in the mainstream media or whether it is on the digital landscape.

But what I really hope is that people also realize, which I do, that there is another side to this coin. There are also people out there that are working really hard to tell the truth, and where you focus your attention, that makes all the difference.

So what is stopping me? Boundaries the boundaries that I had gone and created for myself. Until I realized that there are no boundaries, there are only excuses: i'm too old to learn this; it's too late in life now.

But you know what? Older learners, they actually have so many advantages. They have gone and created studying strategies for themselves: mnemonic devices, which actually gives them a better advantage.

And learning something new - it does fantastic things to your brain. It creates these new neural pathways, new connections, and that can do an amazing thing to a brain that has stopped growing.

Another thing that was stopping me, and could be stopping other people, is just motivation. You've just lost that desire to learn something new.

But the rate at which times are changing today, if you are that person, then you are no good than a granny who thinks that wtf means " well, that's fantastic." (laughter) some of the smartest people i know today are college dropouts, and some of the smartest people I know are doing their masters in computer engineering and working in tech giants in san francisco.

But the one thing that these two people have in common is that they know how to be smart. So how can you be smart? S-m-a-r-t. S: self-awareness.

Once you really know what your limitations are, then you will be a lot more aware of what it is that you can become. Aristotle had said that knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.

M: multi-dimensional. I feel like gone are the days where you need to be just a doctor or a consultant. I actually know the vice-president of a banking company who professionally runs full marathons.

I also know the cfo of a financial company, a big one here in india, who is a dj. He carries his own console to all his events and he will rock the party till 3: 00 a.M.

A: ask the right questions. It's not just about asking questions; it's also about asking the right questions because only then you will get the right answers that you need.

R: read, read, read. Read everything from finance to history, to cars, to anything. The more you read, the more neural connections you will make, and you will be able to expand your mind, one megabyte at a time.

And t: time. It's so important for us to move with the times. Every big company today is reinventing itself; then why can't we, as individuals? I truly think that once you have adapted these, there's this great coming together.

It's like you have deciphered the code. Deciphering the code is really not that complex. It's as simple as just saying: " let me find out." thank you. (Applause).

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