Susan Cain: The Power of Introverts

Are you an introvert or extrovert?

Introvert or Extrovert?

Not too long ago I read Susan Cain’s Book at the suggestion of two family members. Lifechanging! Up until that point, I thought I knew the difference between extrovert and introvert. We all know that introverts are shy, right?

I always thought that I had “overcome” my childhood introversion and evolved into an extrovert. After reading this book, I realized that I never stopped being an introvert; I just learned to to adapt. Introversion is not the same as being shy.  I appear to be able to talk to pretty much anyone. Therefore, most people would not describe me as being particularly shy.

Although, I can socialize in any setting, I actually prefer small groups and conversations that are deeper. Small talk is painful for me. I absolutely can socialize, but then I need solitude to recharge. Being in social settings is very draining for me.

I can’t recommend this book enough. It really helped me to have a better understanding of who I am and what I need in my life.

Power of Introvert
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Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

Amazon Description

The book that started the Quiet Revolution

At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over working in teams. It is to introverts—Rosa Parks, Chopin, Dr. Seuss, Steve Wozniak—that we owe many of the great contributions to society.

In Quiet, Susan Cain argues that we dramatically undervalue introverts and shows how much we lose in doing so. She charts the rise of the Extrovert Ideal throughout the twentieth century and explores how deeply it has come to permeate our culture. She also introduces us to successful introverts—from a witty, high-octane public speaker who recharges in solitude after his talks, to a record-breaking salesman who quietly taps into the power of questions. Passionately argued, superbly researched, and filled with indelible stories of real people, Quiet has the power to permanently change how we see introverts and, equally important, how they see themselves.

Ted Talk Tuesday

This Ted Talk featuring Susan Cain is so uplifting and empowering for introverts.

Taken from

Why you should listen 

Susan Cain is a former corporate lawyer and negotiations consultant — and a self-described introvert. At least one-third of the people we know are introverts, notes Cain in her book QUIET: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. Although our culture undervalues them dramatically, introverts have made some of the great contributions to society — from Chopin’s nocturnes to the invention of the personal computer to Ghandi’s transformative leadership. Cain argues that we design our schools, workplaces and religious institutions for extroverts, and that this bias creates a waste of talent, energy and happiness. Based on intensive research in psychology and neurobiology and on prolific interviews, she also explains why introverts are capable of great love and great achievement, not in spite of their temperament — but because of them.

Quiet Revolution

In 2015 Susan Cain announced the launch of her mission-based organization Quiet Revolution that aims to change the lives of introverts by empowering them with the information, tools and resources they need to survive and thrive.

In the workplace, companies are not fully harnessing the talents of their introverted employees and leadership teams are often imbalanced with many more extroverts than introverts. The Quiet Leadership Institute has worked with companies from LinkedIn to GE to Procter and Gamble to help them achieve their potential by providing learning experiences that unlock the power of introverts.

At the heart and center of the Quiet Revolution is empowering the next generation of children to know their own strengths and be freed from the sense of inadequacy that has shadowed the children of previous generations. Susan’s second book, Quiet Power, is written for teens and young adults but also serves as a tool for teachers and parents. In addition, Susan has created a portal and a online learning experience for the parents of quiet children and has also established the Quiet Schools Network. Susan’s podcast, Quiet: The Power of Introverts debuted in February 2016 as a 10-part series designed to give parents and teachers the tools they need to empower quiet kids.


Susan and the Quiet Revolution have received numerous accolades and press including Fortune magazine, The New York Times, NPRand many more.”

 Where to get this book

This book can be found on Amazon:

From my heart to yours,


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Dan Dennett: Cute, Sexy, Sweet, Funny

Why do we find cake sweet? Why are babies cute? What makes a joke funny?

I need to laugh, so today I am sharing this Ted Talk by Philosopher/Scientist Dan Dennett that discusses why we find cake sweet and babies cute. Enjoy!

From my heart to yours,




I’m going around the world giving talks about Darwin, and usually what I’m talking about is Darwin’s strange inversion of reasoning. Now that title, that phrase, comes from a critic, an early critic, and this is a passage that I just love, and would like to read for you.
“In the theory with which we have to deal, Absolute Ignorance is the artificer; so that we may enunciate as the fundamental principle of the whole system, that, in order to make a perfect and beautiful machine, it is not requisite to know how to make it. This proposition will be found on careful examination to express, in condensed form, the essential purport of the Theory, and to express in a few words all Mr. Darwin’s meaning; who, by a strange inversion of reasoning, seems to think Absolute Ignorance fully qualified to take the place of Absolute Wisdom in the achievements of creative skill.”
Exactly. Exactly. And it is a strange inversion. A creationist pamphlet has this wonderful page in it: “Test Two: Do you know of any building that didn’t have a builder? Yes/No. Do you know of any painting that didn’t have a painter? Yes/No. Do you know of any car that didn’t have a maker? Yes/No. If you answered ‘Yes’ for any of the above, give details.”
A-ha! I mean, it really is a strange inversion of reasoning. You would have thought it stands to reason that design requires an intelligent designer. But Darwin shows that it’s just false.
Today, though, I’m going to talk about Darwin’s other strange inversion, which is equally puzzling at first, but in some ways just as important. It stands to reason that we love chocolate cake because it is sweet. Guys go for girls like this because they are sexy. We adore babies because they’re so cute. And, of course, we are amused by jokes because they are funny.
This is all backwards. It is. And Darwin shows us why. Let’s start with sweet. Our sweet tooth is basically an evolved sugar detector, because sugar is high energy, and it’s just been wired up to the preferer, to put it very crudely, and that’s why we like sugar. Honey is sweet because we like it, not “we like it because honey is sweet.” There’s nothing intrinsically sweet about honey. If you looked at glucose molecules till you were blind, you wouldn’t see why they tasted sweet. You have to look in our brains to understand why they’re sweet. So if you think first there was sweetness, and then we evolved to like sweetness, you’ve got it backwards; that’s just wrong. It’s the other way round. Sweetness was born with the wiring which evolved.
And there’s nothing intrinsically sexy about these young ladies. And it’s a good thing that there isn’t, because if there were, then Mother Nature would have a problem: How on earth do you get chimps to mate? Now you might think, ah, there’s a solution: hallucinations. That would be one way of doing it, but there’s a quicker way. Just wire the chimps up to love that look, and apparently they do. That’s all there is to it. Over six million years, we and the chimps evolved our different ways. We became bald-bodied, oddly enough; for one reason or another, they didn’t. If we hadn’t, then probably this would be the height of sexiness.
Our sweet tooth is an evolved and instinctual preference for high-energy food. It wasn’t designed for chocolate cake. Chocolate cake is a supernormal stimulus. The term is owed to Niko Tinbergen, who did his famous experiments with gulls, where he found that that orange spot on the gull’s beak — if he made a bigger, oranger spot the gull chicks would peck at it even harder. It was a hyperstimulus for them, and they loved it. What we see with, say, chocolate cake is it’s a supernormal stimulus to tweak our design wiring. And there are lots of supernormal stimuli; chocolate cake is one. There’s lots of supernormal stimuli for sexiness.
And there’s even supernormal stimuli for cuteness. Here’s a pretty good example. It’s important that we love babies, and that we not be put off by, say, messy diapers. So babies have to attract our affection and our nurturing, and they do. And, by the way, a recent study shows that mothers prefer the smell of the dirty diapers of their own baby. So nature works on many levels here. But now, if babies didn’t look the way they do — if babies looked like this, that’s what we would find adorable, that’s what we would find — we would think, oh my goodness, do I ever want to hug that. This is the strange inversion.
Well now, finally what about funny. My answer is, it’s the same story, the same story. This is the hard one, the one that isn’t obvious. That’s why I leave it to the end. And I won’t be able to say too much about it. But you have to think evolutionarily, you have to think, what hard job that has to be done — it’s dirty work, somebody’s got to do it — is so important to give us such a powerful, inbuilt reward for it when we succeed. Now, I think we’ve found the answer — I and a few of my colleagues. It’s a neural system that’s wired up to reward the brain for doing a grubby clerical job. Our bumper sticker for this view is that this is the joy of debugging. Now I’m not going to have time to spell it all out, but I’ll just say that only some kinds of debugging get the reward. And what we’re doing is we’re using humor as a sort of neuroscientific probe by switching humor on and off, by turning the knob on a joke — now it’s not funny … oh, now it’s funnier … now we’ll turn a little bit more … now it’s not funny — in this way, we can actually learn something about the architecture of the brain, the functional architecture of the brain.
Matthew Hurley is the first author of this. We call it the Hurley Model. He’s a computer scientist, Reginald Adams a psychologist, and there I am, and we’re putting this together into a book. Thank you very much.



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Nic Marks: Happiness is a Serious Business

In this Ted Talk, Nic Marks challenges us to think of happiness as serious business.

We tend to think that “when I am successful I will be happy” but Marks challenges us to think of ways businesses can have happier employees which will result in more success.

According to YouTube

Does success lead to happiness? If we work hard first, will it pay in terms of happiness Later on? According to statistics presented by Nic Marks (, we should first look towards happiness in order to achieve success and then build on that to support a virtuous cycle. Nic also shares some secrets on how we can build on happiness in our everyday working lives.

World-renowned for his work in happiness and application of statistical methods to measure wellbeing, Nic is perhaps best known for his trailblazing work on the Happy Planet Index, a global index of human well-being and environmental impact. A ‘statistician with soul’, he believes that a happy life does not have to cost the earth, and that happiness and contentment are not the result of the accumulation of material wealth or unfettered economic growth, but it rather comes from connecting with others, engaging with the world and gaining a sense of autonomy.”

Nic Marks

About Nic Marks

According to Nic Marks website:  “He is perhaps best known for his trailblazing work on the Happy Planet Index, National Accounts of Well-being and the Five Ways to Well-being which is used extensively within health and education institutions as well as within governmental policy. Nic is the founder of Happiness Works, an organisation that changes the world of work for the better through online tools and services and is a fellow of nef (new economics foundation) and on the board for Action for Happiness.”

“Nic is an engaging speaker full of passion and purpose. His work on happiness in the workplace has been at the forefront of explaining why happiness is a serious business.”

– Tony Hsieh, CEO, Zappos

More Ted Talks:

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Rita Pierson: Every Kid Needs a Champion

What would it be like if every child had a champion; someone cheering them on and expecting their very best?

Every child deserves a champion
Ted Talks

Every Kid Needs a Champion

In honor of school starting next week I am sharing a Ted Talk about one of the most inspiring teachers, Rita Pierson. I love this woman’s passion for education and her love of children is just this powerful force. She is so genuine and authentic and speaks from her heart and motivates and challenges and just loves on the littles. Even the littles who might not be so lovable. She speaks about developing a connection. Relationships are crucial to education.

Keep loving them and keep pushing them to be the very best they can be.

From my heart to yours,


Ted Talks Tuesday



I have spent my entire life either at the schoolhouse, on the way to the schoolhouse, or talking about what happens in the schoolhouse.
Both my parents were educators, my maternal grandparents were educators, and for the past 40 years, I’ve done the same thing. And so, needless to say, over those years I’ve had a chance to look at education reform from a lot of perspectives. Some of those reforms have been good. Some of them have been not so good. And we know why kids drop out. We know why kids don’t learn. It’s either poverty, low attendance, negative peer influences… We know why. But one of the things that we never discuss or we rarely discuss is the value and importance of human connection. Relationships.
James Comer says that no significant learning can occur without a significant relationship. George Washington Carver says all learning is understanding relationships. Everyone in this room has been affected by a teacher or an adult. For years, I have watched people teach. I have looked at the best and I’ve looked at some of the worst.
A colleague said to me one time, “They don’t pay me to like the kids. They pay me to teach a lesson. The kids should learn it. I should teach it, they should learn it, Case closed.”
Well, I said to her, “You know, kids don’t learn from people they don’t like.”
She said, “That’s just a bunch of hooey.”
And I said to her,
“Well, your year is going to be long and arduous, dear.”
Needless to say, it was. Some people think that you can either have it in you to build a relationship, or you don’t. I think Stephen Covey had the right idea. He said you ought to just throw in a few simple things, like seeking first to understand, as opposed to being understood. Simple things, like apologizing. You ever thought about that? Tell a kid you’re sorry, they’re in shock.
I taught a lesson once on ratios. I’m not real good with math, but I was working on it.
And I got back and looked at that teacher edition. I’d taught the whole lesson wrong.
So I came back to class the next day and I said, “Look, guys, I need to apologize. I taught the whole lesson wrong. I’m so sorry.”
They said, “That’s okay, Ms. Pierson. You were so excited, we just let you go.”
I have had classes that were so low, so academically deficient, that I cried. I wondered, “How am I going to take this group, in nine months, from where they are to where they need to be? And it was difficult, it was awfully hard. How do I raise the self-esteem of a child and his academic achievement at the same time?
One year I came up with a bright idea. I told all my students, “You were chosen to be in my class because I am the best teacher and you are the best students, they put us all together so we could show everybody else how to do it.”
One of the students said, “Really?”
I said, “Really. We have to show the other classes how to do it, so when we walk down the hall, people will notice us, so you can’t make noise. You just have to strut.”
And I gave them a saying to say: “I am somebody. I was somebody when I came. I’ll be a better somebody when I leave. I am powerful, and I am strong. I deserve the education that I get here. I have things to do, people to impress, and places to go.”
And they said, “Yeah!”
You say it long enough, it starts to be a part of you.
I gave a quiz, 20 questions. A student missed 18. I put a “+2” on his paper and a big smiley face.
He said, “Ms. Pierson, is this an F?”
I said, “Yes.”
He said, “Then why’d you put a smiley face?”
I said, “Because you’re on a roll. You got two right. You didn’t miss them all.”
I said, “And when we review this, won’t you do better?”
He said, “Yes, ma’am, I can do better.”
You see, “-18” sucks all the life out of you. “+2” said, “I ain’t all bad.”
For years, I watched my mother take the time at recess to review, go on home visits in the afternoon, buy combs and brushes and peanut butter and crackers to put in her desk drawer for kids that needed to eat, and a washcloth and some soap for the kids who didn’t smell so good. See, it’s hard to teach kids who stink.
And kids can be cruel. And so she kept those things in her desk, and years later, after she retired, I watched some of those same kids come through and say to her, “You know, Ms. Walker, you made a difference in my life. You made it work for me. You made me feel like I was somebody, when I knew, at the bottom, I wasn’t. And I want you to just see what I’ve become.”
And when my mama died two years ago at 92, there were so many former students at her funeral, it brought tears to my eyes, not because she was gone, but because she left a legacy of relationships that could never disappear.
Can we stand to have more relationships? Absolutely. Will you like all your children? Of course not.
And you know your toughest kids are never absent.
Never. You won’t like them all, and the tough ones show up for a reason. It’s the connection. It’s the relationships. So teachers become great actors and great actresses, and we come to work when we don’t feel like it, and we’re listening to policy that doesn’t make sense, and we teach anyway. We teach anyway, because that’s what we do.
Teaching and learning should bring joy. How powerful would our world be if we had kids who were not afraid to take risks, who were not afraid to think, and who had a champion? Every child deserves a champion, an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection, and insists that they become the best that they can possibly be.
Is this job tough? You betcha. Oh God, you betcha. But it is not impossible. We can do this. We’re educators. We’re born to make a difference.
Thank you so much.

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TED Talks Tuesday – Ideas Worth Spreading

TED is an organization that began in 1984 as a conference for Technology, Entertainment, and Design. It is is dedicated to spreading ideas. Each year there is a conference (TED Conference) where some of the most interesting folks give a brief (18 minute or less) talk. These are called “TED Talks“.


According to the TED website:

TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less). TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, and today covers almost all topics — from science to business to global issues — in more than 100 languages. Meanwhile, independently run TEDx events help share ideas in communities around the world.

Our Mission: Spread ideas

TED is a global community, welcoming people from every discipline and culture who seek a deeper understanding of the world. We believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and, ultimately, the world. On, we’re building a clearinghouse of free knowledge from the world’s most inspired thinkers — and a community of curious souls to engage with ideas and each other, both online and at TED and TEDx events around the world, all year long.

In fact, everything we do — from our Conferences to our TED Talks to the projects sparked by the TED Prize, from the global TEDx community to the TED-Ed lesson series — is driven by this goal: How can we best spread great ideas?

TED is owned by a nonprofit, nonpartisan foundation. Our agenda is to make great ideas accessible and spark conversation.”

TED Talks Tuesday

I absolutely love listening to TED Talks. I generally find myself inspired, motivated, and curious for more. My plan is to actively seek out inspiring TED Talks to share each week.

Do YOU have a favorite TED Talk?

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Shawn Achor: The happy secret to better work

Shawn Achor:  The happy secret to better work

What is this about?

We believe that we should work to be happy, but could that be backwards? In this fast-moving and entertaining talk from TEDxBloomington, psychologist Shawn Achor argues that actually happiness inspires productivity.” – YouTube Description

Why do I like it?

For one, Shawn Achor is just plain funny. The video begins with a story from his childhood and as he describes the interaction with his sister I couldn’t help but picture some similar stories of my siblings.

In addition, the message is that we shape our reality…. our happiness. We chose. I love that. (Happy Mind Happy Life)

“We’re finding it’s not necessarily the reality that shapes us, but the lens through which your brain views the world that shapes your reality. And if we can change the lens, not only can we change your happiness, we can change every single educational and business outcome at the same time.” – Shawn Achor

Shawn goes on to add,

“If I know everything about your external world, I can only predict 10% of your long-term happiness. 90 percent of your long-term happiness is predicted not by the external world, but by the way your brain processes the world. And if we change it, if we change our formula for happiness and success, we can change the way that we can then affect reality. What we found is that only 25% of job successes are predicted by IQ, 75 percent of job successes are predicted by your optimism levels, your social support and your ability to see stress as a challenge instead of as a threat.”

About Shawn Achor:

Shawn Achor is one of the leading experts on happiness and is the author of New York Times best-selling books The Happiness Advantage and Before Happiness. For more information: Good Think Inc – Shawn Achor

Shawn Achor
Shawn Achor



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