Physically, the brain uses dopamine to create a âgoodâ feeling. This is normal and natural. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter, a chemical that the brain uses during its normal functioning. Drugs of addiction cause the brainâs cells to excrete and flood the brain with the chemical dopamine or conversely, block the chemical from being reabsorbed into the cells.
Almost like a drug once you attend TED you canât stop having more & more. Itâs almost like the curators at TED i.e. guys like Chris Anderson, Bruno, Lakshmi and even Bill Gates have figured out a way to induce Dopamine in the brains of the TEDsters without the ill effects of Ecstasy, Marijuana or Cocaine.
My TED journey started in 2009 with my first TED, TED India in the beautiful city of Mysore. Before going to the event I was skeptical and did not really know what to expect. I was wrong; TED has now become an important part of my life and almost like a pilgrimage. A holy journey which I undertake twice or thrice a year to experience god in the form of countless ideas and inspiration.
Since 2009, I have attended TED in Mysore, Oxford, Lavasa (INK), Long Beach and recently in Edinburgh and in aggregate witnessed over 250 unique talks and got to connect with over 2000 people; and I want more!
However at a cost roughly of $5k to $8k including travel, stay etc. Itâs probably the most expensive single dose of a drug in the world.
Drugs or no-drugs here are five reasons why I am on a high and addicted:
1. Potpourri of People
TED is an event where you meet people from all over the world. TED
Global in Edinburgh had people from 70 countries. These are people young and old, rich and poor, men, women, humanoids and robots. Over the period of 3 -4 days your start making acquaintances and after a few TEDs you make friends. One reason which takes you back to TED is the urge to make new friends.
2. Ideas beyond the TED talks
TED speakers share amazing ideas and all these TED talks are available free online. So what is really the point of attending a physical TED event? Imagine worlds where there are no schools or universities the top teachers have recorded their lectures and all students are doing are logging online learning and giving tests. School is as much about shared learning from other students some of my most important lessons in life came from sitting with friends the school canteen and learning from experiences of our seniors. At a TED conference everyone has an idea to share, knowledge to give, opinion to make and life to change. All you have to do is ASK.
3. Humbling experience
Every person you meet at TED is smarter than you. You meet people who have dedicated their entire life to find the cure of for a rare disease,a bird from becoming extinct , invent technologies and gadgets which can save or enhance our lives, create amazing art & design, and even create Mushrooms which can eat you. However none of them have a chip on their shoulder, they are approachable, articulate and willing to spend time with everyone without any bias. The person sitting next to you maybe a Billionaire from Silicon Valley or a poor activist from Tunisia they all eat the same food, share the same space and are treated equal. Itâs truly one of the most humbling experiences
4. Spa for your brain and soul
A typical spa applies oil, herbs on your body, all the parts of your body as massaged by one or multiple masseurs, body is exposed to cold and heady aromas and scents. The process which can last hours and repeated many days and practices like acupressure pricks needles in different points of your body which somehow works. TED does the same over a period of 4 days your brain is treated with about 70 ideas each massaged for 18 odd minutes, you listen to all kinds of music from western classical to modern hip-hop, you are then made to drink exotic teas, coffee and in Scotland whiskeys and party all night but are expected to be back the next day at 8:30 am once again. If your brain ever had a CPU utilization bar like your PC I can bet during TED it would be at the 99% mark. Also during this period randomly you hear ideas, words, sentences or notes of music which touch your soul. Anyone who experiences this would certainly kill for the next!
Even though the format of TED is similar every year yet there is a lot of difference. The difference is really the element of surprise. In a world where we think we know it all, we are connected and have access to all the wisdom via the Internet you encounter things which your probable have never thought about before, causes you passionately want to support which you did not knew existed 18 minutes back and do things you thought you never could do, in my case eat bugs, which comes to the finally to the point on why am I really writing this post.
Think about it; if TED has become the ultimate drug how do you think. The Drug Cartels rewards its star drug peddlers! So if you comment on this and retweet, there is a big chance that I get my next fix for free!