A review of The Power of TED (The Empowerment Dynamic) by David Emerald
Ever feel like the world just has it out for you? Let me briefly tell you my story. I decided a few years ago to consciously build what, looking back, feels like a rather odd habit. I thought, every time something bad happens, I’m going to say in mind “Always something”. I’m not sure entirely why I decided this in the moment. If anything went bad I would just mind-mumble “yup, always something”. I was basically saying that the world has it out for me. I wanted the world to understand that I wasn’t succeeding or doing good enough (or perhaps being good enough) because bad things are always happening to me. If only the world could just see that it’s not my fault.
Over time, this practice led to me getting frustrated at nearly everything. Eventually I peaked my frustration and allowed the habit to fade. I think I may have realized back then even that what I was doing was a little toxic. The Power of TED takes us on a story. It’s essentially one large parable. In it, we learn about what is for many a default way of thinking, which is that we’re under attack, we’re a victim and in need of a rescuer. This is how I often felt.
This book was recommended to me by my career coach at the time and going in I already had a little understanding of where we were headed. I’ve since re-enforced these concepts in my mind and actions over time. A victim is powerless and can’t do anything about the situation, TED shows us that while we can’t always choose what happens to us, we can always choose our response.
The Empowerment Dynamic approach is challenger -> creator -> coach. The opposite of victim is creator, if we’re a victim, we are helpless and can do nothing, only hope and pray that a rescuer comes by. Even if the rescuer does come by, this brings it’s own sort of issues. For one, we’re not going to grow much because someone else took care of the problem (at least in the short term or at the surface level) but it also makes us hopelessly dependent. A creator instead accepts that challenges happen in life and that by getting creative, they can grow themselves.
These concepts have revealed to me a lot of perspectives I’ve had in life and made me rethink my actions in many cases. I no longer mumble the “always something” line and I actively try to own my situation (though I’m far from perfect). I’m also less likely to blame other people for things and instead realize that I still get to choose how to respond to the situation. The overlap I’ve seen with this theme in other books is tremendous and helps to constantly re-enforce these principles in my life. It’s a very quick read, I highly recommend giving it a shot.