Life & Style

Anita Moorjani on Dying To Be Me at TEDxBayArea (Full Transcript)

Think about this, think about all the billions of dollars we’re spending on cancer awareness. Think about all the cancer awareness campaigns. Imagine if we put that much money, energy, and effort into wellness awareness what a different world we would have. Imagine if we put all our effort into peace instead in into fighting and wars, we would have a very different world if we changed our awareness.

To bring it down onto a more personal level, I want to share with you the five biggest lessons I learned from this experience.

Number one, the most important thing that I learned, the most important thing we have here, to focus our awareness on, is love. That is number one. And when I say love, it’s very easy to say, or for us to say, “We need to love other people.” But one of the things I learned is that, one of the reasons I got cancer is because I didn’t love myself. That’s hugely important.

When we love ourselves, we value ourselves. When we value ourselves, we teach people how to treat us. When you love yourself, you find no need to control or bully other people nor do you allow other people to control or bully you. So loving yourself is as important as loving everybody else. And the more you love yourself, the more love you have to give other people.


Number two, the next biggest lesson I learned, was to live life fearlessly. Most of us are brought up on a diet of fear. We’re taught to fear everything. I used to fear everything, I used to fear cancer, I used to fear eating the wrong foods, I used to fear displeasing people. I feared just about everything. I feared failing, and most of us are brought up fearing everything. And people think that fear keeps you safe; that’s actually not true. Love keeps you safe.

When you love yourself, and when you love other people, you make sure that you keep yourself safe and that you keep other people out of danger’s way. Love keeps you much safer than fear does.


The third thing I learned that is so important is humor, and laughter, and joy. We’re born knowing this stuff. We’re born knowing that it’s important to laugh because that’s what kids do all the time. We’re born knowing love and fearlessness, but it gets conditioned out of us as we grow up.


Laughter is so important, and humor, and finding your joy in life. It’s more important than any other spiritual activity that you can think of. If we had more laughter, in fact, if even our politicians learn to laugh, we’d have a very different world. And if we had more laughter, you would have less people with illness, you’d need less hospitals, and you’d need less prisons as well.

The fourth thing I learned is that life is a gift. It really is. Most of us live our lives as though life is a chore, but it shouldn’t be that way. And it’s unfortunate that only when we lose something that we value do we really realize the true value of it. And it took me losing my life to realize the value of my life. And I don’t want other people to make the same mistake which is why I’m standing here sharing my message. Because I don’t want people to realize when it’s too late the value of their life. And your life is a gift. Even the challenges that come to you are a gift.


When I had cancer, that was the biggest challenge I could ever have, but today when I look back on it, I feel it’s the biggest gift I could have had. People think that the cancer, or even I thought, the cancer was killing me, but actually I was killing myself before I got cancer. The cancer saved my life.


All your challenges are gifts. In the end, you will always find that your challenges are a gift. And if you’re really challenged, and it doesn’t feel like a gift yet, it means you haven’t got to the end yet.

The fifth and final thing which is so important that I learned is that the most important thing for you is to always be yourself. Be as you as you can be. Shine your light as brightly as you can. Embrace your uniqueness. Just realize who you are, get to know who you are, love yourself unconditionally, and just be yourself.


And with those five things, I invite you to go and live your life fearlessly.


Thank you very much.


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By Pangambam S

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