Here is the full text and audio of author AJ Jacobs’ talk titled “My Journey To Thank All The People Responsible For My Morning Coffee” at TED Talk conference.
Listen to the MP3 Audio:
So, I don’t like to boast, but I am very good at finding things to be annoyed about. It is a real specialty of mine.
I can hear 100 compliments and a single insult, and what do I remember? The insult.
And according to the research, I’m not alone. Unfortunately, the human brain is wired to focus on the negative.
Now, this might have been helpful when we were cave people, trying to avoid predators, but now it’s a terrible way to go through life. It is a real major component of anxiety and depression.
SO HOW CAN WE FIGHT THE BRAIN’S NEGATIVE BIAS?
According to a lot of research, one of the best weapons is gratitude. So knowing this, I started a new tradition in our house a couple of years ago.
Before a meal with my wife and kids, I would say a prayer of thanksgiving. Prayer is not quite the right word. I’m agnostic, so instead of thanking God, I would thank some of the people who helped make my food a reality.
I’d say, “I’d like to thank the farmer who grew these tomatoes, and the trucker who drove these tomatoes to the store, and the cashier who rang these tomatoes up.”