We resonate with the familiar — stories that spark something inside us that help us see above us. This article from The Chalkboard* pinpoints that perfectly, with a brilliant suggestion to write your own TED Talk as a form of narrative therapy. Keep reading to find out exactly what that means and how you can work this practice into your next time of self-reflection.

THE STORY WE TELL ourselves about ourselves directly shapes the way we exist in the world. The introspective journaling exercise below from energy healer, Benson Simmonds, takes a similar approach to narrative therapy — a form of psychotherapy that helps us examine, reshape and sharpen the way we perceive both our skills and our shortcomings.

According to Benson, by writing our own TED Talk-like reflection using the prompts below, we’re better able to understand who we are, how we present ourselves, who we strive to be and how we can get there.

We first met Benson through the holistic pros at Beverly Hills’ Skin Worship and are constantly inspired by the sharpness of his energetic intuition, wisdom and workable guidance. Benson also coaches clients one-on-one and is preparing an upcoming group class to help people write and record their personal TED Talks. Check out this simple blessings ritual from Benson, find more in his new book, and try your own flavor of narrative therapy with the prompts below…

ted talk prompts

We’ve all had that moment when someone sends you a link to watch a TED Talk. Even though you have a million things to do, you stop to watch. You become enthralled by the speaker who candidly shares their past and how it propelled them to a new way of thinking and living. You laugh, you may cry but by the end you are inspired by their story and by the simple powerful message that for that moment makes your life a little more meaningful.

That’s where it stops for most of us. Or perhaps you take another moment to dream about giving your own TED Talk. But then you go on with your day.

What is powerful about most TED Talks? They revolve around someone’s personal journey, how it changed them and led them to a clearer understanding of who they are, why they exist, the purpose of their journey and how they want to inspire others.

As an energy healer and spiritual life coach, I try to inspire all of my clients to write and eventually tape their own personal TED Talk. Not only is it cathartic, but there is something life transforming about getting clarity about who you are, what your journey is and how you want to inspire the world. As we all know, clarity is power. In this chaotic world where we are constantly being bombarded by the media, it’s empowering to know who you are and what you really, truly, deeply stand for.

It may seem like a daunting endeavor but it’s actually much easier than you may think.

Why create your TED Talk?

Your Brand: Because in this branding-obsessed world, it’s important to know your spiritual “brand.”

Your Journey: By simply going through the process of preparing your TED Talk, you will realize how truly significant you are and how important your life journey has been and is to yourself and the world.

Clarity: You get clarity on what is truly important to you. This can help you shape the decisions you make for many years to come. These may be decisions about what profession you choose or if you want to change careers — decisions regarding the people you choose to be around on a daily basis; the relationships that are really important and where and with whom you want to invest more time and energy.

Celebrate YOU: You take the time to celebrate who you are.

Inspiration: You recognize that you truly can inspire others.

Contribution: It helps you review your life and discover what and how you want to contribute to the world.

There is something life transforming about getting clarity about who you are, what your journey is and how you want to inspire the world.

How to create your TED Talk:

Ask yourself these questions:

+ What am I most passionate about?

+ If I could give just one important message to the world, what would it be and why?

+ If I were about to die and wanted to share the essence of who I am and what is important to me, what would I say?

+ What are my top five most life changing or pivotal events in my life so far? What did I learn from each of those events?

+ What’s the most important message I would want to share based on these past events?

+ How did I or how do I specifically cope with the challenges life has given me?

+ From where do I draw my strength and what has continued to give me inspiration?

+ If I could distill my life, my purpose and passion down to two lines, what would they be and why?

Or try filling in the following statements:

After answering the questions above and filling in these statements below, begin to look for a through line, an overriding message or idea that shines through.

My greatest challenge has been_____________________

My greatest rewards have come from________________

I’m most proud of________________________________

+ I’ve been humbled most by_________________________

+I’ve been inspired most by__________________________

Then use this format:

+ My journey and an event that changed my way of thinking

+ How it changed my life

+ What it made me realize is important

+ The singular message I want/NEED to share with the world

+ What I want others to be inspire others to think, feel and do

What singular message do you want or need to share with the world?

*The Chalkboard Mag and its materials are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease.  All material on The Chalkboard Mag is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health related program. 

Images via Mikayla Lune



  1. As a writer, this resonated with me deeply. We often think about these elements and then those thoughts are gone. Organizing them as a means of a “spiritual brand” has more permanence and gives a sense of accountability.

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