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Comment devient-on une bonne histoire ? | Nathalie Sejean | TEDxReims

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    Ten years ago,
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    I quit my job as a bookseller,
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    I packed my luggage and I left
    to live in Los Angeles.
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    I didn’t know anyone there but
    I knew I wanted to make movies
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    so it made sense to me
    to go to Hollywood.
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    After a few years
    I came back to France,
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    and when people would ask me:
    "What do you do in life?"
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    I would reply:
    "I'm a filmmaker, I make movies."
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    "I’m just back from a few years in L.A.”
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    At that moment I would often
    see a sparkle lit in their eyes
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    as they'd say, "That's amazing!
    what kind of films do you do?
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    Can we watch them at
    the movie theater?
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    Have you worked with famous people?”
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    And I would reply:
    "I direct mostly fiction."
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    You can't watch y films at
    the movie theatre...
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    not yet!
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    And no...
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    no, I haven’t worked with
    anyone famous.”
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    At that moment there would be a silence
    long enough for their enthusiasm
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    to go down a few inches.
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    And then we would keep on talking
    about Los Angeles.
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    Little by little,
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    tired of seeing people’s reaction
    going from curious to disappointed
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    when they would realize
    that I was a "wannabe"
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    I started lying about what I was doing.
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    I stopped saying
    "I'm a filmmaker"
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    to say “I work as a freelance.”
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    I stopped saying "I make films"
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    to say “I make videos for clients.”
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    It sounded less dreamy
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    but it was useful and practical.
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    We would talk about how to find clients,
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    how to bill them, about gear.
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    And more importantly,
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    I stopped feeling like I had
    to apologize for my lack of success.
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    I began to feel a bit weird
    about it though.
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    I started to wonder:
    "Why do you lie about what you do?"
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    And why do you feel compelled
    to diminish people's expectations
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    so they won’t think you’ve failed?
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    It’s at that point that I really started
    to become interested
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    about the concept of “success”.
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    And at how it has evolved
    in the last few years,
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    especially with social media's arrival
    in our lives that reminds us daily
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    how we rank on the graph of success
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    compared to the other 8 billion.
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    This ranking on the “success graph”
    explains why sometimes,
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    when we talk with people,
    a contest starts
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    to find out who has the most impact.
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    It’s conveyed through innocent words:
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    “I know X person”
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    “X number of people follow me”,
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    “I visited X number of countries”,
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    “I was a speaker at X event”.
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    Giving a TED Talk is great
    to win an impact contest.
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    Thank you TED.
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    Power and Success have always existed.
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    And they’ve always been a fuel
    for some people,
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    and obstacles for others.
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    But in the last few years,
    things have become so intense
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    that I’ve already found myself
    listening to 24-year-olds
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    explaining to me that they had
    abandoned a dream or an idea
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    before they had even started.
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    And the reason why they
    had given up before even trying
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    is because they were paralyzed by
    the success of people younger than them
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    that they were witnessing daily
    on social media.
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    I’ve listened to 24-year-olds explaining
    to me that if they really had something
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    to achieve on this planet, they should
    have had their breakthrough by now.
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    At 24 they didn’t feel old,
    they felt expired.
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    We have developed a surprising
    relationship with what we could call
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    our “expiration date”.
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    We used to have one expiration date:
    it was the date of our death.
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    Today we have a second expiration date
    in our lives, and it's
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    our social expiration date.
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    The idea that when we do something,
    its value must be recognized and
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    measurable to exist.
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    And if we don’t receive immediately
    a positive feedback about what we do,
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    or worse, if what we do is deemed
    useless, ridicule, or a failure,
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    then we feel socially expired.
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    And that’s how some 24-year-olds
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    prefer to go sit on the bench to
    watch History create itself
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    without them, rather than
    risking to do something
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    and not receive immediately
    a positive feedback.
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    While I was looking into
    what "success" means today
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    and into our date of social expiration,
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    I’ve realised that my job is not
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    to write screenplays or direct films.
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    My job is to fabricate stories.
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    It’s a job that might seem
    useless, but actually,
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    storytelling is the best way that we,
    humans, have found to survive.
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    Tonight,
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    if we’ve all come onto this stage
    to talk to you for 15 minutes,
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    it’s because the best way to
    convey an idea is to do it
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    with a story.
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    In 2018, we could have made a
    pdf with each TED Talk's main idea
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    summed up in one sentence,
    and emailed it to you.
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    Really, we could have done it.
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    It would have cost you less money,
    and it would have taken us less time.
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    But the power of the messages
    we are trying to share
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    would have evaporated.
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    We know it and you know it.
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    And that’s why you are here tonight,
    to listen to stories that might open
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    a world of possibilities.
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    In 1944,
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    Professors Fritz Heider and Marianne
    Simmel conducted a test.
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    They showed a video
    to a group of students
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    and asked them to answer
    a series of questions
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    to describe what they had seen.

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    I’m going to show you 15 seconds
    of the video,
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    it’s going to be quick
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    but I invite you to try
    to answer this question:
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    “What am I seeing on the screen?”
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    That was 15 seconds.
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    When they reviewed the questionnaires,
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    Heider and Simmel discovered
    that 33 out of 34 students
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    had fabricated a story.
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    They had imputed motives,
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    emotions, and behaviours
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    to the geometrical figures
    that were randomly moving
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    through space that you just saw.

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    This study was one of the first
    scientific study to confirm
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    that our brain understands
    the world through stories.
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    We cannot help but give meaning
    to the world that surrounds us.
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    And to give meaning to the world
    that surrounds us,
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    we fabricate stories.
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    Knowing that,
    that stories are essential
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    to our survival and to our life,
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    I want to tell you another
    story about success.
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    An alternative to the current notion
    that paralyzes so many people today.
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    Earlier I said that we
    had two expiration dates:
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    the date of our death and
    the date of our social expiration
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    that we give to ourselves
    sooner and sooner.
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    What I did not tell you…
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    is that a phone is ringing right now.
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    What I didn’t tell you is
    that we all have a joker.
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    We all have the possibility
    to become a good story.
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    We all have the possibility to become
    a good story that is going to inspire
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    other human beings and
    help them move forward.
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    And there’s one group of people
    whose job is to distribute jokers:
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    the story fabricators.
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    Lucky me: it’s my job.
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    My job is to hunt, to imagine,
    and to share the stories
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    of people with a surprising,
    innovating and impactful destiny,
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    and who embodies strong ideas.
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    And currently, we are living through
    an extremely interesting period.
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    Just like archeologists,
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    we are digging out new stories,
    different stories.
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    Stories of people who often did not receive
    immediate and positive feedback
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    about the worth of what
    they were doing and who,
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    5, 50, 100, 200, 500 years later
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    end up at the center of the
    storytelling stage to help us,
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    the new generations, to better
    understand the world
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    and to move forward.
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    For example, some of you
    might recognize the name of
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    Georgina Reid.
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    A textile designer who, in 1971,
    when she was 63, decided that
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    what she really wanted to do was
    to save her little town's lighthouse
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    that was at risk of falling down
    due to the cliff's erosion.
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    Georgina created a whole system
    that she patented.
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    She presents her project to
    the coast guards,
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    they listen to her and say:
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    “We won’t prevent you from doing it
    but we won't help you out either."
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    Okay, no problem.
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    For 15 years, helped by her husband
    and volunteers, Georgina used
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    her knowledge and her time
    for free, to prevent the lighthouse
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    to prevent the lighthouse
    from falling down.
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    And she will succeed.
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    Georgina died in 2001, but
    the lightouse is still here.
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    And then, 3 years ago,
    a French story fabricator,
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    Pénélope Bagieu, gave a joker
    to Georgina.
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    She shared Georgina’s story
    in a graphic novel dedicated
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    to several women who changed
    their story and sometimes History
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    in unexpected ways.
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    It’s thanks to a story fabricator
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    that 200,000 French people
    and myself, have been inspired
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    by Georgina and her determination
    to fight for something
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    that mattered to her even though
    officially she was told it didn't.
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    Georgina was able to become
    a good story because she was
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    an active actress of her story.
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    She didn’t settle for wishing that
    the lighthouse wouldn't fall down.
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    No, she did what she had to do
    to make sure the lighthouse
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    wouldn’t fall down.
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    And this word, “doing”,
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    is one of the three steps
    to become a good story.
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    In reality, the recipe to become
    a good story is simple.
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    Well, it fits into three steps.
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    First, you have to listen
    to your intuition,
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    to hear what each one of us
    individually, really want to do.
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    And once you’ve listened to it,
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    you need to muster the courage
    to go for it, and do it.
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    And once you’ve had
    the courage to do it,
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    you need to repeat.
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    Every day, you need to
    do it again.
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    Today we are under a lot of pressure
    when it comes to the projects
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    we decide to pursue.
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    They need to have a goal.
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    If they don't have a goal, then
    they are not serious.
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    And if they are not serious,
    then they are worth nothing.
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    I completely disagree with
    this way of thinking.
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    If there’s one thing I've
    learned this past decade,
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    hunting and fabricating stories,
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    it's that the value of what we do
    is not fixed in time.
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    The value of what we do
    can have a surprising impact
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    in five years, in fifty years,
    after our death or
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    our great-grand-children’s death.
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    So there’s no point to try
    picking something that will have
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    an impact instantaneously.
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    We can’t know if it will happen.
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    We should just keep on doing.
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    And these three steps:
    listening to yourself,
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    going for it, and
    doing it again,
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    they are crystallized in
    Carmen Herrera’s story.
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    Carmen Herrera was born in La Havana in 1915.
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    At a young age she realizes that
    what she really wants to do
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    is paint.
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    So she paints, every day.
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    And then she realizes that she creates
    minimalist abstract paintings,
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    exactly at the time when abstract
    minimalism is trendy.
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    Perfect.
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    She sells her first painting,
    and then nothing.
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    She exhibits her work,
    the audience doesn't respond.
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    She tries to find galleries
    that would exhibit her work,
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    everybody says no.
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    And then one day,
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    Carmen is offered the opportunity
    to exhibit her work again,
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    and this time people love it.
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    We are in 2004 at that point,
    Carmen is 89.
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    Today Carmen is 103.
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    These past 14 years, her
    paintings have been exhibited
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    presented in some of the most
    prestigious museums in the world.
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    For 60 years Carmen Herrera
    has created daily,
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    paintings that nobody thought
    had any value.
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    And then one day,
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    Carmen Herrera’s story has aligned
    with Art’s History.
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    If I tell you this story, it is not
    to tell you that success always comes.
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    Because it’s not the case.
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    But it’s because I'm convinced
    that Carmen Herrera would still
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    be painting today, even if
    she had never found
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    her audience while
    she was alive.
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    Carmen Herrera didn’t paint
    to become famous.
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    She painted because it was
    giving meaning to her life.
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    It’s not success that gives meaning to our life
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    it’s being self-expressed.
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    And when we are fully expressed,
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    our social expiration date vanishes.
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    When we are fully expressed,
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    our failures as well as our successes
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    become simply steps,
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    on the graph of our personal growth.
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    Tonight what I want to suggest
    is to shift your focus
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    away from what you cannot control.
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    We cannot control how people
    are going to react to what we do.
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    But we can control what we do.
  • 15:08 - 15:13
    So, let’s stop paying attention
    to society’s feedback
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    about the value of what gives
    meaning to our lives.
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    Because we rarely can measure the value
    of what we do right after doing it.
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    And more importantly because the value
    of what we do will evolve unexpectedly
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    over time.
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    Today, when I meet people and
    they ask me what I do in life,
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    I tell them that I am a story fabricator.
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    Nobody really understands what
    it means but it's okay,
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    because if I have the chance to
    talk a little bit more with them,
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    they understand that fabricating stories
    is my way to express myself fully
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    and daily, doing.
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    For the last ten years,
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    I’ve been hunting and fabricating stories
    that I share as screenplays, films, lyrics
  • 16:05 - 16:08
    drawings, podcasts or graphic novels.
  • 16:08 - 16:11
    Sometimes, I doubt.
  • 16:11 - 16:15
    I feel that what I’m doing
    is completely useless.
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    And then I remember that my intuition
    is probably whispering something to me
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    and that I should
    probably listen to it.
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    So I listen to it, I go for it,
    and then I repeat the process.
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    If tomorrow when you wake up
    you feel like doing something "useless",
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    listen to yourself, go for it,
    and repeat the process.
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    Because it’s by being active actors
    of our story that we will become
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    good stories.
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    Stories that other human beings
    will be able to use and share
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    to move forward.
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    Do what you have to do,
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    never mind if it feels useless.
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    If it’s important to you,
    then it's worth doing.
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    Express yourself,
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    and we, the story fabricators,
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    we will find you.
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    Thank you.
Titre:
Comment devient-on une bonne histoire ? | Nathalie Sejean | TEDxReims
Description:

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Langue de la vidéo:
French
Équipe:
closed TED
Projet :
TEDxTalks
Durée:
17:20

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