TEDx – Trying Not to Try: the Power of Spontaneity

Edward Slingerland – a Professor of Asian Studies at the University of British Columbia – claims that recent research suggests that many aspects of a satisfying life – such as happiness and spontaneity – are best pursued indirectly. The early Chinese philosophers knew this, and they wrote extensively about an effortless way of being in the world. We’ve long been told that the way to achieve our goals is through careful reasoning and conscious effort. Can prof. dr. Slingerland change your perspective to stop trying?

How can you try, not to try? Dr. Slingerland has combined his studies of early Chinese philosophy with cutting-edge research from modern cognitive science, evolutionary studies, and social psychology to explore why this paradox is real, why is exists, and how finding a way around it is the key to both social cooperation and personal success. Slingerland is the author of ‘Trying Not to Try: Ancient China, Modern Science and the Power of Spontaneity”.

Edward Slingerland is a Professor of Asian Studies, as well as adjunct in the departments of Psychology and Philosophy, at the University of British Columbia. He holds degrees in sinology and religious studies, and is the author of, most recently, ‘Trying Not to Try: Ancient China, Modern Science and the Power of Spontaneity” (2014).

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx