My TED Talk: The Most Important Question

I am very excited to share an important event in my life with all of you. Last month, I had the opportunity to give a TED talk about my life list to a room full of amazing people. The event was fantastic and I was humbled to have had an active part in it.

For those who don’t know, TED is an organization that is dedicated to spreading unique and interesting ideas around the world via free and accessible video lectures. The speakers range from famous world leaders to relatively unknown but extremely talented artists. The lectures focus on Technology, Entertainment and Design (TED is an acronym) and tend to be highly intellectual.

I have been a fan of the organization for many years and have watched several hundred TED talks. (I was trying to watch them all but then they came up with TEDx and it became overwhelming)

The TED event that I participated in was TEDxRainier. It was a sold-out conference that took place at the University of Washington. The location was of special interest to me because I dropped out of that University several years ago. (This was actually the third time I have been asked to come back to give a lecture.) The theatre held approximately 1,500 people and the speakers consisted of Emmy award winning documentarians, New York Times best selling authors, University professors and for some reason, life list obsessed me. It was a fantastic experience and I was very thankful for the opportunity.

My talk was about my journey and what I consider to be the single most important question for any human. I hope you enjoy watching it as much as I enjoyed giving it.

(Note: If you are reading this via e-mail, you will need to click through to the actual blog post to see the video.)

I look forward to reading your feedback in the comments below.

44 comments… add one

  • Emma's Bucket List Dec 10, 2012

    Wow Danny! Go you! I LOVE TED talks, and that was very motivational! It really does teach us that anyone can DO what they want… BE that they want and CHANGE their lives for the better…

    I think it tends to take something extreme to make massive changes in our lives. For you it was depression, for me it was grief and depression. I once read that contentment kills. I’m not sure I agree, but I guess it can kill ambition and drive.

    I thoroughly enjoyed this. Great delivery, very entertaining, and it didn’t come off as bragging. I bet you inspired lots of people to get off their butts and DO something, or make a list.

    Big thumbs up :-D

    • Danny Dover Dec 10, 2012

      Thanks Emma! I know that your work and journey have been an inspiration for many people (myself included). Keep it up and I look forward to seeing one of your talks soon!

      • Emma's Bucket List Jan 19, 2013

        Oh wow! I WISH! Maybe one day… I have no where near the reach or SEO that you do-but I am very happy to be inspiring a fraction of the people you do! This really was an awesome talk!

  • Brian Greenberg Dec 10, 2012

    Great job Danny. Very funny and inspiring.

  • Nicole Dec 10, 2012

    So cool! I love TED talks and you did such a great job. Really inspirational and nicely put together! I’m so proud of you and I don’t even know you! :)

    • Danny Dover Dec 10, 2012

      Funny how the Internet makes that happen. Your rock Nicole, keep up your awesome journey.

  • Jonathan Goodman Dec 10, 2012

    You are amazing Danny! You are such an inspiration to me and so many people. Wow a TED talk – absolutely fantastic!! I can’t wait to read how you conquered depression in your next book, which will be an instant best seller. Peace.

    • Danny Dover Dec 10, 2012

      I appreciate your support Jonathan! I’ll keep you posted on the book. It is already started and looking good!

  • Dane Dec 10, 2012

    Man that’s awesome. You did a great job!

    • Danny Dover Dec 10, 2012

      I appreciate it Dane. Best of luck with you own list!

  • Fiona Morris Dec 10, 2012

    Well done Danny, I enjoyed that:)
    Fiona

    • Danny Dover Dec 10, 2012

      Thanks Fiona! Hope to see you guys in March in Dublin!

  • Jack Peterson Dec 10, 2012

    Great job at the the TEDx talk. Your audience was a bit ambitious about seeing your butt… I’d be nervous too ;-).

  • Wow! Wow! Wow! What an inspirational talk Danny! When you put all that you have accomplished into one video like that, it is easy to see how AMAZING your journey has been. Keep it up!

    • Danny Dover Dec 10, 2012

      Thanks Annette! :-)

      Your journey has been an inspiration as well. I often cite you as someone who doesn’t except the limitations of her job and make travel (and life) happen!

      Keep it up!

  • stephen Dec 10, 2012

    Inspirational as always :) so happy for you

  • Lee Kennedy Dec 10, 2012

    Congrats Danny! I emailed you a while back about joining you on the Rainier trip–I couldn’t go but I’m glad you did, and you summited!

    I knew you had a “bucket list” but I did not know the motivation behind it. Props for conquering your fears and getting some cool publicity too.

    • Danny Dover Dec 10, 2012

      Hey Lee,

      Of course, I remember you! Good luck on your summit attempt, be it Rainier or something less physical.

      (See what I did there?) ;-p

  • Dr. Pete Dec 10, 2012

    Congrats, Danny – that’s awesome!

    • Danny Dover Dec 10, 2012

      Thanks dude! I am still plotting my revenge though.

  • Lyena Solomon Dec 10, 2012

    One thing you did not mention, Danny, is that throughout all this, you were running a startup. Many people say they are swamped, they cannot find time for family, friends, hobbies, etc. because they have too much work. You managed to find a way to work and live your life the way you want to.

    From now on, when I feel overwhelmed, I will (1) stop whining, (2) figure out a way to have a balance. You inspired me. Thank you.

    • Danny Dover Dec 10, 2012

      They say the most sure way to get something done is to assign it to the busiest person you know.

      Its all about systems. I’ll write a post on that in the coming weeks.

      Thanks for the inspiration and best of luck!

  • Joe Chura Dec 10, 2012

    Danny, this rocked. I’m kicking myself I didn’t make it but you were awesome.

    Truly inspirational.

    Great job!

    • Danny Dover Dec 11, 2012

      Thanks bud! I’ll send an invite to the next one!

  • CeCe Dec 10, 2012

    What a great, inspirational lecture!

    I think some people added “See Danny’s butt” on their life list after all the howling I heard in the audience. Haha!

  • Dawn Shepard Dec 10, 2012

    Congratulations Danny! Every time I see something new that you’ve done it inspires me. Thanks for sharing.

  • Melissa Cragar Dec 12, 2012

    Hi Danny, it’s me, Melissa, Drew Martin’s mom. I am so impressed! I always felt you were destined for great things. It is so wonderful to see part of your journey. I wish you all the best!

  • Mary Lane Dec 17, 2012

    Danny: Life has a way of changing our path. While change itself is inevitable and uncontrollable, we have choices about where the new path leads. We can choose anything from complacency and apathy to importance or even greatness. And it’s not even about what we achieve through our choices, but what we strive to achieve – in other words, it’s about the journey. Nothing new in that, but we all have to find that out for ourselves, and the realization is fresh for each of us. Your map has more empty spaces than filled spaces and you have a long way to go yet. May your journey remain fresh for you every day along the way. Thanks for sharing your story and reminding and encouraging us all of the joy there is to be had in living – and how attainable the joy is!

  • Steen Olsen Jan 6, 2013

    So very cool that you actually got to talk at TED!!! You did well and thanks again for the inspiration.

    One question: why ARE you here? To ‘make life more fun’ or what…?

    • Danny Dover Jan 15, 2013

      Hey Steen,

      I am here to complete my life list. :-) Fun is a good side effect of that.

  • AT Feb 20, 2013

    Hi Danny,

    I came across your blog the other day and I must say, very inspirational.

    I too am looking to ‘kick’ my bucket list but don’t know where to start my research or book my experiences and trips!

    My bucket list ranges from trying new foods to new travels and others.

    Any tips on best approach to researching and fulfilling the bucket list?

    Much appreciated and best of luck in fulfilling yours.

    Kind regards,

    Ankit

  • JiaShen Huang Apr 12, 2013

    Thanks for everything you’ve done and the website it does inspire me and gives me lots of ideas. You are really a great individual.

  • Akvile Harlow Apr 24, 2013

    Wow, Danny, you are a true inspiration! I didn’t realize you did a TED talk! What a fantastic presentation! I feel even more motivated to complete mine and keep adding on to it! I too have been working on my bucket list for the last few years, but haven’t really able to put a dent in it until this last year since I have been going through some challenging life changes. It now helps keep a smile on my face and it’s important to have things to look forward to, especially life changing experiences! Thank you for sharing your experiences.

  • hayle sturgin May 3, 2013

    i need to complete my life buket list, but i need ideas can you help me?

  • Marlon Jun 19, 2013

    Truly inspiring Danny! Thanks for sharing your experiences. Start small, start locally, and then roll from the momentum it creates – that’s the biggest learning I got.

  • Zoe Reed Dec 9, 2013

    Hi, you’re the first blogger whose TED-talk I watched. And I have to say that I like it a lot!

  • TheBreathingMan Jan 28, 2014

    Good talk Danny!
    I can feel my body starting to fizz just at the thought of adding more adventure to my life (climbing Ben Nevis in Scotland this summer)! I’ll check out your book.

  • Dean Lynn Mar 16, 2014

    A big inspiration Danny!

    Thanks for sharing your story. Start Small – Think Big!

  • Marie Nov 15, 2014

    This is really, really exciting and inspiring! Way to go Danny, not only for breaking free of your depression but embarking on an adventurous life. I have just one question. You said at one point you had no money. How did you afford to do all of this traveling? There are so many places I want to see but can’t afford it. Can you explain how you did this? Thanks!

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