The path to becoming better people
By Helen Walters
Head of curation, TED
Right after I watched Dolly Chugh's extraordinary talk, I had a moment. I'll spare you the details, but suffice it to say, it did not make me look or feel like a good person. Essentially, I misread a situation, handled it poorly, and then, a few minutes later when I realized that I'd handled it poorly, I was flooded with bad feelings.
"Wow, did I mess up!"
"Coo, I'm some kind of terrible."
All need for a good therapist aside, if this had happened before Dolly's talk, it might well have been where I'd left it. I'd have languished for a little while and then moved on, never quite shaking that feeling of messing up, of not being good enough.
But because I had just seen Dolly's talk, I now had a new technique at my disposal -- and the knowledge that my attachment to being a "good" person could be holding me back from actually becoming a better person. That meant that as soon as I realized that I'd messed up, and when I got an opportunity to come clean and confess my mess ... I took it. I didn't hem or haw or try to justify myself. I just apologized, made a mental note not to repeat said error -- you know, ever again -- and then moved on with a clear head and heart.
Honestly. It was weird. It was also life-changing.
I'm so, so grateful to get to experiment with this new technique for the rest of time. Because, as Dolly says, "The path to being better people just begins with letting go of being a good person."