Episode: Comfort is Not My Goal in Life: A Conversation with Richard Saul Wurman

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In this episode, Richard Saul Wurman is the Founder of the TED conferences, author of 92 books, and the Father of Information Architecture. He also has a fascinating approach to success, failure, and human interaction.

Highlights and Takeaways from the Podcast:

  • In my book, “Information Anxiety,” I write about the equivocal nature of communication and how it is impossible to share our thoughts with someone else exactly as we understand them.
  • Success that comes from unconventional behavior is often labeled as genius; while failure that comes from the same behavior is often considered eccentric or strange.
  • Many famous artists and thinkers who were considered geniuses would have been seen as mentally ill if not for their groundbreaking work.
  • People often perceive my abrasive behavior as negative when I’m being truthful; they see my charming behavior as positive when I’m lying. Perception is often incorrect.
  • I don’t strive for happiness or contentment. I measure my days by whether they are interesting. Comfort is not the goal in life for everyone.
  • Terror and failure push me to grow and learn. That’s where understanding often comes from.
  • In my career, I took on projects with no prior experience. Embracing the unknown led me to new opportunities and learning experiences.
  • Failure is delayed success; it is not the end of something.
  • I’ve had significant failures in my life, but they have almost always led to interesting experiences that I wouldn’t have had otherwise.
  • When it comes to religion, I believe that anything that works for an individual is fine, whether it’s religion or something else.


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