I’m here today trying to be something I’m not.
Which is something I’ve been trying to do for two years now:
write a TED Talk, share my ideas,
talk in front of such a large group of people.
Now, I know a lot of you are probably thinking,
“She sounds a bit shy.”
Or maybe, “She probably gets nervous easily.”
Yeah, all those things are 100% true, but why?
是的 这一切都是千真万确的 但为什么呢？
To answer simply,
I am an introvert.
So what is an introvert?
An introvert is a quiet person
that doesn’t like to talk very much
and likes to keep their thoughts mostly to themselves.
They’re the kind of person that goes home
just to relax and have time to think.
But that’s not to say that an outgoing person can’t be an introvert.
Just as long as they enjoy the quiet time to get to themselves,
they’re most likely an introvert to a certain extent.
So the main thing I want to address in this talk
is that there’s nothing wrong with being an introvert.
However society doesn’t see it in the same lighting.
Society has taught us
that being an introvert is the worst thing you can be
and that everyone should want to be extroverted.
We’re told that being outgoing is good
and being shy and quiet is bad.
We’re told in elementary school we have to raise our hands,
读小学时 我们被告知 我们要举手
participate in class or we lose marks.
Every year at parent-teacher interviews,
my parents would hear the same thing,
“Your daughter is very shy,
she needs to learn to speak up more.’”
I was told to share my voice whenever possible.
As an introvert, those are some very hard standards to achieve.
This is why I joined the TED Ed Club two years ago –
所以 我两年前加入了TED Ed俱乐部
to prove to not only myself but to everyone that I wasn’t shy.
I could write a talk just like everyone else is doing it.
No big deal.
Slight problem, I never wrote a talk.
I couldn’t come up with a topic I was truly passionate about
that I felt like I wanted to share with the world.
I would show up to every meeting and
watch my peers continue to develop their talk
and I would get frustrated with myself.
Why could they share their ideas so easily
and I couldn’t even come up with a topic?
Now, looking back, I realize I have passions,
如今 回顾过去 我发现我有热情
I have views on the world, and I have opinions.
I just didn’t want to share any of them because I’m an introvert.
只是 我是内向者 所以不想把它们分享出去
But is there anything wrong with that?
Statistics say that 50 % of the American population is made up of introverts.
So society is telling 50 % of Americans –
about 160 million people –
that they need to change who they are to be accepted,
to be successful and to be happy.
Keep in mind,
within this large group of introverts are people such as:
and so many more incredible, inspiring people.
Do you think being an introvert
has ever stopped any of them from achieving their goals or being happy?
A lot of you have probably been told something along the lines of
“why be a follower when you can be a leader?”
But what about every leader needs a follower?
Let’s look at Mr. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada.
Do you think he’d be where he is today
without the support of the people?
If everyone was trying to be a leader
no one would truly succeed
as it’s the followers that define a true leader.
But that’s not to say that an introvert can’t be a leader.
Let’s look at Abraham Lincoln,
Rosa Parks and Gandhi.
All incredible inspirational leaders
and all introverts.
In a business setting,
the CEO of a company will look at an introvert and say,
“If they’re not going to share their ideas
they are useless to me.”
Well, guess what?
These companies are missing out.
Introverts are known to be versatile, responsible,
work well in small groups and individually.
So being an introvert has no effect on how happy
or how successful you are going to be
as long as you see it in the right lighting.
If you see yourself as an introvert
and think it’s the worst thing in the world,
you’re never going to be truly happy with yourself
and you’re going to constantly try to change to conform to society.
But if you accept yourself as an introvert and you’re happy,
但是 只要你能接受自己是内向者 并保持快乐
there’s nothing in the way of you achieving your goals
and getting what you want.
All in all, there is absolutely nothing wrong with being an introvert.
No matter what society may say,
you don’t need to change who you are
because being an introvert is great.
Before I leave, I want to end with a quote from the book
”Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking”
by Susan Cain.
“The secret to life is to put yourself in the right lighting.
For some, it’s a Broadway spotlight;
for others, it’s a lamplit desk.”
So the next time you see
that quiet kid in the back of the class
who doesn’t participate very much,
I want you to think,
“I wonder what great things they’re gonna come up with next.”
I’m here today trying to be something I’m not.