Finding Your “HUM” to Make Your Best Year Yet! by Curtis Battles

{2:50 minutes to read} I’ve known about TED Talks for some time, but I’ve seldom gone out of my way to explore them on a regular basis. A TED Talk is “a video created from a presentation at the main TED (technology, entertainment, design) Conference or one of its many satellite events around the world. TED talks are limited to 18 minutes but may be on any topic.” Given the short time limit, these lectures reveal a lot of insightful, innovative information. Folks are often left feeling inspired and energized. 

During my regular morning routine, I was perusing articles and came across an inspiring one on This particular article led me to discover a TED talk that left a great impression on me. The TED Talk was given by Shonda Rhimes, creator of hit television shows on ABC such as Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and How to Get Away With Murder, among others.

Shonda shared that her “hum” is when she is “in the zone” and feels like she can easily tap into her creative energy. She revealed that at one point her hum suddenly stopped, and she was having trouble getting it started again. She realized this was happening because of fear; some of the things she would say no to were things she was afraid of failing. So instead of saying no to things, she started saying yes.

The main gist of her TED Talk was about how she got out of her comfort zone by saying YES to everything that came along. It started with something very simple and close to home: when her toddler came to her and asked if she had time to play. She was about to rush out to a meeting, but stopped and took the time to play with her child.

It made me think about my comfort zone with work, family, and friends. Ultimately, it left me pondering the question: “If you are living only in your comfort zone, are you really growing?”  

The lesson is that even though we’re overworked and over-committed and always have something else that we should do, taking the time to stop and smell the roses can be very beneficial. Enjoy life along the way—it’s not about making that next dollar, but more about being mindful of what’s going on around you as it’s happening. When you go out to dinner, are you just shoveling food in or are you savoring each bite?

From a business standpoint, are you taking time out of your day to sit back and think, meditate, or even just listen to music? By doing so, you are going to be better off and your creativity will be enhanced. You will find your own hum.

What are some of the things you do to find your own hum? Share your ideas in the comment section below!

Curtis C. Battles