My First Time: TEDMED Speakers Tell Us About Their Most Recent “New” Experience

With such an inspiring list of accomplishments, specialties and interests, our speakers clearly know how to push themselves to take on new challenges. We asked several to tell us about the most recent thing they tried for the first time.  Their answers:


“I assume you mean an event, but every observation, every sensation, is an event in the brain. So, whenever I put habit or mastery aside and allow myself to really see, hear, taste, touch, or smell something or someone, it’s as if I’m doing it for the first time. This happens to me most days. It always has throughout my life, which may have something to do with my wishing to be a poet. But I also invite it to happen. It’s really just about paying attention, wholeheartedly.”

“In February I started training a puppy for the first time. My family had dogs when I was growing up, but I’ve never raised a puppy before and it’s been fascinating to coach a non-human animal mind. Although I did animal research as a neuroscientist, watching non-human animal cognition and its evolution on a daily basis has given me a new perspective on just how fundamentally different and how utterly similar a different species’ brain can be.”

“On July 18, I had had my first dance with a newly married child (my daughter). How sweet that was.”





“A few months ago I tried driving a manual car in Europe… it did not go so well!”





“Learned how to skate ski this past winter.”






“Snowboarding in 2014. The physical and mental challenge was beyond anything I had experienced in a long time. But the exhilaration of it kept me riding back up to the top of that bunny hill and then falling hard all the way back down. Even though it made me feel small and weak, I can’t wait to try it again.”


“Three weeks ago, I made choux pastry for the first time. Does that count?”





“The answer is way too private.”