Gintare Simkute

Gintare’s Favourite TED Talk: Try Something New For 30 Days

Every month, we’ll be introducing a member of the TEDxZurich Team through their favourite TED Talk. This month, we’ve caught up with Gintare Simkute, Head of Volunteers.

When was the last time you tried something new?

Every day, lots of ideas spring to mind, but none of them are realised. The problem is that they are perceived as big projects. We fall into the trap of hoarding these ideas, in pursuit of that right moment. But that right moment will most likely never come about.

Matt Cutts’ bite-sized and lighthearted talk offers a new perspective on how to set and pursue goals. He reminds us that it’s never too late to pick up a new habit or learn a new skill. The trick to maintaining it is to give yourself a 30-day window.

Gintare’s Favourite TED Talk: Try Something New For 30 Days

“There are so many TED talks I enjoy, but at the moment I’m loving Try something new for 30 days. It made me discover, experience and appreciate every day on a deeper level. It literally helped me come across hobbies and passions I did not know I had!” says Gintare.

Matt Cutts is a computer scientist, who shares how the months in his life were gone without remembering until he embarked on a mission to make his days and months more meaningful, but assigning himself little challenges. “Instead of the months flying by, forgotten,” he says, “the time was much more memorable.”

He embarked on a 30-day photo-challenge, where he took a photo every single day, for 30 days. He climbed Kilimanjaro, he rides to work, every day, for pure pleasure. He also wrote a 50,000-word novel in November, as part of the yearly global community of writers initiative Nanowrimo.

“As I started to do more and harder 30-day challenges, my self-confidence grew”, Cutts tells us, before reminding us that big challenges are less likely to stick, whereas small ones lead to more sustainable changes.

For Gintare, the most valuable lesson was that there is so much to discover in the world. As part of her 30-day challenge, Gintare took up meditation. “Meditation is really a challenge,” she says. “I just realised the control of our thoughts is so limited, and actually it is hard work to find balance and peace inside. This is something I have to learn. I also started writing three things I am grateful/happy for every day. This is an incredible way to look at the life through positive lens, and to appreciate little things.”


Gintare Simkute is Head of Volunteers at TEDxZurich. She joined TEDxZurich because it is aligned with her values of sharing of powerful ideas, inspiring people and challenging ambitions.

Applications for volunteers of the next TEDxZurich event open in August 2018.

Sarah Ebling

          Sarah Ebling holds a professorship in Accessibility Studies at Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW) and is a senior researcher at the University of Zurich. Her research focuses on natural language processing in the context of disabilities and special needs, specifically, sign language technology and automatic text simplification. Her groups’ contributions involve artificial intelligence techniques with a strong emphasis on user involvement. She is involved in various international and national projects and leads a large-scale Swiss innovation initiative entitled „Inclusive Information and Communication Technologies“ (2022-2026;