I am both confident and terrified all the time. These are two emotions you’re not supposed to have. If you’re terrified, you’re called a scaredy cat. And if you’re confident, you’re called arrogant. But both of them working at the same time in parallel allows you to get at ideas and puts the edginess on your solutions. The terror of not knowing is where you begin, and you move backwards toward zero to find how to begin. And confidence allows you to begin. If those two emotions are out of balance, you’re not such a good designer.
My definition of learning is as follows: Learning is remembering what you’re interested in. Think about that. If you don’t remember it, then you haven’t learned it. You may take a course during your schooling, and might do well in it, but you don’t remember what was taught. On the other hand, you may have also taken courses you didn’t do as well in–but you were interested in the subject, and you remember everything about it. I think interest, absolutely, goes hand in hand with learning.
On why he started TED:
The goal in starting TED was not to bring people together–who cares about that. I wanted other people to pay so that I could listen to interesting people talk. I sat on the stage the whole time and they talked to me. The goal was to take myself from not knowing to knowing, again and again–so that I could have that experience for as much time as I can throughout my life.