Survivor Ted Talk: Suleika Jaouad

Survivor Ted Talk: Suleika Jaouad

I had spent the past 1,500 days working tirelessly to achieve one goal: to survive. And now that I'd done so, I realized I had absolutely no idea how to live.

I came across this inspiring TED talk during treatment that beautifully describes how we will all move between sick and well throughout our lifetimes and must learn to accept the current state we're in. "What Almost Dying Taught Me About Living" is the story of Suleika Jaouad who was diagnosed with leukemia at age 22 after having just started as a war correspondent. She documented her nearly 4 years of treatment in the column "Life, Interrupted" for The New York Times. I'm looking forward to her book In Two Kingdoms, forthcoming in 2021!

And in the end, I think that's the trick: to stop seeing our health as binary, between sick and healthy, well and unwell, whole and broken; to stop thinking that there's some beautiful, perfect state of wellness to strive for; and to quit living in a state of constant dissatisfaction until we reach it.

Cover photo from

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