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APSU's Steinberg delivers TED Talk on tragedy and transcendence

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – Dr. Gregg Steinberg, Austin Peay State University professor of Health and Human Performance, comes off as a friendly, likeable guy. You can usually catch him with a smile or telling a joke, which is why everyone goes quiet when he suddenly brings up a tragic event from his past. That’s what happened at Rush University Medical School earlier this summer, when Steinberg delivered at TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) Talk at the school’s TEDx Conference.

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – Dr. Gregg Steinberg, Austin Peay State University professor of Health and Human Performance, comes off as a friendly, likeable guy. You can usually catch him with a smile or telling a joke, which is why everyone goes quiet when he suddenly brings up a tragic event from his past. That’s what happened at Rush University Medical School earlier this summer, when Steinberg delivered at TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) Talk at the school’s TEDx Conference.

“For many people, their tragedy is lifelong,” Steinberg said, his voice now serious. “Their tragedy defines them. But most importantly, their tragedy can be a blessing which awakens them to their true path in life.”

A video of his talk is available online at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WKLy71DO6CQ.

The APSU professor’s tragedy didn’t define him. He has gone on to write three books –“Mental Rules for Golf,” “Flying Lessons,” a parenting book about emotional toughness, and “Full Throttle,” a business book about emotional toughness—and he has appeared as an analyst and commentator on Dancing With the Stars, CNN, Fox News and the Golf Channel. He also writes a business column for The Tennessean.

“I always knew that some people bounce back even higher after a tragedy,” he said. “Tragedy quiets all the noise and confusion and helps people to find their purpose in life, which I call their ‘Lifesong.’ Also, from my latest research with people who had transcendence from tragedy, I found they went through the same stages in the same sequential order, which led to their Lifesong.”

These stages form the basis for Steinberg’s new book, “Fall Up: Why Adversity Unlocks Your Superpower.” But his radical discovery also made him the perfect candidate to deliver a TED Talk.

TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks. People who have given TED Talks include J.J. Abrams, director of the upcoming Star Wars film; Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of amazon.com; and Elizabeth Gilbert, author of “Eat, Pray, Love.”

Rush University in Chicago asked Steinberg to talk about his innovative research during its TEDx Conference.

 “The whole idea is to help people who have had a serious adversity or hardship and make them understand that they can become better—they can fall-up,” Steinberg said.

Steinberg is now working with Derek van der Merwe, APSU vice president of Advancement, Communication and Strategic Initiatives, to create a TEDx conference at APSU. The event is tentatively scheduled for late fall or next spring. Any one interested in participating in the conference should contact Steinberg at steinbergg@apsu.edu.

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