TED Talks: Shonda Rhimes: ‘My Year of Saying Yes to Everything’

UPDATED: April 9, 2020
PUBLISHED: July 20, 2016
shonda rhimes

Shonda Rhimes, creator of Scandal, Grey”s Anatomy and How to Get Away with Murder, churns out 70 hours of TV each season. She says her dream job has little to do with dreaming and more to do with working hard. “When I am hard at work, when I am deep in it, there is no other feeling,” she says.

In those moments, when she is most inspired, she experiences the hum—a feeling she defines as striving for greatness at any cost. “I was the hum and the hum was me,” she says. “So what do you do when the work you love starts to taste like dust?”

You get it back.

In this TED Talk, she talks about her “year of yes”—how she got her hum back by taking the time to play with her children and doing the things that felt good. “The more I play, the freer my mind becomes. The more I play, the better I work. The more I play, the more I feel the hum… the real hum—life’s hum.”

Related: 6 Tips to Create a Balanced Life

TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less). TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, and today covers almost all topics—from science to business to global issues—in more than 100 languages. Meanwhile, independently run TEDx events help share ideas in communities around the world. See more at TED.com.