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Pico Iyer: What Can Ping-Pong Teach Us About Life?

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode Wisdom In Hindsight.

About Pico Iyer's TED Talk

The point of a game is usually to win ... but not for Pico Iyer. After years of playing ping-pong at a Japanese community center, he's learned a different lesson: competition can be "an act of love."

About Pico Iyer

Pico Iyer is an essayist and novelist, best known for his travel writing. His books exist in more than 20 languages. His most recent books include Autumn Light and A Beginner's Guide To Japan: Observations And Provocations.

Iyer has been a writer for TIME since 1986, and is a regular contributor to the New York Times, Harper's and The New York Review of Books. He's also been featured in over 200 other newspapers and magazines internationally.

Iyer was born in England to parents from India, raised in California, and educated at Eton, Oxford and Harvard. Since 1987, he has been largely based in Western Japan.

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