Everyone is looking for exciting and yet easy ways to change their life. I know I’m one of them. Are you? While we cognitively know there’s no easy or simple way to dramatically change our lives, there are ways to find ideas and motivation – one of them is watching TED Talks.
As a member of TED since 2011, I’ve watched hundreds of their awe-inspiring, educational, and jaw-dropping videos with much joy. Yes, some have changed the way I perceive life, changed the way I approach problems and taught me things I never knew existed.
I decided to revisit some of my bookmarked favorites and knew I had to share them with you. I know you will find gems of inspiration, motivation, and a new way of attacking problems and challenges in your life.
The first one I’m sharing made such a huge impact on my life, I wrote about it in a blog post. Be sure to check that out HERE. I address my fear of public speaking and how I was able to overcome it and become a successful public speaker.
1 – How To Speak So That People Will Want To Listen
TED Talk Summary: Have you ever felt like you’re talking, but nobody is listening? Here’s Julian Treasure to help. In this useful talk, the sound expert demonstrates the how-to’s of powerful speaking — from some handy vocal exercises to tips on how to speak with empathy. A talk that might help the world sound more beautiful.
2 – Ruth Chang: How to Make Hard Choices
TED Talk Summary: Here’s a talk that could literally change your life. Which career should I pursue? Should I break up — or get married?! Where should I live? Big decisions like these can be agonizingly difficult. But that’s because we think about them the wrong way, says philosopher Ruth Chang. She offers a powerful new framework for shaping who we truly are.
Here, Ruth Chang asks why some choices are so hard — and what that means for the human condition. This talk changed my perceptions about how I make decisions and helped me to understand the power of decision-making.
TED Talk Summary: The most perplexing question – why are we conscious? Our consciousness is a fundamental aspect of our existence, says philosopher David Chalmers: “There’s nothing we know about more directly…. but at the same time it’s the most mysterious phenomenon in the universe.” He shares some ways to think about the movie playing in our heads.
TED Talk Summary: Why is there something instead of nothing? In other words: Why does the universe exist (and why are we in it)? Philosopher and writer Jim Holt follows this question toward three possible answers. Or four. Or none.
Why is there something rather than nothing? Let’s get some insight from Jim.
5 – Meaghan Ramsey: Why Thinking You’re Ugly is Bad for You
TED Talk Summary: About 10,000 people a month Google the phrase, “Am I ugly?” Meaghan Ramsey of the Dove Self-Esteem Project has a feeling that many of them are young girls. In a deeply unsettling talk, she walks us through the surprising impacts of low body and image confidence—from lower grade point averages to greater risk-taking with drugs and alcohol. And then shares the key things all of us can do to disrupt this reality.
Let’s face it – we’ve all thought that at some points in our lives. Meaghan gives us insight as to why this is not a good idea.
TED Talk Summary: Sensing the motives and feelings of others is a natural talent for humans. But how do we do it? Here, Rebecca Saxe shares fascinating lab work that uncovers how the brain thinks about other people’s thoughts — and judges their actions.
Rebecca Saxe studies how we think about other people’s thoughts. At the Saxelab at MIT, she uses fMRI to identify what happens in our brains when we consider the motives, passions, and beliefs of others.
7 – Tony Robbins: Why We Do What We Do
TED Talk Summary: Tony Robbins discusses the “invisible forces” that motivate everyone’s actions — and high-fives Al Gore in the front row.
8- Richard St. John: 8 Secrets of Success
TED Talk Summary: Why do people succeed? Is it because they’re smart? Or are they just lucky? Neither. Analyst Richard St. John condenses years of interviews into a unmissable 3-minute side-show on the real secrets of success. With close to 10 million views, I’ve watched this one a few times myself.
A self-described average guy who found success doing what he loved, Richard St. John spent more than a decade researching the lessons of success — and distilling them into 8 words, 3 minutes and one successful book.
9 – Dan Pink: The Puzzle of Motivation
TED Talk Summary: Career analyst Dan Pink examines the puzzle of motivation, starting with a fact that social scientists know but most managers don’t: Traditional rewards aren’t always as effective as we think. Listen for illuminating stories — and maybe, a way forward.
10 – Amy Cuddy: Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are
TED Talk Summary: Body language affects how others see us, but it may also change how we see ourselves. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy shows how “power posing” — standing in a posture of confidence, even when we don’t feel confident — can affect testosterone and cortisol levels in the brain, and might even have an impact on our chances for success. (Note: Some of the findings presented in this talk have been referenced in an ongoing debate among social scientists about robustness and reproducibility.
With over 38 million views, this Talk made it to the list of most popular talks of all time.
I hope you enjoyed some of my favorite TED Talks. They can dramatically change your life if you let them.
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