“All achievements, all earned riches, have their beginning in an idea.” – Napoleon Hill
I know what you’re thinking – to say that a list of videos is ‘life-changing’ sounds like an over-exaggerated claim. But I assure you that in this case, it’s certainly not.
I’ve initially came across TED by way of a good friend’s recommendation. Admittedly, thanks to its succinct yet powerful tagline “Ideas Worth Spreading“, I was instantly ‘sold’ on TED as soon as I landed on its homepage. That said, it was the videos of inspiring talks of some of the world’s greatest minds generously (I still can’t believe it’s free!) shared on the site that I found to be a real gold mine.
It’s been around a decade since I first became a raving fan of TED and since then, I’ve watched countless of talks and on this post, I’m sharing a list of 10 talks that have shed much valuable insights, inspiration and motivation. They have changed the way I view the world and ultimately, how I choose to live my life on a daily basis – and for that I’m eternally grateful.
On the spirit of ‘paying it forward‘, If you have yet to check out these inspired talks, I sincerely urge you to do so. I hope that they’ll make as much positive impact on you as much as they have on me. Enjoy!
1. Amy Cuddy: Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are
Just in case you didn’t know, much of human communications is actually non verbal and most of it, is attributed to our body language. What is a surprise to me is the revelation that it has a HUGE impact in shaping who we are.
In this insightful talk, social Psychologist Amy Cuddy discusses the various research that illustrate how our posture and nonverbal communication not only influences how others perceive us – they actually change our body chemistry!
What’s more is that Amy believes that we can significantly increase our chances of success (and not to mention elevate our self confidence) by learning to control our posture and training ourselves to ‘power pose’. Skeptical? Check out her tips and try it for your self!
Related post: 10 Powerful Quotes That Will Boost Your Confidence
2. Dan Gilbert: The Surprising Science of Happiness
Everyone wants happiness. Yet despite our best efforts, many of us find ourselves getting no where in our relentless pursuit of happiness.
On this ‘surprising’ talk, Dan Gilbert, a Harvard psychologist and the renowned author of Stumbling on Happiness explains how we can achieve happiness even when our circumstances are far than ideal.
Through clinical psychology and neuroscience research, he shows us that we can be equally happy when not getting what we want as we would if get it. So how is this possible? Pay close attention to Dan’s advice on how we can create our own happiness he shared on his talk!
Related post: The Beauty of Not Getting What You Want
3. Angela Lee Duckworth: The Key to Success? Grit
A lot of people assume that those are bound to succeed are those who have everything going for them for the get go. They have this notion that in order to succeed you would have to be born with a ‘silver spoon’.
Though this may be true for some cases of success. You’d be interested that through her research, Angela Lee Duckworth, a Psychologist at University Pennsylvania and a MacArthur Fellowship winner, found that passion and perseverance aka grit can outweigh high IQs or any other variables when it comes to determining success!
If you’re curious to find out how perseverance can help you attain success then you simply can’t miss out on Angela’s talk!
Related post: Embracing the Struggles to Success
4.Sir Ken Robinson: Do Schools Kill Creativity?
Though Sir Ken Robinson had done this talk nearly a decade ago (2007), with more than 10 million views, it is THE most popular talk on TED. Considering that there are thousands of great talks on offer, this is definitely quite a feat!
That said, once you watch the clip (if you haven’t already done so), it’s easy to understand why it’s a talk that so many resonated with. In 20 minutes, he made a convincing case of the popular saying ‘Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
In short, he illustrates how a ‘one size fits all’ education system would likely to dampen creativity and entertainingly suggests an education system that nurtures (rather than undermines) children’s creativity.
5. Simon Sinek: Start With Why – How Great Leaders Inspire Action
If you’ve been working for a while, chances are you’ve encountered with some leaders/managers who are able to inspire action from their team more than others.
Simon Sinek, a renowned author and leadership expert uncovers character traits of great leaders who have the capacity to inspire others to also make an impact in the world. On this talk, he cleverly outlines the intriguing patterns and similarities in the way they all think, act and communicate.
If you’ve been curious as to what makes great leaders tick, you simply need to check out this clip!
Related post: The Mark of a True Leader
6. Jill Bolte Taylor: Stroke of Insight
When I watched this particular talk for the very first time, not only it gave me goosebumps, it brought me to tears! Since then, I had watched it a handful of times and it still affects me as much as it did all those years ago.
In this profoundly moving and inspiring talk, a Harvard brain scientist, Jill Bolte Taylor, took us through her experience of a massive stroke. As the stroke was happening, thanks to her extensive knowledge of the brain, she got to observe how the stroke was affecting the loss of her body function one by one. Admist it all, she also was able to discover the true power of the right side of the brain (the creative part) – hence, the ‘stroke of insight’.
If you’ve always wanted to find out how one is able to ‘study the brain from the inside out’, this is your rare chance to catch a glimpse of it without having to go through a stroke yourself!
7. Tony Robbins: Why We Do What We Do
If you’ve read my previous posts, it’s no secret that I’m a *huge* fan of Tony Robbins. I absolutely love this talks – his TED talk is no exception.
This world renowned business & life strategist (he highly dislikes being referred to as a motivational coach) has helped CEOs to heads of state to Olympic athletes and thousands of people like you and me to their full potential. Needless to say, he definitely knows what he’s talking about.
Think that your current circumstance determines your future? Do you feel as if you have no control over the future because you’ve had a difficult past? Think again!
Here, he emphasized that ‘Most think that the ‘past equals the future’. Decision is the ultimate power’. In short, he believes that all of us have the ability to make a positive impact on the world, and it’s up to us, as individuals, to overcome our fears and foibles to reach that potential!
Related post: Unlocking Our True Potential
8. Brené Brown: The Power of Vulnerability
I admit it, like many people, I used to equate vulnerability as a weakness. Thanks to Brené Brown, that belief is long gone!
I first stumbled upon Brené Brown’s work on Audible I had purchased it out of curiosity and ended up loving it! Soon after, I watched Brené’s witty yet compelling TED talk which pretty much sums up her book of the same title.
On her talk, this accomplished research professor at the University of Houston, delivers deep insights in a funny way where she explains that a better humanity can be achieved by more people accepting and embracing their vulnerabilities as a strength rather than a weakness. Check it out, I promise that you’ll love it!
Related post: Shedding a Light on Shame
9. Graham Hill: Less Stuff, More Happiness
We’ve all been there; times when we think, if we only have a bigger home, a luxury car and the latest gadgets, we’ll be much happier only to find out that the game never ends!
Whether it is done consciously or not, many of us are sucked into the comparison game, where we ended up accumulating stuff that we don’t necessarily need in the first place.
On this insightful talk, Graham Hill, a writer & designer, makes a poignant case that contrary to most beliefs, having less stuff may can actually make us happier!
Related post: Attitude of Gratitude
10. Lizzie Velazquez: How Do You Define Yourself?
Having watched this moving and enchantingly honest TEDx Austin Women talk, I found it hard not to shed a tear or two each time I do so.
As a society, we undoubtedly equate too much of our worth on physical beauty. If you agree, Lizzie Velasquez, a motivational coach and author is about to blow you away!
Born with a rare syndrome that prevents her body from gaining weight and creating fat, she was dubbed as the “World’s Ugliest Woman’ on a viral YouTube Video when she was only 17 years old. Confronted with a slew of mean comments about her physical looks, Lizzie ultimately made the decision that she is the only person who can define herself. Since then, Lizzie has dedicated her life to inspire others to courageously do the same.
Related post: Beauty is Not Skin Deep: A Call to Action