10 TED Talks You Need to Watch

Are you on the search for new ideas or inspiration? TED talks are conferences that have been taking place for over 30 years. With a slogan that reads “Ideas Worth Spreading”, it’s easy to understand what these conferences are about. Started in 1984, TED talks have become popular all around the world because they are a fantastic source of inspiration.

Everyone will need a pep talk and inspiration at some point in their life. Life can be hard and stressful, it can be hard to stay positive. Problems at work, with your loved ones, watching the news and health issues, there is so much negativity in the world it can be hard to remember the positives.

A TED talk is a video that’s been recorded from a presentation at the TED (technology, entertainment, design) conference. Each TED talk lasts between 10 to 20 minutes and has a range of topics available. Some focus on technology, social psychology, why we sleep, curly fries and even some on how to stay positive. Any topic you can think of, there is probably a TED talk dedicated to it. Over the years TED talks have had some incredible presenters such as Al Gore, Bill Gates, Bono, Bill Clinton, and Gordon Brown. There is a TED talk out there just waiting to inspire and motivate you.

Your elusive creative genius by Elizabeth Gilbert

Elizabeth Gilbert speaks about the idea that everyone has a “genius” inside of them. She says that everyone is a genius, it’s just unlocking it and letting it out that’s the hard part. When most people think of a genius they think of Albert Einstein or Steven Hawking, but you don’t have to be knowledgeable in sciences to be a genius. You can be a genius in any field of work, business, cooking, art, and craft, everyone has the ability to be a genius. Gilbert’s motivating talk shares different ideas on how to find your own genius inside yourself. This TED talk was filmed in 2009 and has since had over ten million views.

Programming your mind for success by Carrie Green

Challenges in life and at work can be overwhelming, and it can seem impossible to stay motivated all the time. Problems and stress can build up and make us feel like we are drowning. Carrie Green wants to inspire your mind to reach its full potential, by doing so will help you in gaining success. Green talks about how you can rid yourself of a limited mindset, believe in yourself and change your mindset to positive instead of negative. If you are having negative thoughts about yourself, your abilities and your work then you will start to believe them. Having a positive outlook can change everything and this is what Carrie Green wants everyone to understand.

The surprising science of happiness

Psychologist Dan Gilbert discusses happiness in this Ted talk and breaks it down into its simplest form. He believes that there are two main components to being happy, natural happiness and synthetic happiness. Dr. Gilbert discusses different pieces of research work such as free choice paradigm and other experiments. His talk speaks about the concept of synthetic happiness and how people create their personal idea of happiness.

How to make stress your friend by Kelly McGonigal

Kelly McGonigal looks at stress, she believes that stress is a part of life. It isn’t something you can avoid so you should try to reshape your view of stress to work for you. You shouldn’t be running away from stress you should face it head-on. McGonigal says that stress responses can actually help your body to feel less anxious, less stressed and feel more confident at the same time.

Stress doesn’t have to be a bad thing, it can actually make you grow stronger. The moment you decided to stake a stand over the stresses in your life, your life will change. If you are being told that stress is bad for you, and you have negative thoughts about stress then you, sure enough, will believe that stress is a bad thing. Kelly McGonigal wants to encourage everyone to start a new relationship with stress. She says that stress can only be bad for you if you believe it to be bad for you. Try looking at stress in a new light and see how it affects you.

How great leaders inspire action by Simon Sinek

This TED talk is by Simon Sinek, the author of “Start with Why” and this inspiring talk was filmed in 2009. If you are looking for inspiration for yourself, your friends or work colleagues then this talk will inspire you to do better and be better. Sinek talks about how some of the greatest leaders in history inspired those around them. He uses the Wright Brothers and Martin Luther King as examples, as well as others.
Sinek talks about the three things that all leaders have in common. The What, How and the Why of the business. The best company will use these questions to inspire others. Sinek uses Apple as an example, in their 'advertainments' they say why and how they are better than the other competition. This talk is inspiring, and the way Sinek speaks is very relatable for the whole audience.

The 3 A’s of awesome by Neil Pasricha

Neil Pasricha’s TED talk focuses on the three A’s of being awesome, these are Attitude, Awareness, and Authenticity. Pasricha was going through a hard time in his life, he felt overwhelmed and down. He struggled to find the positives in life, but he wanted to change his outlook on life and be happy. So, he did. He wants people to act and follow his lead.

The first “A” is for attitude, if you want to be happy in life you can be. You have to decide between dwelling on a problem or deciding to acknowledge it and move on from it. You can’t predict the future, but you can control your attitude towards it. The second “A” is for awareness. He speaks about how any chance or opportunity you are given in life, look at it like its brand new. The last “A” stands for Authenticity. If you are being authentic then you are being honest and following your heart. If you are living an authentic life you will enjoy yourself more because you are living the life you have designed and created for yourself. These 3 A’s of awesome helped Neil Pasricha to create his happy life and hopefully, they will help you too.

Less stuff, more happiness by Graham Hill

Writer Graham Hill asks the audience “can having less stuff, and less room, lead to more happiness?”. This talk highlights that money and material ideas do not give you sustainable happiness. Only living sustainably will lead you to sustainable happiness. Hill talks about how you cannot find happiness in a box or in a shop and that the stuff we purchase gives us a false sense of happiness. Real happiness comes in the form of love, friendship, nature, and traveling. Do you need a big house, fancy cars and clothes to be happy or can just living and making memories make us even happier? Find out exactly how Graham Hill believes everyone can achieve true happiness in this inspiring TED talk.

The puzzle of motivation by Dan Pink

Author Dan Pink is a very popular figure in the world of business management, he has authored five books that have sold over two million copies worldwide. In this talk, he discusses the puzzle of motivation and challenges the traditional way of thinking when it comes to traditional rewards and incentives. Many people use rewards as motivation to work, Pink suggests that these rewards actually block people’s creativity. He believes that people should instead of doing something for a reward, do it because you want to, and you enjoy it.

Everyone should have the desire to control their own lives and to get better at something it matters to you. Dan says that unlocking the secret to high performance or quality of work isn’t punishing yourself or rewarding yourself in the traditional way, it comes from wanting to do something for yourself!

Do schools kill creativity? by Sir Ken Robinson

This motivating TED talk by Sir Ken Robinson talks about the schooling system and how they favor subjects such as maths and literacy over creative subjects. Robinson believes that schools are teaching children that being wrong is a bad thing where as inspiring children to be creative tells them it’s ok to be wrong and make mistakes.
Everyone is intelligent in different ways, not everyone is intelligent in the sciences or the subjects that are thought of as essential. Sir Ken talk about how intelligence is diverse, dynamic and distinct. He says that the education system needs to be changed and redefined and that people need to use their creativity and imagination to face uncertainty and encourage future children to pursue what they love.

Learning how to Learn by Barbara Oakley

Barbara Oakley is a professor of engineering at Oakland University, but what you might not believe is that as a child, Oakley was terrible at maths. She learned how to rewire her brain and taught herself things she previously couldn’t learn. Looking at this from a neuroscience point of view, Oakley says that the brain is in two different modes, a focused mode or a diffused mode.

Focused mode makes you think narrowly on familiar problems you’ve seen previously whereas diffused mode searches for new ideas. When thinking about a problem creatively you need to use the diffuse mode. Oakley used Salvador Dali and Edison as an example of how you can benefit from both modes. She also speaks about procrastination and how our brain naturally responds to it and how we can use it to help us focus and learn. She also goes into detail about bad learning habits and how people try to trick themselves into understanding when really, they do not.

Above are some of the most popular and inspiring TED talks of all time. They cover a range of topics from positivity, to stress but all have one thing in common: they aim to inspire. If you are feeling down, negative, depressed or you just need some motivation there will be a TED talk out there just waiting for you. Hopefully, you will enjoy watching these videos and they encourage and inspire you in your everyday life.