Best of TED: Top 41 Inspirational TED Talks
Watching TV and browsing youtube for some entertaining videos is something most of us do. Yet these activities are often referred to as a waste of time. With TED videos it is actually the opposite. Their talks are not only fun, interesting and educational, but also highly inspirational.
In my previous post I have talked about some easy habits that most of us need to adopt. Taking 3-18 minutes a day to watch TED talks is one of them.
Here is a list of Top 41 Inspirational TED talks that I have put together for you:
1. Barry Schwartz on the paradox of choice
Could it be that less choice is better and that the secret to happiness is low expectations?
2. Dan Pink: The puzzle of motivation
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.
3. Shawn Achor
We believe that we should work to be happy, but could that be backwards?
“[It’s] the lens through which your brain views the world that shapes your reality. And if we can change the lens, not only can we change your happiness, we can change every single educational and business outcome at the same time.” — Shawn Achor
4. Brené Brown: The power of vulnerability
Why we should not be embarrassed with being vulnerable? After all vulnerability stands at the base of our ability to empathize, belong and even love.
“Vulnerability is our most accurate measurement of courage.” — Brené Brown
5. Neil Pasricha: The 3 A’s of awesome
Neil Pasricha’s blog 1000 Awesome Things savors life’s simple pleasures, from free refills to clean sheets. In this heartfelt talk, he reveals the 3 secrets (all starting with A) to leading a life that’s truly awesome.
6. Daniel Kahneman: The riddle of experience vs. memory
Is it better to have memories or experiences? Nobel laureate and founder of behavioral economics Daniel Kahneman reveals the role they play in our happiness.
7. Jill Bolte Taylor’s Stroke of Insight
Jill Bolte Taylor got a research opportunity few brain scientists would wish for: She had a massive stroke, and watched as her brain functions – motion, speech, self-awareness – shut down one by one. An astonishing story!
8. Nancy Etcoff: Happiness and its surprises
If you are looking for ways to increase your happiness, you are not alone. Nancy Etcoff has not only dedicated 14 minutes to explaining her groundbreaking research on happiness, she also shares the easy formula for a happy marriage in her inspirational talk.
9. Benjamin Zander: The transformative power of classical music
If you are a fan of classical music, you will love this inspirational talk. If you are not, you will see music differently and learn some very important lessons about positive thinking, leadership and gratitude. Guaranteed!
10. Tim Ferriss: Smash fear, learn anything
Productivity guru Tim Ferriss and the author of “The 4-Hour Work Week” shares his own approach to overcoming fears and accomplishing his very ambitious goals. Definitely someone to learn from.
11. Drew Dudley: Everyday leadership
We have all changed someone’s life — usually without even realizing it. In this funny talk, Drew Dudley calls on all of us to celebrate leadership as the everyday act of improving each other’s lives.
12. Jonathan Fields – Turning Fear Into Fuel
One of the most successful authors, marketers and bloggers Jonathan Fields shares how to turn fear from a source of anxiety and paralysis into fuel for action and achievement.
13. Tony Robbins: Why we do what we do
Motivation guru Tony Robbins talks about the “invisible forces” and emotions that motivate our actions or hold us back.
“Connection and love: … We all want it. Most people settle for connection because love’s too scary.” – Tony Robbins
14. Ken Robinson says schools kill creativity
Find out why this talk continues to be one of the Top 10 TEDs inspirational talks and prepare for a few very valuable insights on raising creative children and have a few good laughs.
“If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original.” — Ken Robinson
15. Sir Ken Robinson: Bring on the learning revolution!
After watching Sir Ken Robinson’s first talk, you will surely want more. So here is his entertaining and profoundly moving case for creating an education system that nurtures (rather than undermines) our talents and creativity.
“Very many people go through their whole lives having no real sense of what their talents may be, or if they have any to speak of.” — Ken Robinson
16. Matthieu Ricard: Habits of Happiness
Get advice on happiness from a French Buddhist monk, Doctor of Philosophy in Molecular Genetics and the “happiest man in the world”.
17. Dan Gilbert: The surprising science of happiness
Dan Gilbert, author of “Stumbling on Happiness,” challenges the idea that we’ll be miserable if we don’t get what we want. Our “psychological immune system” lets us feel truly happy even when things don’t go as planned.
18. Jamie Oliver’s TED Prize wish: Teach every child about food
In this inspirational and eye-opening TED talk Jamie Oliver explains the power of food and how it can prolong or shorten our life and the life of our children.
19. Dan Ariely asks, Are we in control of our own decisions?
Dan Ariely, the author of “Predictably Irrational”, uses classic visual illusions and his own counterintuitive (and sometimes shocking) research findings to show how we’re not as rational as we think when we make decisions.
20. Richard St. John shares 8 Secrets of Success
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 an unmissable 3-minute slideshow on the real secrets of success.
21. Steven Johnson: Where good ideas come from
Looking for a great idea for your business? Need to resolve a complex problem? Maybe you should try the “liquid network” method.
22. Matt Cutts: Try something new for 30 days
Is there something you’ve always meant to do, wanted to do, but just … haven’t? Then you need to see this awesome TED talk.
23. Graham Hill: Less stuff, more happiness
Graham Hill’s life phylosophy is simple – “We’ve got to cut the extraneous out of our lives, and we’ve got to learn to stem the inflow. We need to think before we buy. Ask ourselves, ‘Is that really going to make me happier?‘”
24. Ron Gutman: The hidden power of smiling
Find out why 1 smile is just as pleasant for the brain as eating 2000 bars of chocolate and just as stimulating as receiving up to $20000 in cash.
25. Joan Halifax: Compassion and the true meaning of empathy
This is the strangest and the most insightful explanation of compassion that you may ever hear.
26. Randy Pausch: Really achieving your childhood dreams
Carnegie Mellon professor Randy Pausch motivated thousands of students with his passionate teaching. Millions more around the world found inspiration in his moving “Last Lecture.”
27. Aimee Mullins: It’s not fair having 12 pairs of legs
Aimee Mullins talks about her prosthetic legs and superpowers they grant her. A very empowering message about living life beyond your limits from an amazing woman who lives it every day.
28. Eric Whitacre: A virtual choir 2,000 voices strong
A beautiful and inspirational TED talk about bringing people together to create one of the most beautiful musical pieces in history.
29. JR’s TED Prize wish: Use art to turn the world inside out
A powerful message about how you can have a real impact on the world just by doing what you love to do. Even if you love doing graffiti.
30. Carl Honore: In praise of slowness
In our fast-paced society, where even instant gratification takes too long, listening about taking a deep breath and slowing down is very refreshing.
31. Martin Seligman: The new era of positive psychology
Learn about happiness and three different “happy” lives from the author of best-selling book “Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life” and the founder of positive psychology himself.
32. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi: Flow, the secret to happiness
If you have heard about the state of “flow”, you will be surprised to know how it is connected to happiness, creativity, and fulfillment.
33. Elizabeth Gilbert on nurturing your genius
Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of best-seller “Eat,Pray,Love”, shares the radical idea that, instead of the rare person “being” a genius, all of us “have” a genius. It’s a funny, personal and surprisingly moving talk.
34. Arthur Benjamin does “Mathemagic”
Our brain can do much more than we think possible. Even transform math into mathemagic.
35. Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action
Simon Sinek has a simple but powerful model for inspirational leadership all starting with a golden circle and the question “Why?”
36. Gary Vaynerchuk: Do what you love (no excuses!)
Talking about authenticity… Don’t watch this video if you get offended by foul language. But please make it a must see if you need a motivation boost to do what you love.
37. Amy Cuddy: Your body language shapes who you are
Amy Cuddy’s research on body language reveals that we can change other people’s perceptions — and even our own body chemistry — simply by changing body positions.
38. Derek Sivers: How to start a movement
Learn why Derek Sivers believes leadership is over glorified and why it is much cooler to be among the first followers than the leaders.
39. Derek Sivers: Keep your goals to yourself
Derek Sivers shares the latest psychology test that proves – you should not be sharing your goals with other people. Here is why…
40. Candy Chang: Before I die I want to…
In her New Orleans neighborhood, Candy Chang turned an abandoned house into a giant chalkboard asking a fill-in-the-blank question: “Before I die I want to ___.” Find out what other people wrote…
By the way, what is your answer?
41. Ric Elias: 3 things I learned while my plane crashed
Sometimes we need to go through a near-death experience to have the biggest revelations of our life. Here is what Ric Elias’ learned, during Flight 1549, when the plane crash-landed in the Hudson River in January 2009.