If you’ve never seen a TED talk, you don’t know what you’re missing. Maybe you never liked presentations. Maybe you think they are boring because they remind you of school. TED talks are different. You start listening to them without knowing what to expect. The presenters get your attention from the first second, and you keep staring at the screen while thinking about fragments of your life and reconsidering your own thoughts, ideas and emotions.
Sometimes you can get confused because the presenters make you see life from another perspective, but they always make sense. When you see the right talk at the right time, you’ll be inspired to take action to change your life for the better.
If there is one word that describes TED talks, this is it: life-changing.
The only question is: what talks should you see when you’re depressed, sad or uninspired? Start with this collection of 10 impressive TED talks. Then, keep exploring the main website to find more talks that will help you learn something new and deal with any negative emotion.
- 1. How do you define yourself? – Lizzie Velasquez
- 2. Less stuff, more happiness – Graham Hill
- 3. 10 ways to have a better conversation – Celeste Headlee
- 4. The power of introverts – Susan Cain
- 5. The Web’s secret stories – Jonathan Harris
- 6. Why we do what we do – Tony Robbins
- 7. The power of vulnerability – Brené Brown
- 8. How to spot a liar – Pamela Meyer
- 9. The surprising science of happiness – Dan Gilbert
- 10. Do schools kill creativity? – Ken Robinson
1. How do you define yourself? – Lizzie Velasquez
Lizzie Velasquez is a motivational speaker and author, who will make you question how you perceive yourself and other people. When she was born, the doctors told her parents “expect your daughter to never be able to talk, walk, crawl, think, or do anything by herself.” She and her parents proved them wrong.
In this TED talk, she is asking you: what defines you as a person? It’s not your outer appearance. You are the person who decides which path your life is going to take. It can’t be easy to figure out what defines you, but it’s something we all need to do. You can choose to be happy about your qualities, or you can choose to be upset about what you don’t have. What choice are you going to make?
2. Less stuff, more happiness – Graham Hill
You have a car, smartphone, laptop, tablet, smart TV, e-reader, too many shoes and pieces of clothes you don’t even wear, and a huge clutter of stuff in your house. Do those things make you happier? No! In fact, they consume your attention and prevent you from experiencing true freedom and happiness. Graham Hill, a writer and designer, tells you how to edit your life.
3. 10 ways to have a better conversation – Celeste Headlee
In a world where every single conversation has the potential to “evolve” in an argument, it seems people have forgotten all about a crucial skill: talking and listening to other people. We unfriend Facebook friends for comments we don’t like, we avoid people on the street because we don’t want to talk to them… we simply don’t make any effort to have conversations.
Celeste Headlee, a popular TV personality in the USA, inspires you to go out, listen to people and talk to them. We need to get back to the essential values of clarity, honesty and brevity. We should stop being offended by other people’s opinions and honesty. That’s the only way to have great conversations.
4. The power of introverts – Susan Cain
Were you one of those kids who rarely participated in class? Did you feel that teachers underestimated your talents? That’s because they didn’t understand introverts. If you’re an extrovert and you get frustrated when some friends ask you for a coffee and they don’t talk too much, then you still need to listen to Susan Cain. She will change your perspective on how you need to understand yourself and an entire category of people.
5. The Web’s secret stories – Jonathan Harris
Jonathan Harris is an artist and computer scientist who reveals an aspect of the Internet we’re not really aware of: stories. We look around the world and we reveal gaps that identify us as individuals. However, we have one thing in common: the need to express ourselves. That urge for self-expression defines the Internet. We can understand what people think and feel; and we can understand how the world is changing… everything thanks to the Internet.
6. Why we do what we do – Tony Robbins
Tony Robbins is a life coach that has a lot to teach us. In his TED talks, he talks about the way emotions determine our actions. He makes you question your motives for action, the thing that drives you in your life. Then, he explains that emotions—not minds—are the invisible force of internal drive.
When you understand other people and your own inner emotional drive, you will have more to give and achieve.
7. The power of vulnerability – Brené Brown
People do their best to hide their vulnerabilities and present themselves as superheroes to the people they know. Brené Brown teaches you something different: embrace vulnerability. She explains how that’s necessary for accepting your imperfections and finding inner peace. Listen to her.
8. How to spot a liar – Pamela Meyer
Do you know that we’re lied to from 10 to 200 times in a single day? It gets more serious than that: we are all liars. Pamela Meyer teaches you how to become a lie-spotter and even something better: a truth-seeker and trust-builder. Are you ready to make your world an honest one? Listen to his TED talk.
9. The surprising science of happiness – Dan Gilbert
We face struggles, sorrow, death, sickness… every day we have something to worry about. However, Harvard psychologist Dan Gilbert teaches us that human beings have a psychological immune system in their brains, which has the ability to keep them happy even when everything goes wrong. Gilbert teaches you how you can control this aspect of your brain and become a happier person regardless of the situations you’re dealing with.
10. Do schools kill creativity? – Ken Robinson
Ken Robinson has a controversial statement to make: the educational system is killing people’s creativity, since the focus is solely on developing literacy. Thanks to this amazing TED talk, you’ll understand all flaws of the traditional schooling system. You’ll remind yourself of all the talents and dreams you had when you were a kid. The human imagination is a gift. We have to be careful not to lose it.
There you have it – a nice list of 10 impressive TED talks that make you look life from a different perspective. Watch them and tell us what you think!