Every day after work, I switch on my tablet and stream TED Talks. I used to be obsessed. I would watch four to five talks every day. It used to be my “medicine” after a very long day. Others watch movies to relax or listen to music when they exercise. I just listen to TED talks.
I always love learning new things, and TED is absolutely the best at teaching us new things and how to think “out of the box.” Once you end up in the TED rabbit hole, as I call it, you start seeing the world differently. I must admit that some of these talks have changed my life.
TED was started back in 1984 by Richard Saul Wurman as a conference where technology, entertainment and design converged. The first TED included a demo of the compact disc, the e-book and cutting-edge 3D graphics from Lucasfilm, while mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot demonstrated how to map coastlines using his developing theory of fractal geometry.
Today, TED has evolved into a global community, welcoming people from every discipline and culture who seek a deeper understanding of the world.
These are the five talks that have stuck with me the most. After you watch them, I am sure you will be a different person.
#1 Why We Do What We Do, by Tony Robbins
This is one of my favorite TED Talks. It’s a must watch. Tony introduces the six human needs and why we do the things we do. He mentions that every single person in this world has these same six needs, but each of us value these needs in different ways, and each of us have varied beliefs about what it means to satisfy those needs. This is what becomes the driving force behind everything we do, and it determines the direction of our lives. It is now the sixth most viewed TED talk of all time.
#2 How I Held My Breath for 17 Minutes, by David Blaine
In this highly personal and motivational talk from TEDMED, magician David Blaine describes what it took to hold his breath underwater for 17 minutes, a world record—only two minutes shorter than this entire talk—and what his often death-defying work means to him.
#3 the Power of Belief: Mindset and Success, by Eduardo Briceno
Eduardo Briceño articulates how mindset, or the understanding of intelligence and abilities, is key. When students or adults see their abilities as fixed, whether they think they’re naturals or just not built for a certain domain, they avoid challenge and lose interest when things get hard. Conversely, when they understand that abilities are developed, they more readily adopt learning-oriented behaviors such as deliberate practice and grit that enable them to achieve their goals.
#4 How to Start a Movement, by Derek Sivers
Derek Siver is an entrepreneur, producer, musician, blogger and lots of other things. He discussed a moment from Sasquatch music festival 2009 wherein a person started dancing alone, and then after a few minutes, everyone followed him, so he could describe how great leaders might on some occasions need the guts to stand alone and look ridiculous.
#5 Change Your Mindset, Change the Game, by Dr. Alia Crum
This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. Dr. Crum says the biggest game changer is, “You, by harnessing the power of your mind.” She explores scientific results that show the influence of the mind on the body, and how changing the subjective mind set produced different outcomes. Dr. Crum’s work is inspired in part by the placebo effect, and has implications that stretch far beyond the realm of medicine.
Did you like these talks? Let me know your favorite TED talk.
Opinions expressed here by Contributors are their own.
Published September 29, 2017