Have you heard of TED before?
This non-profit media organization, which stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design, has been around since 1984, and has really had such an influence on society over the years.
Today, there are over 3000 TED talks available online to watch, by some truly inspirational people, covering just about every topic out there. From design to business to global issues, here are some of the TED talks that you need to watch now.
*Featured image editorial credit: Looking up TED programs on phone and laptop | © Mr.Whiskey / Shutterstock.com
“There’s More to Life Than Being Happy” by Emily Esfahani Smith
Happiness is something that so many strive for, deciding that this is the ultimate goal when it comes to life.
However, writer Emily Esfahani Smith has a different perspective on things, believing that “chasing happiness makes people unhappy”.
Although modern day culture tends to be obsessed with the concept of happiness, Smith believes that there is a way to achieve an even more fulfilling path in life.
Wondering what this is?
Well, you will need to watch the TED talk to learn more, but, basically, having meaning in your life that goes beyond yourself, and also helps to nurture the best version of yourself, will give you something solid to really hold on to.
The talk features Smith discussing the differences between being happy and having a life with meaning, with four pillars to follow to help guide you in making changes.
“8 Secrets of Success” by Richard St. John
Richard St. John is someone who has spent more than ten years researching the secrets of success, speaking to more than 500 incredibly successful people to learn about exactly what it was that helped them to achieve what they did.
Want to know the answer?
One of the keys to success is consistent quality.
St. John speaks about how this was something that really helped him, and many others, to achieve success. This was emphasized by the fact that once St. John managed to succeed, he started to become less consistent in both his efforts and the quality of his work, which quickly led to the downfall of his success.
This just goes to show how important it is to keep putting in effort, even when you feel as though you have made it in the world.
Ready to hear about the other secrets to success?
Well, then you will need to watch the TED talk!
“How to Make Stress Your Friend” by Kelly McGonigal
Do you often find yourself feeling extremely stressed out?
If so, this is a TED talk that you really do need to watch as soon as possible.
Can’t imagine ever being able to make stress your friend?
It is actually very possible, and Stanford University psychologist Kelly McGonigal will tell you all you need to know.
Stress is terrible for health in a number of ways, causing issues such as:
- Premature aging
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
Of course, the thought of reducing the overall amount of stress that you experience can seem impossible, especially since you likely have new stresses throwing themselves at you each and every day.
That’s where this TED talk can help, as McGonigal will provide you with a tangible stress-reduction tool that you can use whenever you feel as though the stress is just getting too much to handle.
“What Will a Future Without Secrets Look Like?” by Alessandro Acquisti
The lack of privacy that people now face is something that worries many, and this is what Alessandro Acquisti focuses on in his TED talk.
Acquisti is a behavioral economist at Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Mellon University, and has carried out quite a few studies and experiments on the concept of privacy in today’s modern day world.
Want to know some of the interesting results that he discovered?
Well, one of these was that facial recognition software was able to connect an unknown human face to an online name, and then a Facebook account, in less than three seconds. He also proves how easy it is to use public data to find the social security number of just about any US citizen.
All of this pioneering work led to Acquisti being invited to the US Senate Committee, to speak to them about the impact that technology is having on civil liberty.
With the fine line between public and private information being so blurred already, this is a truly thought-provoking TED talk that will really have you reconsidering the information you choose to share online.
“Why Our Screens Make Us Less Happy” by Adam Alter
Psychologist Adam Alter is a best-selling author with two successful books under his belt. These books examine the many behaviours that people now find themselves addicted to, from online shopping to internet usage.
Are you someone that finds yourself checking your phone every few minutes?
If so, then this TED talk will be especially relevant to you, as it will make you realize just how much time your screen is stealing away from you, and how this may be making you more unhappy than you realize.
“Why You Should Define Your Fears Instead of Your Goals” by Tim Ferriss
Do you sometimes find that your fears prevent you from moving forward in life?
This is actually extremely common, and is something that Tim Ferriss addresses in this TED talk.
Wondering who Tim Ferriss is?
He is an author, as well as an early-stage investor/advisor in technology, and has been listed as one of the Most Innovative Business People by Fast Company, as well as one of Fortune’s 40 Under 40. In fact, many media publications even refer to him as the Oprah of audio, due to the incredible influence that his podcasts have had.
In this TED talk, Ferriss discusses how sometimes the things that we fear doing or saying the most are exactly what need to be done in order for progression to be made.
In order to help you to overcome this, Ferriss explains a powerful exercise called fear-setting.
This is a simple practice that requires you to write down each one of your fears in detail, which you can then use to help you to move forward.
“How to Spot a Liar” by Pamela Meyer
Whether it may be 10 times or hundreds of times, you are more than likely lied to each and every day of your life.
Of course, knowing how to tell when you are being told a lie is an extremely useful skill, and this is what Pamela Meyer’s TED talk will teach you.
Meyer is a social media expert who has spent many years researching the topic of deception, speaking to everyone from law enforcement officers to psychologists to learn more. She then moved on to becoming an expert in deception detection herself, and shares her knowledge through her TED talk.
The clues you need to catch to actually detect a lie are usually extremely subtle, but this is something that Meyer will teach you how to do, using certain techniques that she has learned from the experts over the years.
“To Eliminate Waste, We Need to Rediscover Thrift” by Andrew Dent
Andrew Dent has dedicated his life to the topic of sustainability, with his research being key when it comes to creating a whole new generation of sustainable products.
This is something that the world today really needs, as the amount of waste that humans produce is becoming such a serious problem.
Interested in learning how to live a more sustainable life?
Dent’s TED talk begins by explaining where all the products that you throw away end up, following this up with how you can be smarter with those items that you no longer need.
There are some truly exciting examples of thrift shared in this talk, teaching you how to reuse the items that you already have in order to prevent you from needing to buy more.
He also mentions a couple of interesting innovations in relation to sustainability, such as enzymes that could potentially make plastic infinitely recyclable.
“The Brain-Changing Benefits of Exercise” by Wendy Suzuki
A neuroscientist and an author, Wendy Suzuki has spent so many years researching brain plasticity. However, recently, her work has moved on to taking a look at how aerobic exercise can improve everything from learning to memory to cognitive abilities.
It has long since been understood that exercise is vital for good health, and this TED talk emphasizes that, explaining all of the health benefits that exercise can have.
If you have been needing some extra inspiration to spend more time working out, then this is the TED talk that will give you what you need.
“The Surprising Ingredient That Makes Businesses Work Better” by Marco Alvera
Have you been looking for a way in which you can improve your business?
Marco Alvera is the CEO of Snam, the largest natural gas utility in Europe, and has learned so much over the years about what really makes a business tick.
Wondering what the surprising ingredient is that this TED talk focuses on?
The reason for this is because of how unfairness is so bad for business, which is why he spends time showing businesses how to foster a culture of fairness. Following what is right, as well as what is wrong, leads to much happier employees, meaning that the business will then experience better results.
“From Death Row to Law Graduate” by Peter Ouko
Ready to hear a truly inspiring tale?
This TED talk will definitely move you, as it really is such an incredible story.
Over 20 years ago in Kenya, Peter Ouko discovered his wife’s murdered and dumped body, after which he went to a police station to seek some answers. Sadly, due to the broken down judicial system in the country, Ouko soon found himself being convicted for a crime that he did not commit.
Wondering what happened next?
Ouko then spent 18 years in Kenya’s Kamiti Prison, often being locked up in a small cell for 23.5 hours a day with 13 other adult men.
While this may be the case, Ouko decided to make the most of his time here, spending it studying law, and being the first inmate to graduate with a Diploma of Law from the University of London.
Want to know how he got out?
You will need to watch the TED talk for that. Not only will Ouko tell you about how he was freed, but also about how he managed to overcome any bitterness he was feeling and turn this into something positive, which so many people will be able to learn from.
Once he got out, Ouko continued to campaign for justice for inmates, while also working on setting up the first law school behind bars.
“What Makes Something Go Viral?” by Dao Nguyen
You have likely heard of BuzzFeed before, and Dao Nguyen is the publisher of this popular website.
Have you ever wondered about what it is that actually makes something go viral?
Well, wonder no more, as Nguyen’s TED talk will explain this to you. This talk provides viewers with a glimpse into BuzzFeed’s world, including how they create their viral videos, lists and quizzes.
In a world so dominated by the internet and social media, learning how to make something go viral could really transform the future of a business.
Nguyen discusses the special system that BuzzFeed has developed to help them understand how people use content, so that the company can then use this information to create even more content that will go viral.
Whether you need some inspiration relating to business, physical activity or just everyday life, TED talks are the perfect place to turn to. The wide variety of topics covered in the talks mean that you will also find something that you can relate to, and will no doubt end up learning things that could potentially change your entire life.