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5 TED Talks That Changed My Life
My favorite "ideas worth sharing"
What do you do when you feel stuck in a rut? When you need some motivation, inspiration, or clarity?
Among other things, I watch (or re-watch) a TED talk.
In case you haven’t heard of it before, TED (Technology, Entertainment, and Design) talks are influential videos with billions of views in which expert speakers share their wisdom on a variety of topics such as science, business, creativity, education, and many more.
For me, watching a TED talk is like taking a shot of much-needed inspiration when I forget why I do the things I do, when I’m too hard on myself, or when I’m simply looking for new unique insights about a specific topic.
Today I want to share the top 5 TED talks that truly changed my life. Some of these talks were recommended to me, while others I found serendipitously right when I needed them the most.
I hope you enjoy them just as much as I did. Feel free to re-watch them whenever you feel lost and need that extra oomph in your motivation.
1. The power of vulnerability - Brené Brown
Brené Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston and the author of several best-selling books. She is an expert in human connection, her research focusing on how we empathize, belong, and love.
"The power of vulnerability" is a funny, personal, and insightful talk, essential for anyone who wants to build more authentic relationships and live a more fulfilling life. What gets in the way of that is our tendency to protect ourselves from pain and discomfort by hiding those parts of us that we might not feel secure about or proud of (aka invulnerability and shame).
Brene Brown offers a new perspective: if we want to live wholeheartedly, we need to embrace vulnerability, instead of running away from it. A must-watch for anybody!
2. The power of believing that you can improve - Carol Dweck
Growing up I was always praised for how smart I was. For quite some time, that worked well for me. It felt empowering and it was helping me be successful. Until I started experiencing challenges, difficulties, and some pretty spectacular failures, which was very hard to understand. I thought I was smart, what happened? Due to the fixed mindset that I grew up with, learning to deal with failures didn’t come easy for me. I would take failures very personally, so to avoid that I’d make choices that minimize the chances of failure.
I learned about growth mindset from Carol Dweck, a professor of psychology at Stanford University and a long-term researcher of “growth mindset”. Watching her TED talk was a real turning point for me because it opened up a whole new world of possibility and made me much more adaptable and resilient to failure. I learned that I need to approach problems with a learning mindset, understand that any ability can be developed, and get comfortable with failure in order to grow.
If you want to learn more about the growth mindset and why it’s critical to incorporate it into how we raise our children, then go watch this TED talk.
3. Choices that can change your life - Caroline Myss
This talk is an absolute MUST for people who are stuck in life inertia, analysis paralysis, or toxic soul-crushing situations.
Caroline Myss is a bestselling author and internationally renowned speaker in the fields of human consciousness, spirituality and mysticism, health, energy medicine, and the science of medical intuition.
In her TED talk, Caroline Myss talks about the great power we sometimes forget we have: the power of choice. She says that the choices that actually matter when it comes to our health, healing, and empowering ourselves are the choices we make in the privacy of our own company. Myss talks about 5 most important choices we must make in order to live our best lives:
8:55 - The decision to live life with integrity.
12:03 - The choice to not pass on our suffering, but our wisdom.
15:09 - The choice to take risks and live a life without regrets.
19:03 - The choice to use deliberate powerful words and remove toxic vocabulary (words such as: entitled, blame, deserving).
24:18 - The choice to be grateful for each day we are alive.
4. What makes a good life? Lessons from the longest study on happiness - Robert Waldinger
Have you ever wondered what is the key to a happy and healthy life? If you think it's fame, wealth, or achievements, you're not alone – but, according to psychiatrist Robert Waldinger, you're mistaken. The correct answer is: good relationships (6:16). In his talk, Waldinger shares three important lessons he learned from the largest study on adult development (the study took 75 years):
Social connections are really good for us. Loneliness is toxic. Loneliness kills.
It’s not the number of friends, it’s the quality of close relationships that matters
Good relationships don’t just protect our bodies, but also our brains
This talk is a wonderful reminder to not get stuck in the career hamster wheel and to prioritize what will sustain us for as long as we are alive: our relationships.
5. Breathe to Heal - Max Strom
For many years I’ve struggled with anxiety. The second half of the pandemic however pushed my anxiety to new, unexpected heights. My anxiety was weird, and it used to often manifest in the evening or at night, causing, among other symptoms, disturbed sleep. I no longer suffer from it (thank God!!), and that’s thanks to a combination of things, including this TED talk, in which Max Strom, a breath-work expert and teacher for over 20 years, reveals his insights into the healing power of the breath.
Around minute 15:40, Strom teaches something called the 4-7-8 breathwork method (4 counts inhale, 7 counts hold the breath, 8 counts exhale) and also guides the crowd through a short demonstration. I tried that sample breathwork session and I was hooked. I felt so incredibly calm and felt how my brain finally slowed down.
Finding this TED talk was completely random, but I’m so grateful for it. Ever since I discovered it, I’ve incorporated 4-7-8 in my bedtime routine and it’s always my go-to when I’m feeling anxious or overwhelmed.
Back to you
Which TED talk did you like the most? Are there any talks that changed your life?
Very powerful seeds can be planted in a very short amount of time. The “ideas worth sharing” from TED talks can change the world. How will you use them?
Until next time,
Your Caring Techie