I’ve been a “glass half-full” kind of person for a while now. Positivity is something that I’ve always tried to emulate in my daily life. There was not one event where I consciously made the decision to always be happy, it was more of habit I developed over time. This habit has now turned into a passion and way of life. During long airplane rides or morning commutes I love to listen to TED talks because they inspire me, force me to think outside of the box and ultimately lead me to become a happier & more productive version of myself. I’ve had so much fun doing research for this post over the past couple weeks and I’ve found these 12 TED talks to be crazy inspirational.
Steve Jobs: How to live before you die This is a unique TED talk because it is actually a commencement speech. One of the major lessons I learned from this talk was that when you follow your heart all the dots of your life will connect. You cannot connect the dots looking forward, only backward. You never know why certain life events happen until you look back and realize that all along you were exactly where you needed to be.
Shonda Rhimes: My year of saying yes to everything If you watch Grey’s Anatomy or Scandal you know Shonda all too well and probably have the same love-hate relationship with her as I do. #TeamMcDreamy. As a fellow workaholic and someone who would rather be busy than bored I totally love how Shonda has no shame in putting her work first. Through her wisdom and life lessons I’ve learned that in order to continue loving your work and creating original content you must allow yourself the time to re-energize.
Robert Waldinger: What makes a good life? Lessons from the longest study on happiness Happiness is something that we all strive to achieve throughout our life. This study proves that the quality of your relationships has a big impact on your overall health. As someone who just graduated from college this was an amazing reminder to stay in touch with the people who matter most.
Shawn Achor: The happy secret to better work Shawn talks at a super speed but is absolutely hilarious! If you want to be inspired & have a good laugh I highly recommend listening to this talk! Shawn teaches about positive psychology, the belief that our reality or life circumstances does not shape our happiness but instead the way in which we interpret our circumstances shape our happiness. When we change our perception of the world we are happier and perform better.
Tali Sharot: The optimism bias Understanding happiness begins with first understanding the optimism bias. Optimism can both help us and hurt us. Being optimistic makes us try harder to meet our expectations which leads us to success and makes us feel better. By being optimistic we are also improving our health, mentally and physically. Yes, you should continue to always be optimistic but remember that you may need a backup plan for those moments when things just don’t work out. (Life does throw us all a curve-ball every once in a while)
Sarah Kay: If I should have a daughter… Sarah is truly an amazing speaker. She opens with a breathtaking poem about the how it is okay that life has both good and bad things. She talks all about poetry and how it is important for every individual to find a way to share their stories with the world. We all have a unique perspective that the world needs to hear and we all have a voice that we can use to share that with others.
Reshma Saujani: Teach girls bravery, not perfection Why do we all want to be perfect? When was the last time you did something that took you out of your comfort zone and into something amazing? Stop worrying about creating something perfect and start accepting and allowing yourself to be original and brave.
Rick Warren: A life of purpose Author of the book The Purpose-Driven Life, Rick talks about how he believes that the way to live a purposeful life is to give back and serve others. Rick lives a life in which he currently lives on 10% of his income and gives 90% to others. (That is simply amazing!) Rick believes that giving back in this way is his calling and that each and every person has the ability to use their interests and talents to find their unique purpose in the world.
Joshua Walters: On being just crazy enough This TED talk totally made the future psychiatric nurse in me smile. Joshua was diagnosed with Bipolar and he talks about how he embraces his mental illness to a point where he is just crazy enough to be entertaining. He calls it ignoring his mental illness and embracing his mental skill-ness. (Pretty Genius). Whether you have a mental illness or not I am sure you can appreciate his unique way of breaking the stigma and raising awareness about mental illness. Plus, we are all a little mad inside and should learn to embrace our quirks like Joshua.
Bel Pesce: 5 ways to kill your dreams I was skeptical about this video at first but honestly, it was actually really inspiring. Bel talks about 5 ways to kill your dreams and it inspires you to change your thinking so that you can begin achieving your dreams. These five things may seem obvious but they are traps that all of us fall into at times. Hint: You cannot believe in overnight success and you must work harder than you’ve ever worked before.
Amy Cuddy: Your body language shapes who you are If you’ve never seen this video, you need to! Amy is amazing and teaches us about how we are shaping our attitudes with our bodies. What does your body language say about you and is your body language portraying who you want to become?
Scott Dinsmore: How to find work you love Are you unhappy in your career? Stuck on what you want to do in the world? Scott talks all about how he worked to “build a resume” until he realized that he didn’t have to work a job that he did not like. In life, we have the power to choose whatever we want to do with our unique strengths.
Are there any TED Talks that you love?