TED talks include some of the most powerful and revolutionary ideas of the 21st century.
It was nearly a decade ago today when I watched my first TED talk. It’s hard to remember who the speaker was, though, because I then proceeded to binge-watch TED talks for the next two days, consuming some twenty to thirty talks on various subjects (with necessary breaks in between on some of them that required me to put my brain back together afterward).
I still live by many of the ideas I’ve initially learned from the TED talks I’ve listened to over the years today. I hope these ten TED talks, some of my personal favorites and those I consider the most inspirational and transformative, can serve you in your life as well as they’ve served me.
10 TED Talks That Will Transform How You Think and Inspire Your Life
1. Guy Winch: Why We All Need to Practice Emotional First Aid
The idea of taking care of our mind like we do our body sounds simple enough, and yet few of us do it. In fact, few of us ever even consider it or realize the importance of doing so. This talk from Guy Winch will open your mind to the importance of taking care of your mind like you do your body. (And if you like what you hear, you can read an exclusive excerpt of Guy Winch’s book right here on Goalcast.)
2. Matthieu Ricard: How to Let Altruism Be Your Guide
One of my favorite TED talks of all time, in this talk you’ll learn one of the most powerful lessons of all: good exists within us (all of us). In this talk, Matthieu compels us to use this inner good within each of us to create the change we want to see in the world.
3. Andrew Solomon: How the Worst Moments in Our Lives Make Us Who We Are
Forewarning: Andrew Solomon gives some of the most intense speeches (of any kind, anywhere) you’ll ever listen to. However, each holds within it an immense value. In this talk, you’ll learn why you shouldn’t hide from your challenges, why they aren’t things to hide or regret, but instead are things which define our identity and give us strength.
4. Brené Brown: The Power of Vulnerability
Brené Brown has become wildly popular solely as a result of her first TED talk. We’re talking New York Times bestsellers, Oprah, the whole deal. This alone should give an idea of the value that this talk holds within it. In this talk, you’ll learn about what really holds us back and how we can find peace.
5. Shawn Achor: The Happy Secret to Better Work
This is one of the talks that got me interested in positive psychology and what makes us happy. There’s been a lot of great research published over the past several decades that has transformed how we understand the way the mind works and this talk from Shawn Achor really helps simplify some of that research and gives you some really actionable advice as to how you can apply it.
6. Krista Tippett: Reconnecting with Compassion
This is a great talk from Krista Tippett on the power and importance of compassion. Compassion is a quality valued highly in some spiritual traditions, but which, despite recent research, doesn’t get enough attention. In this talk, you’ll learn why compassion is important and the reason it’s the real answer to peace between people as opposed to simple tolerance.
7. Ken Robinson: Schools Kill Creativity
Ken Robinson is one of a few select speakers who literally became famous solely from his TED talk. And he deserves it– because he’s awesome. This is the first of what would become several TED talks from Ken due to his popularity, this one on creativity and the education system. This one may hit you pretty hard. You’ve been warned.
8. Tony Robbins: Why We Do What We Do
Tony Robbins is known for a whole lot, but I’m surprised when I hear that a lot of people aren’t aware he gave a TED talk. Why does this matter? When asked to give one, he spoke on what he felt was the one most important fundamental topic and distilled down what he knew into just twenty minutes (which is really short, considering how long he speaks at his live events). It’s a rare condensed view into the knowledge and wisdom of Tony Robbins I don’t think you can find anywhere else.
9. Elizabeth Gilbert: Your Elusive Creative Genius
Another one of my favorite TED talks of all time, in this talk, you’ll learn that creativity doesn’t necessarily come from the individual but from a place much more universal which we can all tap into (and how this can help us do better creative work).
10. Kelly McGonigal: How to Make Stress Your Friend
This is one of those talks that turns what you think you know about a subject on its head and makes you rethink everything. This talk from Kelly McGonigal will make you look at stress in a whole different (and healthier, more productive) light.