Five TED Talks That Continue to Inspire

Chances are you have encountered a great TED Talk or two on your own by now.  TED Talks first were shared online in 2006, with the slogan "ideas worth spreading" and have successfully spread to over a billion watched since.  I often find myself inspired to change my thought after watching, but there are five I often email friends, suggest to clients, and watch repeatedly, seeing new applications to my life and work with each viewing.  I wonder if you will feel the same?

Shawn Achor, "The Happy Secret to Better Work"

"The lens through which you view the world shapes your reality.  If we can change the lens we can change your happiness."  Achor has spent years studying happiness all over the world and has compiled seven key principles to increase happiness in life.  

Your brain, when set to positive is more productive, faster, more accurate, than when you are in a negative, neutral, or stressed state.  Through meditation, gratitude, and supportive social network building we can re-train our brains for greater satisfaction and joy in life.  

Watch the talk, and I promise you will want to read the book, "The Happiness Advantage" by Shawn Achor.

Amanda Palmer, "The Art of Asking"

All too often we are afraid to ask for help, and even more, not to ask for what we need or want.  It is also really hard for most people to receive help or assistance even if we know it is well deserved.  Her talk focuses on her journey giving and receiving music, performance, love, and support.  

In the end she asks "How do we stop asking, 'how can we make people pay for music? and start asking how can we let people?'" which I reframe to you, how can you stop hoping to make people support you, and instead let people?

Katheryn Schultz, "On Being Wrong"

I once gave Katheryn's book to my girlfriend as a surprise.  I don't recommend you do the same without clearly stating your intention (see the next section).  In her talk, and in the book Schultz talks about the confidence that can happen when we are actually wrong.  

Being attached to our own rightness prevents us from avoiding mistakes and causes us to treat one another poorly.  She says "Our capacity to screw up is not some kind of embarrassing defect... it is fundamental to who we are..." reminding us to leave room for error, to be more productive and imaginative.  

How can embracing your wrongness help you move to more openness when you think you know whats happening and "something else happens instead?"

Simon Sinek, "How Great Leaders Inspire Action"

One of the most important lessons I learned in counselor training was to lead with intention.  Simon Sinek has spent years studying the best in business and nonprofits, starting with their "why," their core values, their intentions, their vision.  

It’s true in business and in your personal life, starting with your intention clarifies communication quickly and will bring you closer to those around you.  It also makes it much easier and more inspiring for them to join you for the long haul.

Steve Jobs, "How to Live Before you Die"

Okay, this isn't actually from a TED event, it was a Stanford graduation speech released on TED because it was so inspirational.  Jobs tells three stories from his life to help us all live a little more.  

"You can't connect the dots moving forward,  you can only connect them looking back... so you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future... believing they will connect will give you the confidence to follow your heart even when it leaves you off a well-worn path." Do great work and love what you do.