Best TED talks

The best TED talks? Here are two that changed the way I think

I have mixed emotions about TED talks. On one hand, I find them overly stylised and a bit in-your-face with ‘I Just Said Something Very Important’. Pause. Look. Continue. On the other hand, some of the speakers have hit me with their messages at a time I needed to hear them.

Here are two that I have watched on high repeat, and the ideas have stuck with me.

Shawn Achor: The happy secret to better work

First of all, happiness researcher, Shawn Achor, speaks so fast that he falls outside the typical TED style, and this, I like. His talk is rich with research and ideas for thinking in a more constructive way that will result in a happier life.

In his last slide, he lists the five evidence-based components of a happy life: practising gratitude, random acts of kindness, exercise, reflecting on a positive moment each day, and meditation. I used these five daily activities to create my own month-long happiness project, and the lessons have stayed with me years later.

Brene Brown: The power of vulnerability

Social science researcher, Brene Brown, is a now household name with women of a certain age. (Ahem.) When I first discovered her via this TED talk, I was so inspired by her ideas, I watched it twice in a row, sent it to all my friends and proceeded to listen to her audio book of the same name.  

As I initially watched it, I recognised I was disconnecting with my life; emotionally distancing myself from my family and their issues, because it felt ‘too hard’, especially parenting a child with a disability. I made a decision to embrace vulnerability and love whole heartedly, no matter what that looked like or how I might fail or be hurt.

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