I’m sure you already know what TED Talks are. Still, just in case, TED Talks is an online non-profit organisation dedicated to sharing ideas and encouragement through inspiring speeches from some of the world’s greatest minds, and it’s all free!
TED Talks are my go-to for inspiration, they’re also perfect to watch when you’re procrastinating. Below I have listed 15 TED Talks every twenty-something must watch!
15 Must-Watch TED Talks
1. The Power Of Vulnerability – Brené Brown
TED: Brené Brown studies human connection — our ability to empathize, belong, and love. In a poignant, funny talk, she shares a deep insight from her research, one that sent her on a personal quest to know herself as well as to understand humanity. A talk to share.
2. How to Stop Screwing Yourself Over – Mel Robbins
TED: How do you get on the road to being happier? Start by setting your alarm for 30 minutes earlier than usual and not hitting the snooze button. The effort required to leave that warm bed and enter the world is the same amount of effort needed to shake up your life and make that elusive change. In this humorous and provocative talk, Mel Robbins explains how turning off our brain’s autopilot and demolishing our comfort zones is key to a rewarding life.
3. Inside The Mind Of A Master Procrastinator – Tim Urban
TED: Tim Urban knows that procrastination doesn’t make sense, but he’s never been able to shake his habit of waiting until the last minute to get things done. In this hilarious and insightful talk, Urban takes us on a journey through YouTube binges, Wikipedia rabbit holes and bouts of staring out the window — and encourages us to think harder about what we’re really procrastinating on, before we run out of time.
4. Smash Fear, Learn Anything – Tim Ferriss
TED: From the EG conference: Productivity guru Tim Ferriss’ fun, encouraging anecdotes show how one simple question — “What’s the worst that could happen?” — is all you need to learn to do anything.
5. Why 30 Is Not The New 20 – Meg Jay
TED: Clinical psychologist Meg Jay has a bold message for twenty somethings: Contrary to popular belief, your 20s are not a throwaway decade. In this provocative talk, Jay says that just because marriage, work and kids are happening later in life, doesn’t mean you can’t start planning now. She gives 3 pieces of advice for how twenty somethings can re-claim adulthood in the defining decade of their lives.
6. My Year Of Saying Yes To Everything – Shonda Rhimes
TED: Shonda Rhimes, the titan behind Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and How to Get Away With Murder, is responsible for some 70 hours of television per season, and she loves to work. “When I am hard at work, when I am deep in it, there is no other feeling,” she says. She has a name for this feeling: The hum. The hum is a drug, the hum is music, the hum is God’s whisper in her ear. But what happens when it stops? Is she anything besides the hum? In this moving talk, join Rhimes on a journey through her “year of yes” and find out how she got her hum back.
7. Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are – Amy Cuddy
TED: Body language affects how others see us, but it may also change how we see ourselves. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy shows how “power posing” — standing in a posture of confidence, even when we don’t feel confident — can affect testosterone and cortisol levels in the brain, and might even have an impact on our chances for success.
8. Success, Failure And The Drive To Keep Creating – Elizabeth Gilbert
TED: Elizabeth Gilbert was once an “unpublished diner waitress,” devastated by rejection letters. And yet, in the wake of the success of ‘Eat, Pray, Love,’ she found herself identifying strongly with her former self. With beautiful insight, Gilbert reflects on why success can be as disorienting as failure and offers a simple — though hard — way to carry on, regardless of outcomes.
9. How To Make Work-Life Balance Work – Nigel Marsh
TED: Work-life balance, says Nigel Marsh, is too important to be left in the hands of your employer. Marsh lays out an ideal day balanced between family time, personal time and productivity — and offers some stirring encouragement to make it happen.
10. The Art Of Asking – Amanda Palmer
TED: Don’t make people pay for music, says Amanda Palmer: Let them. In a passionate talk that begins in her days as a street performer (drop a dollar in the hat for the Eight-Foot Bride!), she examines the new relationship between artist and fan.
11. A Simple Way To Break A Bad Habit – Justin Brewer
TED: Can we break bad habits by being more curious about them? Psychiatrist Judson Brewer studies the relationship between mindfulness and addiction — from smoking to overeating to all those other things we do even though we know they’re bad for us. Learn more about the mechanism of habit development and discover a simple but profound tactic that might help you beat your next urge to smoke, snack or check a text while driving.
12. The Puzzle Of Motivation – Dam Pink
TED: Career analyst Dan Pink examines the puzzle of motivation, starting with a fact that social scientists know but most managers don’t: Traditional rewards aren’t always as effective as we think. Listen for illuminating stories — and maybe, a way forward.
13. How To Find Work You Love – Scott Dinsmore
TED: Scott Dinsmore quit a job that made him miserable, and spent the next four years wondering how to find work that was joyful and meaningful. He shares what he learned in this deceptively simple talk about finding out what matters to you — and then getting started doing it.
14. Why We Have Too Few Women Leaders – Sheryl Sandberg
TED:Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg looks at why a smaller percentage of women than men reach the top of their professions — and offers 3 powerful pieces of advice to women aiming for the C-suite.
15. The Power Of Intervorts – Susan Cain
TED: In a culture where being social and outgoing are prised above all else, it can be difficult, even shameful, to be an introvert. But, as Susan Cain argues in this passionate talk, introverts bring extraordinary talents and abilities to the world, and should be encouraged and celebrated.
What are your favourite TED Talks?