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Watch These 12 TED Talks To Be Much More Successful

Watch These 12 TED Talks To Be Much More Successful

Successful TED Talks are a great resource for inspiration, instruction, and ideas to help you reach success. Start by viewing these 12 popular TED talks and you will be on your way to becoming much more successful.

1. The key to success? Grit — Angela Lee Duckworth

Views: 6 million+

What qualities drive students and others to achieve success and reach all of their goals? That question drove Angela Lee Duckworth to conduct research and present her engaging TED Talk. Simply put, persistence, patience, and grit are key qualities to reach success. In fact, grit is sometimes a better predictor of success than intelligence scores.

2. How great leaders inspire action — Simon Sinek

Views: 23 million+

Sinek calls on leaders to inspire their followers by answering why they do what they do. His talk also explains why traditional explanations for failure — like not having enough funds or poor timing — are not enough. He does this with a great case study looking at the invention of powered flight in the early 20th century. Passion and purpose make a difference when you’re working on a challenging goal.

3. Try something new for 30 days — Matt Cutts

Views: 6 million+

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Getting into a boring routine is frustrating. On the other hand, completing items on your bucket list may be too difficult. What’s the answer? Do a 30-day challenge to prompt yourself to write more, become kinder, and achieve other worthy goals. As Matt Cutts explains, trying something new for 30 days is just the right amount of challenge for most people to manage.

4. The happy secret to better work — Shawn Achor

Views: 11 million+

Shawn Achor’s research-based TED talk on job success contains an important lesson for us all. He found that “only 25% of job successes are predicted by IQ.” The rest of success comes from attitude, learning how to motivate yourself, and being in a good environment. If you are a manager, it is vital to learn this lesson and create a positive environment for your staff to shine.

5. The nerd’s guide to learning everything online — John Green

Views: 600,000+

Learning new skills and knowledge is one of the most important ways to grow yourself. As John Green explains, the Internet is a fantastic resource for learning if you are focused on finding good resources. For example, you may learn how to work through conflict with a guide to conflict management resources. Or you might improve your professional skills with online courses. Green reminds us that not everyone finds success through traditional education — some people need to learn on their own.

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6. The puzzle of motivation — Dan Pink

Views: 13 million+

Is money the only reward we care about in our work? In this popular TED talk, author Dan Pink explains that our traditional understanding of motivation needs to be rebuilt. In fact, sometimes motivating people with financial rewards backfires and produces terrible results. Pink presents evidence to show that achieving mastery is an important source of motivation. If you want to motivate others successfully, you owe it to yourself to view this TED talk.

7. The power of introverts — Susan Cain

Views: 11 million+

What words come to mind for you when you see the word “introvert?” Many people imagine introverts to be shy, anti-social, and lacking in important social skills. In her outstanding TED talk, lawyer-turned-author Susan Cain explains the unique strengths and traits that introverts bring to the world. In the workplace, introverts are better at listening and focusing on complex problems for long periods of time. If you are an extrovert, this TED talk will help you understand the quiet style of introverts.

8. How to speak so that people want to listen — Julian Treasure

Views: 7 million+

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Communication is central to achieving almost any goal or career that matters. In his focused TED talk, Julian Treasure exposes seven deadly sins of speaking, starting with a basic mistake: gossip. Speaking negatively about people when they are not around to defend themselves is harmful. Treasure also points out the common problem of dogmatism — confusing facts and opinions. As you work to improve your public speaking skills, take the time to watch this popular TED talk.

9. Why we do what we do — Tony Robbins

Views: 14 million

Legendary speaker and personal development expert Tony Robbins shares his wisdom in this classic TED talk. Robbins explains how truly effective decisions reshape our identity. You will learn how to reflect on your emotions and how your words influence your feelings. This TED talk makes an excellent companion to Dan Pink’s presentation. If you are looking for a high-energy presentation to propel you toward success, watch this one.

10. Why you will fail to have a great career — Larry Smith

Views: 4 million

As you plan your career success, do you view it as a grind or as a way to live your passions? University of Waterloo professor Larry Smith explains why many people fail to have an outstanding career in his blunt TED talk. Professor Smith explains that you may start out with twenty interests and take some time to explore them. Ultimately, you need to choose a single passion to reach the highest level of career success. If you keep focusing on excuses, rather than working on your passion, you will fail to have a great career.

11. The power of time off — Stefan Sagmeister

Views: 2 million

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As you work toward success, you may think that endless hours at the office are the solution. Hard work certainly matters, yet it is only part of the puzzle. Stefan Sagmeister’s TED talk explains that taking time off from work — several months in his case — gives you new energy and perspective. If you are an employee, this talk gives you great motivation to use all of your vacation days: you will be happier and more productive. Not sure what to do with your time off? Create a bucket list!

12. Keep your goals to yourself — Derek Sivers

Views: 3 million

Goal setting is one of the most important success skills you can develop. However, there are significant dangers to be aware of. Entrepreneur Derek Sivers explains that keeping your goals to yourself is the best way to go. Why? Loudly talking about your goals with other people gives you the mental satisfaction of actually achieving them. In effect, talking about your goals too much may stop you from doing the work necessary to reach success.

Featured photo credit: Success/JeongGuHyeok via pixabay.com

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Bruce Harpham

Bruce Harpham is a Project Management Professional and Founder and CEO of Project Management Hacks.

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

You go to the gym to train your muscles. You run outside or go for hikes to train your endurance. Or, maybe you do neither of those, but still wish you exercised more.

Well, here is how to train one of the most important parts of your body: your brain.

When you train your brain, you will:

  • Avoid embarrassing situations. You remember his face, but what was his name?
  • Be a faster learner in all sorts of different skills. No problem for you to pick up a new language or new management skill.
  • Avoid diseases that hit as you get older. Alzheimer’s will not be affecting you.

So how to train your brain and improve your cognitive skills?

1. Work your memory

Twyla Tharp, a NYC-based renowned choreographer has come up with the following memory workout:

When she watches one of her performances, she tries to remember the first twelve to fourteen corrections she wants to discuss with her cast without writing them down.

If you think this is anything less than a feat, then think again. In her book The Creative Habit she says that most people cannot remember more than three.

The practice of both remembering events or things and then discussing them with others has actually been supported by brain fitness studies.

Memory activities that engage all levels of brain operation—receiving, remembering and thinking—help to improve the function of the brain.

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Now, you may not have dancers to correct, but you may be required to give feedback on a presentation, or your friends may ask you what interesting things you saw at the museum. These are great opportunities to practically train your brain by flexing your memory muscles.

What is the simplest way to help yourself remember what you see? Repetition.

For example, say you just met someone new:

“Hi, my name is George”

Don’t just respond with, “Nice to meet you”. Instead, say, “Nice to meet you George.”

Got it? Good.

2. Do something different repeatedly

By actually doing something new over and over again, your brain wires new pathways that help you do this new thing better and faster.

Think back to when you were three years old. You surely were strong enough to hold a knife and a fork just fine. Yet, when you were eating all by yourself, you were creating a mess.

It was not a matter of strength, you see. It was a matter of cultivating more and better neural pathways that would help you eat by yourself just like an adult does.

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And guess what? With enough repetition you made that happen!

But how does this apply to your life right now?

Say you are a procrastinator. The more you don’t procrastinate, the more you teach your brain not to wait for the last minute to make things happen.

Now, you might be thinking “Duh, if only not procrastinating could be that easy!”

Well, it can be. By doing something really small, that you wouldn’t normally do, but is in the direction of getting that task done, you will start creating those new precious neural pathways.

So if you have been postponing organizing your desk, just take one paper and put in its right place. Or, you can go even smaller. Look at one piece of paper and decide where to put it: Trash? Right cabinet? Another room? Give it to someone?

You don’t actually need to clean up that paper; you only need to decide what you need to do with it.

That’s how small you can start. And yet, those neural pathways are still being built. Gradually, you will transform yourself from a procrastinator to an in-the-moment action taker.

3. Learn something new

It might sound obvious, but the more you use your brain, the better its going to perform for you.

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For example, learning a new instrument improves your skill of translating something you see (sheet music) to something you actually do (playing the instrument).

Learning a new language exposes your brain to a different way of thinking, a different way of expressing yourself.

You can even literally take it a step further, and learn how to dance. Studies indicate that learning to dance helps seniors avoid Alzheimer’s. Not bad, huh?

4. Follow a brain training program

The Internet world can help you improve your brain function while lazily sitting on your couch. A clinically proven program like BrainHQ can help you improve your memory, or think faster, by just following their brain training exercises.

5. Work your body

You knew this one was coming didn’t you? Yes indeed, exercise does not just work your body; it also improves the fitness of your brain.

Even briefly exercising for 20 minutes facilitates information processing and memory functions. But it’s not just that–exercise actually helps your brain create those new neural connections faster. You will learn faster, your alertness level will increase, and you get all that by moving your body.

Now, if you are not already a regular exerciser, and already feel guilty that you are not helping your brain by exercising more, try a brain training exercise program like Exercise Bliss.

Remember, just like we discussed in #2, by training your brain to do something new repeatedly, you are actually changing yourself permanently.

6. Spend time with your loved ones

If you want optimal cognitive abilities, then you’ve got to have meaningful relationships in your life.  Talking with others and engaging with your loved ones helps you think more clearly, and it can also lift your mood.

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If you are an extrovert, this holds even more weight for you. At a class at Stanford University, I learned that extroverts actually use talking to other people as a way to understand and process their own thoughts.

I remember that the teacher told us that after a personality test said she was an extrovert, she was surprised. She had always thought of herself as an introvert. But then, she realized how much talking to others helped her frame her own thoughts, so she accepted her new-found status as an extrovert.

7. Avoid crossword puzzles

Many of us, when we think of brain fitness, think of crossword puzzles. And it’s true–crossword puzzles do improve our fluency, yet studies show they are not enough by themselves.

Are they fun? Yes. Do they sharpen your brain? Not really.

Of course, if you are doing this for fun, then by all means go ahead. If you are doing it for brain fitness, then you might want to choose another activity

8. Eat right – and make sure dark chocolate is included

Foods like fish, fruits, and vegetables help your brain perform optimally. Yet, you might not know that dark chocolate gives your brain a good boost as well.

When you eat chocolate, your brain produces dopamine. And dopamine helps you learn faster and remember better. Not to mention, chocolate contains flavonols, antioxidants, which also improve your brain functions.

So next time you have something difficult to do, make sure you grab a bite or two of dark chocolate!

The bottom line

Now that you know how to train your brain, it’s actually time to start doing.

Don’t just consume this content and then go on with your life as if nothing has changed. Put this knowledge into action and become smarter than ever!

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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