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+
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
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.
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+
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
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