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Watch These 12 TED Talks To Be Much More Successful

Watch These 12 TED Talks To Be Much More Successful
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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 July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
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No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

More on Building Habits

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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