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Watch These 12 TED Talks To Inspire Your Success

Watch These 12 TED Talks To Inspire Your Success

You feel like you’re wasting your talent. You always knew you had a potential, but somehow you could not exploit it. You developed your passion, but could not continue because you could not maintain patience or you lost motivation.

Let’s face it – people are also not always supportive, especially when someone goes against the norm. There are many entrepreneurs out there who had a great idea that other people thought was crazy.

In the last 50 years, some really interesting products have emerged “as seen on TV.” From Suzanne Somers’ “Thigh Master” to the “Veg-o-matic” to the “Perfect Bacon Bowl,” I’m sure these entrepreneurs gave people a lot of laughs with their idea. But imagine if the people who invented these listened to other people’s criticism. They would not have been successful.

If you are confident about your idea, you just need to continue pursuing it and not listen to anybody who wants to take you down. Who knows – you might invent next best thing since sliced bread. Here below are 12 TED Talk Episodes you should watch to get inspired to chase your One Crazy Dream.

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1. How to get your ideas to spread (Seth Godin)

In this video, marketing Heavyweight Seth Godin explains why weird and bizarre ideas are easier to catch people’s attention with than  boring ones. Our product is only as good as the idea that we are spreading, so we should be remarkable and willing to spread the word.

2. The happy secret to better work (Shawn Achor)

You are going to laugh until you cry. This speech starts with Shawn Achor convincing his younger sister that when she fell off the bunk bed and crash landed on floor, and incidentally broke her leg, that she landed like a unicorn and therefore she was a unicorn.

She so wanted to believe this and was so happy, that she ignored her pain and climbed back up onto the bed. Through his metaphors and anecdotes, Shawn Achor has found the funniest way to explain the art of achieving happiness.

3. Lessons in creativity (Julie Bernstein)

In this video, Radio Host Julie Berstein shares her precious four steps on how to create in the face of challenge. She illustrates how important creativity is in all professional careers, not just art forms, and that everyone is somehow an artist.

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4. The power of introverts (Susan Cain)

In a world where being outgoing is supposed to be the best trait to succeed, being an introvert is difficult, even shameful and annoying at times. Susan Cain argues in her intense talk that introverts bring a different breed of talents and skills and should be encouraged,and being an introvert could really be a blessing in disguise.

5. Dare to disagree (Margaret Heffernan)

There are times that we deeply disagree with the logic or ideas presented to us, but we are reluctant to argue because it is a human nature to back away from conflict.

In this video, Margaret Heffernan shows us that good opposing arguments are vital parts of the process, and introduce us to the world of passionate disagreement. She argues that we need ideas at odds with our own if we are to discover our assumptions and biases.

6. How great leaders inspire action (Simon Sinek)

With examples of ultra-successes like Apple, Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Wright brothers, Simon Sinek explains how leaders inspire actions, beginning with the bases of all complex questions: why and what.

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If we are to inspire and motivate people around us, we should start by looking for an answer to the purpose that makes us wake every morning beginning with simple questions like why and what.

7. Are we in control of our decisions? (Dan Ariely)

Being rational is not an option, it’s a need these days. But do we think as rational as we think we do? Behavioural Economist Dan Ariely uses visual illusions and his own outlandish research outcomes to prove that we might not be the rational thinker we assume we are.

8. Draw your future – Take control of your life (Patti Dobrowolski)

In this Ted Talk, speaker Patti Dobrowolski graphically explains the differences between what you are and what you want to be with sketches and colors. She is able to show how good living the dream can be as she sheds light on three simple steps to achieve it.

9. Choice, happiness and spaghetti sauce (Malcolm Gladwell)

Widely revered inspirational writer Malcom Gladwell is fascinated by the food industry’s obsession with spaghetti sauce, and makes a broader argument about our choices of actions and happiness.

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10. Trial, error and the God complex (Tim Harford)

An economics writer by profession, Tim Harford studies complex systems and finds odd links between successful people and how coherent trials and errors shaped them into the way they are today. Tim Harfold urges people to accept their entropy and start making mistakes with purpose.

11. Let’s raise kids to be entrepreneurs (Cameron Herold)

In this age where children are taught to be respectable professionals like doctors, engineers and architects, there are many who just don’t get it.

“Bored in school, failing classes, at odds with peers: this child might be an entrepreneur,” says Cameron Herold. He makes the case for parenting and education that helps would-be entrepreneurs flourish.

12. Secrets of success in 8 words, 3 minutes (Richard St. John)

Are successful people special or just lucky? Richard St. John condenses his hours of interviews in three minutes about the real ingredients of success. His few words have so much that can be taken away and be applied to entrepreneurial endeavors.

Featured photo credit: Dan Ariely speaking at TED Talk (Wikimedia) via upload.wikimedia.org

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Nabin Paudyal

Co-Founder, Siplikan Media Group

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Last Updated on July 17, 2019

The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

What happens in our heads when we set goals?

Apparently a lot more than you’d think.

Goal setting isn’t quite so simple as deciding on the things you’d like to accomplish and working towards them.

According to the research of psychologists, neurologists, and other scientists, setting a goal invests ourselves into the target as if we’d already accomplished it. That is, by setting something as a goal, however small or large, however near or far in the future, a part of our brain believes that desired outcome is an essential part of who we are – setting up the conditions that drive us to work towards the goals to fulfill the brain’s self-image.

Apparently, the brain cannot distinguish between things we want and things we have. Neurologically, then, our brains treat the failure to achieve our goal the same way as it treats the loss of a valued possession. And up until the moment, the goal is achieved, we have failed to achieve it, setting up a constant tension that the brain seeks to resolve.

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Ideally, this tension is resolved by driving us towards accomplishment. In many cases, though, the brain simply responds to the loss, causing us to feel fear, anxiety, even anguish, depending on the value of the as-yet-unattained goal.

Love, Loss, Dopamine, and Our Dreams

The brains functions are carried out by a stew of chemicals called neurotransmitters. You’ve probably heard of serotonin, which plays a key role in our emotional life – most of the effective anti-depressant medications on the market are serotonin reuptake inhibitors, meaning they regulate serotonin levels in the brain leading to more stable moods.

Somewhat less well-known is another neurotransmitter, dopamine. Among other things, dopamine acts as a motivator, creating a sensation of pleasure when the brain is stimulated by achievement. Dopamine is also involved in maintaining attention – some forms of ADHD are linked to irregular responses to dopamine.[1]

So dopamine plays a key role in keeping us focused on our goals and motivating us to attain them, rewarding our attention and achievement by elevating our mood. That is, we feel good when we work towards our goals.

Dopamine is related to wanting – to desire. The attainment of the object of our desire releases dopamine into our brains and we feel good. Conversely, the frustration of our desires starves us of dopamine, causing anxiety and fear.

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One of the greatest desires is romantic love – the long-lasting, “till death do us part” kind. It’s no surprise, then, that romantic love is sustained, at least in part, through the constant flow of dopamine released in the presence – real or imagined – of our true love. Loss of romantic love cuts off that supply of dopamine, which is why it feels like you’re dying – your brain responds by triggering all sorts of anxiety-related responses.

Herein lies obsession, as we go to ever-increasing lengths in search of that dopamine reward. Stalking specialists warn against any kind of contact with a stalker, positive or negative, because any response at all triggers that reward mechanism. If you let the phone ring 50 times and finally pick up on the 51st ring to tell your stalker off, your stalker gets his or her reward, and learns that all s/he has to do is wait for the phone to ring 51 times.

Romantic love isn’t the only kind of desire that can create this kind of dopamine addiction, though – as Captain Ahab (from Moby Dick) knew well, any suitably important goal can become an obsession once the mind has established ownership.

The Neurology of Ownership

Ownership turns out to be about a lot more than just legal rights. When we own something, we invest a part of ourselves into it – it becomes an extension of ourselves.

In a famous experiment at Cornell University, researchers gave students school logo coffee mugs, and then offered to trade them chocolate bars for the mugs. Very few were willing to make the trade, no matter how much they professed to like chocolate. Big deal, right? Maybe they just really liked those mugs![2]

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But when they reversed the experiment, handing out chocolate and then offering to trade mugs for the candy, they found that now, few students were all that interested in the mugs. Apparently the key thing about the mugs or the chocolate wasn’t whether students valued whatever they had in their possession, but simply that they had it in their possession.

This phenomenon is called the “endowment effect”. In a nutshell, the endowment effect occurs when we take ownership of an object (or idea, or person); in becoming “ours” it becomes integrated with our sense of identity, making us reluctant to part with it (losing it is seen as a loss, which triggers that dopamine shut-off I discussed above).

Interestingly, researchers have found that the endowment effect doesn’t require actual ownership or even possession to come into play. In fact, it’s enough to have a reasonable expectation of future possession for us to start thinking of something as a part of us – as jilted lovers, gambling losers, and 7-year olds denied a toy at the store have all experienced.

The Upshot for Goal-Setters

So what does all this mean for would-be achievers?

On one hand, it’s a warning against setting unreasonable goals. The bigger the potential for positive growth a goal has, the more anxiety and stress your brain is going to create around it’s non-achievement.

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It also suggests that the common wisdom to limit your goals to a small number of reasonable, attainable objectives is good advice. The more goals you have, the more ends your brain thinks it “owns” and therefore the more grief and fear the absence of those ends is going to cause you.

On a more positive note, the fact that the brain rewards our attentiveness by releasing dopamine means that our brain is working with us to direct us to achievement. Paying attention to your goals feels good, encouraging us to spend more time doing it. This may be why outcome visualization — a favorite technique of self-help gurus involving imagining yourself having completed your objectives — has such a poor track record in clinical studies. It effectively tricks our brain into rewarding us for achieving our goals even though we haven’t done it yet!

But ultimately, our brain wants us to achieve our goals, so that it’s a sense of who we are that can be fulfilled. And that’s pretty good news!

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Featured photo credit: Alexa Williams via unsplash.com

Reference

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