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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 March 21, 2019

11 Important Things to Remember When Changing Habits

11 Important Things to Remember When Changing Habits

Most gurus talk about habits in a way that doesn’t help you:

You need to push yourself more. You can’t be lazy. You need to wake up at 5 am. You need more motivation. You can never fail…blah blah “insert more gibberish here.”

But let me share with you the unconventional truths I found out:

To build and change habits, you don’t need motivation or wake up at 5 am. Heck, you can fail multiple times, be lazy, have no motivation and still pull it off with ease.

It’s quite simple and easy to do, especially with the following list I’m going to show to you. But remember, Jim Rohn used to say,

“What is simple and easy to do is also simple and easy not to do.”

The important things to remember when changing your habits are both simple and easy, just don’t think that they don’t make any difference because they do.

In fact, they are the only things that make a difference.

Let’s see what those small things are, shall we?

1. Start Small

The biggest mistake I see people doing with habits is by going big. You don’t go big…ever. You start small with your habits.

Want to grow a book reading habit? Don’t start reading a book a day. Start with 10 pages a day.

Want to become a writer? Don’t start writing 10,000 words a day. Start with 300 words.

Want to lose weight? Don’t stop eating ice cream. Eat one less ball of it.

Whatever it is, you need to start small. Starting big always leads to failure. It has to, because it’s not sustainable.

Start small. How small? The amount needs to be in your comfort zone. So if you think that reading 20 pages of a book is a bit too much, start with 10 or 5.

It needs to appear easy and be easy to do.

Do less today to do more in a year.

2. Stay Small

There is a notion of Kaizen which means continuous improvement. They use this notion in habits where they tell you to start with reading 1 page of a book a day and then gradually increase the amount you do over time.

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But the problem with this approach is the end line — where the “improvement” stops.

If I go from reading 1 page of a book a day and gradually reach 75 and 100, when do I stop? When I reach 1 book a day? That is just absurd.

When you start a habit, stay at it in the intensity you have decided. Don’t push yourself for more.

I started reading 20 pages of a book a day. It’s been more than 2 years now and I’ve read 101 books in that period. There is no way I will increase the number in the future.

Why?

Because reading 40 to 50 books a year is enough.

The same thing applies to every other habit out there.

Pick a (small) number and stay at it.

3. Bad Days Are 100 Percent Occurrence

No matter how great you are, you will have bad days where you won’t do your habit. Period.

There is no way of going around this. So it’s better to prepare yourself for when that happens instead of thinking that it won’t ever happen.

What I do when I miss a day of my habit(s) is that I try to bounce back the next day while trying to do habits for both of those days.

Example for that is if I read 20 pages of a book a day and I miss a day, the next day I will have to read 40 pages of a book. If I miss writing 500 words, the next day I need to write 1000.

This is a really important point we will discuss later on rewards and punishments.

This is how I prepare for the bad days when I skip my habit(s) and it’s a model you should take as well.

4. Those Who Track It, Hack It

When you track an activity, you can objectively tell what you did in the past days, weeks, months, and years. If you don’t track, you will for sure forget everything you did.

There are many different ways you can track your activities today, from Habitica to a simple Excel sheet that I use, to even a Whatsapp Tracker.

Peter Drucker said,

“What you track is what you do.”

So track it to do it — it really helps.

But tracking is accompanied by one more easy activity — measuring.

5. Measure Once, Do Twice

Peter Drucker also said,

“What you measure is what you improve.”

So alongside my tracker, I have numbers with which I measure doses of daily activities:

For reading, it’s 20 pages.
For writing, it’s 500 words.
For the gym, it’s 1 (I went) or 0 (didn’t go).
For budgeting, it’s writing down the incomes and expenses.

Tracking and measuring go hand in hand, they take less than 20 seconds a day but they create so much momentum that it’s unbelievable.

6. All Days Make a Difference

Will one day in the gym make you fit? It won’t.

Will two? They won’t.

Will three? They won’t.

Which means that a single gym session won’t make you fit. But after 100 gym sessions, you will look and feel fit.

What happened? Which one made you fit?

The answer to this (Sorites paradox)[1] is that no single gym session made you fit, they all did.

No single day makes a difference, but when combined, they all do. So trust the process and keep on going (small).

7. They Are Never Fully Automated

Gurus tell you that habits become automatic. And yes, some of them do, like showering a certain way of brushing your teeth.

But some habits don’t become automatic, they become a lifestyle.

What I mean by that is that you won’t automatically “wake up” in the gym and wonder how you got there.

It will just become a part of your lifestyle.

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The difference is that you do the first one automatically, without conscious thought, while the other is a part of how you live your life.

It’s not automatic, but it’s a decision you don’t ponder on or think about — you simply do it.

It will become easy at a certain point, but they will never become fully automated.

8. What Got You Here Won’t Get You There

Marshall Goldsmith has a great book with the same title to it. The phrase means that sometimes, you will need to ditch certain habits to make room for other ones which will bring you to the next step.

Don’t be afraid to evolve your habits when you sense that they don’t bring you where you want to go.

When I started reading, it was about reading business and tactic books. But two years into it, I switched to philosophy books which don’t teach me anything “applicable,” but instead teach me how to think.

The most important ability of the 21st century is the ability to learn, unlearn, and relearn. The strongest tree is the willow tree – not because it has the strongest root or biggest trunk, but because it is flexible enough to endure and sustain anything.

Be like a willow, adapting to the new ways of doing things.

9. Set a Goal and Then Forget It

The most successful of us know what they want to achieve, but they don’t focus on it.

Sounds paradoxical? You’re right, it does. But here is the logic behind it.

You need to have a goal of doing something – “I want to become a healthy individual” – and then, you need to reverse engineer how to get there with your habits- “I will go to the gym four times a week.”

But once you have your goal, you need to “forget” about it and only focus on the process. Because you are working on the process of becoming healthy and it’s always in the making. You will only be as healthy as you take care of your body.

So you have a goal which isn’t static but keeps on moving.

If you went to the gym 150 times year and you hit your goal, what would you do then? You would stop going to the gym.

This is why goal-oriented people experience yo-yo effect[2] and why process-oriented people don’t.

The difference between process-oriented and goal-oriented people is that the first focus on daily actions while others only focus on the reward at the finish line.

Set a goal but then forget about it and reap massive awards.

10. Punish Yourself

Last two sections are pure Pavlovian – you need to punish bad behavior and reward good behavior. You are the only person who decides what is good and what is bad for you, but when you do, you need to rigorously follow that.

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I’ve told you in point #3 about bad days and how after one occurs, I do double the work on the next day. That is one of my forms of punishments.

It’s the need to tell your brain that certain behaviors are unacceptable and that they lead to bad outcomes. That’s what punishments are for.

You want to tell your brain that there are real consequences to missing your daily habits.[3]

No favorite food to eat or favorite show to watch or going to the cinema for a new Marvel movie- none, zero, zilch.

The brain will remember these bad feelings and will try to avoid the behaviors that led to them as much as possible.

But don’t forget the other side of the same coin.

11. Reward Yourself

When you follow and execute on your plan, reward yourself. It’s how the brain knows that you did something good.

Whenever I finish one of my habits for the day, I open my tracker (who am I kidding, I always keep it open on my desktop) and fill it with a number. As soon as I finish reading 20 pages of a book a day (or a bit more), I open the tracker and write the number down.

The cell becomes green and gives me an instant boost of endorphin – a great success for the day. Then, it becomes all about not breaking the chain and having as many green fields as possible.

After 100 days, I crunch some numbers and see how I did.

If I have less than 10 cheat days, I reward myself with a great meal in a restaurant. You can create your own rewards and they can be daily, weekly, monthly or any arbitrary time table that you create.

Primoz Bozic, a productivity coach, has gold, silver, and bronze medals as his reward system.[4]

If you’re having problems creating a system which works for you, contact me via email and we can discuss specifics.

In the End, It Matters

What you do matters not only to you but to the people around you.

When you increase the quality of your life, you indirectly increase the quality of life of people around you. And sometimes, that is all the “motivation” we need to start.

And that’s the best quote for the end of this article:

“Motivation gets you started, but habits keep you going.”

Keep going.

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More Resources to Help You Build Habits

Featured photo credit: Anete Lūsiņa via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Sorites paradox
[2] Muscle Zone: What causes yo-yo effect and how to avoid it?
[3] Growth Habits: 5 Missteps That Cause You To Quit Building A Habit
[4] Primoz Bozic: The Lean Review: How to Plan Your 2019 in 20 Minutes

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