Last Updated on February 3, 2021

20 of the Most Inspiring and Most Popular TED Talks Ever

20 of the Most Inspiring and Most Popular TED Talks Ever

TED talks are amazing resources for anyone looking to further their knowledge and self-education. On TED, you can find talks on anything from strange animals of the ocean to how to boost your creativity to up-and-coming technologies. While there are many high-quality, inspiring TED talks, we’ve collected the most popular TED talks here to get you started.

1. How to live passionately–no matter your age

No. of views: 3,725,288

Isabel Allende, a Chilean author who has written masterpieces such as The House of the Spirits and City of the Beasts, gives an incredible perspective on how to live your life in this inspiring TED talk. She argues that, regardless of how old you are, you have the choice to live passionately on your own terms.

2. The danger of a single story

No. of views: 25,879,348

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, a Nigerian novelist, motivates everyone to listen to stories outside of their comfort zone and warns of the dangers of a critical misunderstanding if we hear only a single story about another person or country. In one of the most popular TED talks of all time, Adichie will inspire you to befriend those who are different from you and open your mind to the unfamiliar.

3. The puzzle of motivation

No. of views: 26,784,055

In this insightful TED talk, Dan Pink, a New York Times bestselling author, talks about how incentive design doesn’t spark creativity. Traditional rewards aren’t always as effective as we think. Watch here to learn about what kind of motivation can be most effective in inspiring change.

4. The power of vulnerability

No. of views: 51,851,713

In one of the most popular TED talks ever, Brené Brown, author of Daring Greatly, argues that the ability to feel connected is what makes us feel alive. She teaches us that “shame” is the fear of disconnection, which results in our vulnerability and how we must embrace it if we want to live a full life.


5. How great leaders inspire action

No. of views: 53,434,379

British-American author and inspirational speaker Simon Sinek shares how great leaders inspire others to take action through one very simple question: Why?

6. Your body language may shape who you are

No. of views: 60,239,527

Amy Cuddy, a social psychologist, bestselling author, and award-winning Harvard lecturer, discusses the ways we use body language to change the way our life unfolds. She argues that a “power pose” can boost feelings of confidence despite our self-doubt.

7. Do schools kill creativity?

No. of views: 69,448,842

New York Times bestselling author Sir Ken Robinson discusses how children’s creativity is educated out of them. There needs to be an education system that nurtures rather than undermines creativity, he argues. This is ranked as one of the most popular TED talks not only for the quality of the information but for Robinson’s gift of entertaining while delivering that information.

8. Grit: the power of passion and perseverance

No. of views: 22,563,726

Angela Lee Duckworth, an American academic, shares insight from her research and show how passion and perseverance can outweigh high IQs when it comes to success in this short TED talk. Her experience with this concept came from a job she took teaching math to seventh graders.

9. Inside the mind of a master procrastinator

No. of views: 47,243,889


In this poignant, funny talk, Tim Urban discusses his habit of procrastination and challenges viewers to reflect on what they’re really procrastinating on before they run out of time to get to what’s really important. The humor and inspiring information Urban offers makes this one of the most popular TED talks ever.

10. What makes a good life? Lessons from the longest study on happiness

No. of views: 36,825,982

In this life-altering TED talk, Robert Waldinger, an American psychologist and professor at Harvard, discusses a 75-year-old study[1] on adult development that revealed some secrets on how to be happy. He offers some practical guidance on how to live a fulfilling life that every viewer will find useful.

11. The art of misdirection

No. of views: 28,923,538

Recognized as the greatest pickpocket in the world, Apollo Robbins uses a hilarious demonstration to show how easy it is to use human perception against individuals. Be careful; he just might swipe something while you’re not looking.

12. The next outbreak? We’re not ready

No. of views: 39,741,403

This TED talk by Bill Gates seems especially insightful against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic. Much of what Gates discusses is being lived by people all around the world. This has been one of the most popular TED talks for years, and with good reason, it seems. Gates suggests ways that we can continue to plan for outbreaks and pandemics in this informative, inspiring talk.

13. The happy secret to better work

No. of views: 23,249,641

Shawn Achor, an American author and advocate of positive psychology, gives a hilarious speech on the psychology of positivity and how happiness is what makes us work productively.


14. How to spot a liar

No. of views: 30,200,822

Pamela Meyer, author of Liespotting, shows the manners and “hotspots” used by those trained to recognize deception. She argues that honesty is a value worth preserving and recognizing in one of the most popular TED talks of all time.

15. Your elusive creative genius

No. of views: 20,003,126

Elizabeth Gilbert, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Eat, Pray, Love, believes that instead of being a genius, we each have a creative genius inside of us. Unfortunately, she says, we often get in our own way, blocking our creative genius from showing its true abilities.

16. The surprising science of happiness

No. of views: 19,370,111

Harvard psychologist Dan Gilbert argues that we can feel truly happy even when things don’t go as planned. This is a great talk for anyone facing difficult challenges or hardship in life.

17. My stroke of insight

No. of views: 27,336,874

Jill Bolte Taylor, an American neuroanatomist, got an opportunity many brain scientists never hope to have: she had a massive stroke that allowed her to watch as her brain functions—motion, speech, self-awareness—shut down one by one. In one of the most popular TED talks of all time, Taylor shares deep insights into how our brains work, and just how fragile they really are.

18. Strange answers to the psychopath test

No. of views: 26,742,197


Jon Ronson, a Welsh-American journalist, author, and filmmaker, dives into what it really means to be crazy and sane and just how thick the line between them really is. This lively and eye-opening talk may have you questioning whether you have a little psychopath in you, too.

19. The power of introverts

No. of views: 27,852,382

In this insightful TED talk, Susan Cain, an American writer and lecturer, argues that introverts bring extraordinary talents and abilities to the world that should be celebrated instead of shunned. If you’re an introvert, you’ll come away from this talk feeling deeply understood. If you’re an extrovert, you’ll come away with a newfound appreciation for those who don’t think the same way as you.

20. How to make stress your friend

No. of views: 25,706,979

In this inspiring TED talk, Kelly McGonigal, a health psychologist and lecturer at Stanford University, makes the case that we should stop seeing stress as an enemy and instead see it as a positive part of our lives. She argues that reaching out to others can be the best way to deal with stressful situations.

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for inspiration, the most popular TED talks of all time can help. Each of these talks will inspire you to think or act differently. If you’re seeking a more open-mind and want to understand humanity a bit more, these speakers will get you there.

More Inspiring TED Talks

Featured photo credit: Miguel Henriques via


[1] The Harvard Gazette: Good genes are nice, but joy is better

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Published on February 22, 2021

6 Proven Ways To Improve Your Intellectual Wellness

6 Proven Ways To Improve Your Intellectual Wellness

The mind, the body, and the spirit are universally recognized as the three main pillars of personal wellness. Similar to the way that a tripod balances itself on three legs, each pillar of wellness requires an equal amount of attention and support for you to achieve optimal balance in life. With that being said—and in my humble opinion—the mind is the most vital pillar of them all since it serves as the central processing center for all of our actions and all of our beliefs.

Similar to space exploration, no matter how much you learn about yourself, you may only be scratching the surface of your mental limits. And it seems that the more that we learn, the further we want to go. Either way, the pursuit of knowledge and understanding keeps us moving forward, constantly searching for greater substance and meaning in our lives—no matter where we come from, no matter our age.

Intellectual wellness essentially refers to having an educated and insightful understanding of our ever-changing surroundings. It suggests that we should be open-minded about learning new concepts and trying new experiences that have the potential to improve our perception of ourselves and our decision-making processes.

No matter how much we may like things just the way they are, the world is constantly in motion and change is an inevitable part of the human experience. Intellectual wellness emphasizes the importance of being able to adapt to our surroundings as it works to integrate our mind, body, and spirit in harmony.

Here are 6 proven ways to improve your intellectual wellness:


1. Read a Book

“One glance at a book and you hear the voice of another person, perhaps someone dead for 1000 years. To read is to voyage through time.”—Carl Sagan

Reading is like having a train ticket to go anywhere in the world at any time in history and learn almost everything that you ever wanted to know about anyone or anything that ever existed from an almost infinite number of perspectives. Furthermore, reading at a young age has been proven to significantly increase vocabulary in adulthood, which in turn has been shown to directly correlate to higher socioeconomic advancement through increased opportunity.[1]

Additionally, reading not only challenges you to stay focused on the words that you see but also on the context in which those words are intended to be interpreted. Therefore, reading can actually help increase your comprehension skills, strengthen your attention span, while simultaneously expanding your global perspective on any given subject.

2. Go Back to School

You are never too old to learn something new. However, if your schedule is anything like mine, I know that you probably feel as though you may not have any more head-space, nor room on your to-do list to go back to school any time soon. Nevertheless, this may be the perfect time to challenge yourself intellectually and do exactly that, especially now, while the world begins to recover from the pandemic.

Your mind is similar to a muscle, without exercising it regularly, it can lose its strength, as well as its form. As a matter of fact, studies have shown that people who are intellectually stimulated at work experience greater job satisfaction and ultimately live happier lives.[2]


If you are feeling burned out, uninspired, financially displaced, or just ready to try something new, this may be an ideal time to learn a new craft, skill, or even a foreign language. Distance learning programs, for example, are offered by colleges and universities from all over the world. Almost anyone with a laptop and internet access now has the ability to go back to school to either become more proficient in a subject that they have already studied or learn more about a subject that they have always wanted to learn without ever having to leave the comfort of home.

3. Grow Your Career Path

“Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”—Mark Twain

As you learn more about the world around you through reading and education on your intellectual wellness journey, your career path will probably broaden as you gain greater insight. Whether you are making a fortune in the stock market or just making a living in retail, you may have been thinking about making a career change or at least exploring an alternate route along your current professional path.

Nevertheless, rather than running out and making a major career change today, perhaps start by trying to figure out exactly what type of work will give you the greatest sense of professional satisfaction. Carefully consider your personal interests, current skill set, financial expectations, as well as both your emotional and physical strengths and limitations.

Next, take a comprehensive look at the investment of both time and money required to make the career change. Finally, try to connect with someone already in the field that you want to enter to get the real inside scoop. Although you may need to be a little flexible on some of your expectations, I am confident that if you keep an open mind and stay laser-focused on your intellectual wellness, you will ultimately find your perfect professional fit.


4. Start a New Hobby

In simple terms, a hobby is an activity that we do regularly for pleasure in our leisure time. They can be as simple and as inexpensive as collecting seashells on the beach or much more costly and time-consuming, such as restoring classic cars in your garage.

Hobbies are an excellent way to break free from the monotony of your normal daily routine by taking you away from all of your responsibilities, even if only for a few precious moments. Additionally, hobbies can help strengthen your sense of self-esteem as you build the breadth of a collection or your competency in performing a skill required to participate in the hobby that you chose, such as flying model airplanes and drones.

5. Play Games of Strategy

“All work and no play” makes for a boring life. Intellectual wellness can also be fun. Most games require some form of strategy to win. The more proficient you are in playing whatever game you choose, the higher the probability that you should be able to do well in the game.

So, I suggest that you consider choosing a game that challenges you to use as much strategy and skill as possible, rather than a game that is more about chance. Chess, for example, is one of the best strategy-based games to help you improve your overall intellectual wellness. As a matter of fact, research has shown that chess has been proven to improve memory, increase mental processing speed, build self-awareness, and even protect against dementia.[3]

6. Plan a Road Trip

With continued caution and plenty of common sense, this could actually be a great time for a road trip, even if you never actually travel outside of your own hometown. Although there are still some travel restrictions in place, most of us are now able to move relatively freely within our local communities.


Travel has the potential to increase your intellectual wellness by broadening your horizons, increasing your sense of self-awareness, and improving your communication skills. And perhaps most importantly, especially right now, travel can increase your intellectual wellness by helping you adapt to your surroundings.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, intellectual wellness may be more important now than ever. From farming to finance, family, faith, and even personal freedoms, the recent global pandemic essentially forced all of us to reevaluate how we perform almost every aspect of our lives. We have all just witnessed firsthand how fragile life can be, while at the same time, witnessed how much we can accomplish when we work together as a global community to overcome a common problem or defeat a common enemy—for example, developing an effective vaccine to stop the spread of a highly contagious and deadly bat-borne virus.

Fortunately, however, you don’t have to be an infectious disease expert nor a genius to achieve your own level of intellectual wellness. You just need to have the desire to expand your intellectual horizon along with an open mind. And if that happens to be you, this just may be the perfect time to do a little work on your own intellectual wellness.

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Featured photo credit: Thought Catalog via


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