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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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

What Is SWOT Analysis? 5 Ways It Accelerates Your Self-Improvement

What Is SWOT Analysis? 5 Ways It Accelerates Your Self-Improvement

If I told you that there was one activity that you could do frequently that would dramatically accelerate your rate of self-improvement, would you do it?

SWOT Analysis may very well be the solution to your problems of feeling lost, unproductive, worried about the future, and the general struggle that inevitably arises on the road to personal development. It is quick to carry out, reliable in terms of changing your perspective, and effective in getting you the results that you desire.

So what exactly is this SWOT Analysis? You will find everything you need to know about it below as well as how to do it and all of the amazing benefits that it will bring to your life.

What Is SWOT Analysis?

SWOT Analysis is a business term that has steadily made its way over into the world of personal development due to its effectiveness in getting things to improve — whether that be a company or, more recently, a person.

S.W.O.T. is an anagram that stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. When assessing these four key pillars in life, it gives a very good picture of which direction you should be heading in and even highlights some of the best ways to do it.

All in all, it is a great way to reflect on past actions and to decide on the best way to move forward.

How to Do a SWOT Analysis

Carrying out a SWOT Analysis is relatively simple. The best way is to take out a pen and paper and write down four columns: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. From there, you can begin to fill out each one and apply it to whatever situation you find yourself in.

If you are considering expanding your enterprise, you might want to write down the current strengths and weaknesses of your business as well as the opportunities that you could possibly move into and the threats that you might need to minimize.

If you are an individual looking to improve yourself, you can carry out a SWOT Analysis either on the micro or macro level. A micro example would be focusing on one specific area of life. For example, you could write down your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats when it comes to dating, productivity, or changing your job.


You can also take it to the macro level. You might simply write down your current strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats across all areas of life — or simply the areas that you want to focus on for now.

SWOT Analysis is very easy to do and is excellent for the bigger picture stuff. Here is a rough template with a few questions across various areas of life that you can use for your own personal development purposes:


What professional qualifications do I have that make me stand out from everybody else?

What do I exceed at where most people are either average or below average?

What achievements have I been awarded?

What struggles have I overcome in the past that give me hope for the future?


Where do I fall short where others seem to excel?

What bad habits do I have?

What thoughts tend to hold me back?



Is there any significant advancement happening or about to happen that I can take advantage of?

Is there a new position in a company that maximizes my skillset?

Is there a gap in the market that I could potentially fill?

Is there an opportunity that is low-risk (i.e. I can fail fast and decide if I want to keep pursuing it)?


What competition do I face in a certain area?

What is the most likely thing to throw me off course? Is it me?

If there was an economic downturn, would I be in a position to survive? Could I even turn it into an opportunity?

Benefits of SWOT Analysis for Self-Improvement

Now that you know what it is and how to do it, you may already start to see all of the benefits for your personal growth that can come from a SWOT Analysis. If you haven’t already started to think about how to use it in your own life, here are a few ideas to get you started.

1. It Gives You an Actionable Plan

One of the most obvious benefits of doing a SWOT Analysis is the fact that it gives you an actionable plan. It is rare for someone to actually sit down and write out their strengths and weaknesses as well as the opportunities and threats they are facing, so you will be getting well ahead.


More importantly, taking the information from all four of these areas allows you to create an effective plan for yourself going forward — whether that be doubling down on your strengths, a plan to overcome your weaknesses, or how to leap at one of the opportunities in your life.

SWOT Analysis is designed specifically to drive actions and decisions — it is not simply a discussion exercise that you put to one side once you are finished with it.[1]

2. It Allows You to Zoom Out

Far too many people are so trapped within their day-to-day activities that they forget to see the big picture. Not being able to see the forest for the trees is one of the things that hold many people back from reaching their full potential.

SWOT Analysis allows you to take a moment of reflection, see the big picture, and then to make an informed decision about what your everyday tasks and activities are going to be, rather than the other way around.

It is important to be able to zoom out from time to time to make sure that you are on track with whatever your objectives are in each area of life. SWOT Analysis is the best way to do just that.

3. It Helps You Recognize New Aspects and Patterns

One of the unique things about SWOT Analysis is that it manages to combine different areas of your life and lets you see patterns, opportunities, and much more that you wouldn’t have otherwise seen.

An example would be the combination of your strengths and your opportunities. When you look at both of these side-by-side, you get a good idea about where the crossovers are, and, as a result, you get a clear picture of what opportunities are worth pursuing based on your strengths.

Another example would be looking at your strengths and threats next to one another. When you have a decent idea about what your strengths are in a certain situation, you can start to see how those strengths might come in handy when it comes to mitigating certain threats that you might face.

The truth is, any combination across SWOT Analysis creates a unique perspective that will be extremely useful for your own self-improvement.


4. It Minimizes Risk

Branching out from the previous point, a SWOT Analysis is carried out to help minimize risk [2]. Although this is primarily a benefit from a company’s standpoint, it can also be helpful from an individual’s perspective as well.

On a personal level, risk can come in a variety of forms. It might be an imaginary risk that feels real, like asking your crush out or asking your boss for a raise. It might be an actual risk where you are thinking of expanding your business or entering a new market where you have little experience. Either way, seeing the threats you face as well as the strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities you have allows you to go down the path that minimizes risk and maximizes gain.

5. It Can Marks Stages of Your Path

An interesting way that companies use SWOT Analysis is that they carry it out every month or every quarter in order to reset and recalibrate their destination. It can be used in a similar way by you as well. Just like there are certain times when businesses use them, there are certain times when you should use them.[3]

Every month or every couple of months, take the time to do a SWOT Analysis to see how you are progressing. What strengths have been added? What weaknesses have been discovered? What opportunities have revealed themselves or been lost? What new threats are you facing and which have been removed from the picture?

Not only will carrying out a SWOT Analysis on a frequent basis accelerate your self-improvement by helping you see where you want to go with less distraction, but it is also nice to see how things change and, hopefully, get better.

It is also worth looking back at your SWOT Analysis from the start of the year when you reach the end of the year to see how far you have come.

To Wrap Up

So there you have it. SWOT Analysis might just be the tool and technique that you have been waiting for to truly take the next step in your self-improvement journey. It is practical, easy to carry out, and effective in terms of planning your next moves.

Whether you do it on a consistent basis to ensure that you are moving in the right direction or you only do it when you feel lost, SWOT Analysis will always be right there waiting to help.

Featured photo credit: Kyle Glenn via



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