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Transform Your Life In One Month: The 30 Best TED Talks Of All Time That Will Inspire You

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Transform Your Life In One Month: The 30 Best TED Talks Of All Time That Will Inspire You

To avoid criticism say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.” –  Aristotle

Each one of us needs a starting point to better ourselves, a spark of inspiration that lights up passion inside of you.

And as the old saying goes: if you want to be the best, learn from the best.

Here’s a list of the 31 best TED talks of all time, which will open the gates of imagination and creativity and help you become a better person!

1. Pranav Mistry: The thrilling potential of Sixth Sense

Takeaway: The future is already here. Learn how modern technology helps the physical world interact with the world of data.

“What we can do is not important. What we should do is more important.”

2. Tony Robbins: Why we do what we do

Takeaway: Learn the force behind the things you do in your everyday life and how to change your habits.

“The defining factor [for success] is never resources; it’s resourcefulness.”

3. Daniel Kahneman: The riddle of experience vs. memory

Takeaway: Discover why you are irrational and why your memory often misleads you.

“We don’t choose between experiences, we choose between memories of experiences. Even when we think about the future, we don’t think of our future normally as experiences. We think of our future as anticipated memories.”

4. David Gallo: underwater astonishments

Takeaway: There is so much we still don’t know about the planet we live on.

“Today we’ve only explored about 3 percent of what’s out there in the ocean. Already we’ve found the world’s highest mountains, the world’s deepest valleys, underwater lakes, underwater waterfalls …  There’s still 97 percent, and either that 97 percent is empty or is just full of surprises.”

5. Mary Roach: 10 things you didn’t know about an orgasm

Takeaway: Learn 10 baffling and hilarious things about sexual climax.

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“If you can trigger the Lazarus reflex in a dead person, why not the orgasm reflex?”

6. Graham Hill: Less stuff, more happiness

Takeaway: Having less stuff might actually make us happier.

“We’ve got to cut the extraneous out of our lives, and we’ve got to learn to stem the inflow. We need to think before we buy. Ask ourselves, ‘Is that really going to make me happier? Truly?”

7. Dan Gilbert: Why are we happy?

Takeaway: Learn how to train your mind to be happy.

“Natural happiness is what we get when we get what we wanted, and synthetic happiness is what we make when we don’t get what we wanted. In our society, we have a strong belief that synthetic happiness is of an inferior kind.”

8. Hans Rosling: The best stats you’ve ever seen

Takeaway: Big data helps to debunk myths about the so-called “developing world.”

“I have shown that Swedish top students know statistically significantly less about the world than the chimpanzees.”

9. Susan Cain: The power of introverts

Takeaway: Learn why introverts should be encouraged and celebrated.

“Eleanor Roosevelt, Rosa Parks, Gandhi — all these peopled described themselves as quiet and soft-spoken and even shy. And they all took the spotlight, even though every bone in their bodies was telling them not to.”

10. Keith Barry: Brain magic

Takeaway: Learn how our brains can fool our bodies.

“I’m going to show you all how easy it is to manipulate the human mind once you know how.”

11. David Blaine: How I held my breath for 17 minutes

Takeaway: Great reminder of how important passion and persistence are in our lives.

“As a magician, I think everything is possible. And I think if something is done by one person it can be done by others.”

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12. Pamela Meyer: How to spot a liar

Takeaway: Learn one of the most useful skills in your life – how to detect lies.

“A lie has no power whatsoever by its mere utterance; its power emerges when someone else agrees to believe the lie.”

13. Matt Cuts: Try something new for 30 days

Takeaway: You will never know if you like something unless you try it.

“The next 30 days are going to pass whether you like it or not, so why not think about something you have always wanted to try and give it a shot for the next 30 days?”

14. Jill Bolte Taylor: My Stroke of Insight

Takeaway: Incredibly moving journey of a scientist who suffered a stroke and her way back to the normal life.

“I am the life-force power of the universe. I am the life-force power of the 50 trillion beautiful molecular geniuses that make up my form, at one with all that is.”

15. Brené Brown: The Power of Vulnerability

Takeaway: Learn why those who are vulnerable are generally happier and feel more worthy of love.

“Maybe stories are just data with a soul.”

16. Elizabeth Gilbert: Your Elusive Creative Genius

Takeaway: Learn why there is a genius in all of us.

“We’ve completely internalized and accepted collectively this notion that creativity and suffering are somehow inherently linked, and that artistry in the end will always ultimately lead to anguish — are you guys all cool with that idea?”

17. Meg Jay: Why 30 Is Not the New 20

Takeaway: Learn why your twenties are actually a formative period in our lives.

“When you pat a twentysomething on the head and you say, ‘You have 10 extra years to start your life’ … you have robbed that person of his urgency and ambition.”

18. Amy Cuddy: Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are

Takeaway: Learn how you are influenced by your own body language.

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“Don’t fake it till you make it. Fake it till you become it.”

19. Dan Pink: The Puzzle of Motivation

Takeaway: Learn why we need to rethink how we run our businesses and motivate our employees.

“If you want people to perform better, you reward them, right? Bonuses, commissions, their own reality show. Incentivize them. … But that’s not happening here. You’ve got an incentive designed to sharpen thinking and accelerate creativity, and it does just the opposite. It dulls thinking and blocks creativity.”

20. Deb Roy: The Birth of a Word

Takeaway: Learn in detail how children acquire language and what the implications of this process are.

“The true promise is where the numbers and patterns from this data connect and become personal, enabling us to understand and to respond to humanity and the world in ways previously unimaginable”

21. Nilofer Merchant: Got a Meeting? Take a Walk

Takeaway: Learn why our sedentary lives might be deadly to our bodies and minds.

“Walk and talk. … You’ll be surprised at how fresh air drives fresh thinking.”

22. Ken Robinson: Schools Kill Creativity

Takeaway: Learn about the growing importance of creativity in our education system.

“If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original.”

23. Elon Musk: The Mind Behind Tesla, SpaceX and SolarCity

Takeaway: Learn about innovative thought processes and the future of energy.

“Really pay attention to negative feedback and solicit it, particularly from friends. … Hardly anyone does that, and it’s incredibly helpful.”

24. Simon Sinek: How Great Leaders Inspire Action

Takeaway: Learn where the true inspiration really comes from.

“People don’t buy what you do; people buy why you do it.”

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25. Sheryl Sandberg: Why We Have Too Few Women Leaders

Takeaway: Learn why the world needs more women at the top of their professions.

“I believe a world in which half the countries and half the companies were run by women would be a better world.”

26. Andrew Solomon: Love, No Matter What

Takeaway: Learn how diagnosis of an illness can affect identity.

“People … don’t want to be cured or changed or eliminated. They want to be whoever it is that they’ve come to be.”

27. Rita Pierson: Every Kid Needs a Champion

Takeaway: Learn why every child deserves to have someone believe in them completely.

“Every child deserves a champion — an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection, and insists that they become the best that they can possibly be.”

28. Steve Jobs: How To Live Before You Die

Takeaway: Learn how to pursue your dreams and see the opportunities in life’s obstacles.

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work.”

29. Jamie Oliver: Teach every child about food

Takeaway: Learn how our ignorance of food might destroy our lives and the those of our children.

“Your child will live a life ten years younger than you because of the landscape of food that we’ve built around them.”

30. Amanda Palmer: The art of asking

Takeaway: Learn about the powers of trust and relationships.

“I maintain couchsurfing and crowdsurfing are basically the same thing — you’re falling into the audience and you’re trusting each other.”

Featured photo credit: Old Wisdom / Agnes Scholiers (TouTouke) via rgbstock.com

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Last Updated on October 21, 2021

How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

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How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

Life is wasted in the in-between times. The time between when your alarm first rings and when you finally decide to get out of bed. The time between when you sit at your desk and when productive work begins. The time between making a decision and doing something about it.

Slowly, your day is whittled away from all the unused in-between moments. Eventually, time wasters, laziness, and procrastination get the better of you.

The solution to reclaim these lost middle moments is by creating rituals. Every culture on earth uses rituals to transfer information and encode behaviors that are deemed important. Personal rituals can help you build a better pattern for handling everything from how you wake up to how you work.

Unfortunately, when most people see rituals, they see pointless superstitions. Indeed, many rituals are based on a primitive understanding of the world. But by building personal rituals, you get to encode the behaviors you feel are important and cut out the wasted middle moments.

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Program Your Own Algorithms

Another way of viewing rituals is by seeing them as computer algorithms. An algorithm is a set of instructions that is repeated to get a result.

Some algorithms are highly efficient, sorting or searching millions of pieces of data in a few seconds. Other algorithms are bulky and awkward, taking hours to do the same task.

By forming rituals, you are building algorithms for your behavior. Take the delayed and painful pattern of waking up, debating whether to sleep in for another two minutes, hitting the snooze button, repeat until almost late for work. This could be reprogrammed to get out of bed immediately, without debating your decision.

How to Form a Ritual

I’ve set up personal rituals for myself for handling e-mail, waking up each morning, writing articles, and reading books. Far from making me inflexible, these rituals give me a useful default pattern that works best 99% of the time. Whenever my current ritual won’t work, I’m always free to stop using it.

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Forming a ritual isn’t too difficult, and the same principles for changing habits apply:

  1. Write out your sequence of behavior. I suggest starting with a simple ritual of only 3-4 steps maximum. Wait until you’ve established a ritual before you try to add new steps.
  2. Commit to following your ritual for thirty days. This step will take the idea and condition it into your nervous system as a habit.
  3. Define a clear trigger. When does your ritual start? A ritual to wake up is easy—the sound of your alarm clock will work. As for what triggers you to go to the gym, read a book or answer e-mail—you’ll have to decide.
  4. Tweak the Pattern. Your algorithm probably won’t be perfectly efficient the first time. Making a few tweaks after the first 30-day trial can make your ritual more useful.

Ways to Use a Ritual

Based on the above ideas, here are some ways you could implement your own rituals:

1. Waking Up

Set up a morning ritual for when you wake up and the next few things you do immediately afterward. To combat the grogginess after immediately waking up, my solution is to do a few pushups right after getting out of bed. After that, I sneak in ninety minutes of reading before getting ready for morning classes.

2. Web Usage

How often do you answer e-mail, look at Google Reader, or check Facebook each day? I found by taking all my daily internet needs and compressing them into one, highly-efficient ritual, I was able to cut off 75% of my web time without losing any communication.

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3. Reading

How much time do you get to read books? If your library isn’t as large as you’d like, you might want to consider the rituals you use for reading. Programming a few steps to trigger yourself to read instead of watching television or during a break in your day can chew through dozens of books each year.

4. Friendliness

Rituals can also help with communication. Set up a ritual of starting a conversation when you have opportunities to meet people.

5. Working

One of the hardest barriers when overcoming procrastination is building up a concentrated flow. Building those steps into a ritual can allow you to quickly start working or continue working after an interruption.

6. Going to the gym

If exercising is a struggle, encoding a ritual can remove a lot of the difficulty. Set up a quick ritual for going to exercise right after work or when you wake up.

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7. Exercise

Even within your workouts, you can have rituals. Spacing the time between runs or reps with a certain number of breaths can remove the guesswork. Forming a ritual of doing certain exercises in a particular order can save time.

8. Sleeping

Form a calming ritual in the last 30-60 minutes of your day before you go to bed. This will help slow yourself down and make falling asleep much easier. Especially if you plan to get up full of energy in the morning, it will help if you remove insomnia.

8. Weekly Reviews

The weekly review is a big part of the GTD system. By making a simple ritual checklist for my weekly review, I can get the most out of this exercise in less time. Originally, I did holistic reviews where I wrote my thoughts on the week and progress as a whole. Now, I narrow my focus toward specific plans, ideas, and measurements.

Final Thoughts

We all want to be productive. But time wasters, procrastination, and laziness sometimes get the better of us. If you’re facing such difficulties, don’t be afraid to make use of these rituals to help you conquer them.

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More Tips to Conquer Time Wasters and Procrastination

 

Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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