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Last Updated on January 17, 2018

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

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 September 20, 2018

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

You go to the gym to train your muscles. You run outside or go for hikes to train your endurance. Or, maybe you do neither of those, but still wish you exercised more.

Well, here is how to train one of the most important parts of your body: your brain.

When you train your brain, you will:

  • Avoid embarrassing situations. You remember his face, but what was his name?
  • Be a faster learner in all sorts of different skills. No problem for you to pick up a new language or new management skill.
  • Avoid diseases that hit as you get older. Alzheimer’s will not be affecting you.

So how to train your brain and improve your cognitive skills?

1. Work your memory

Twyla Tharp, a NYC-based renowned choreographer has come up with the following memory workout:

When she watches one of her performances, she tries to remember the first twelve to fourteen corrections she wants to discuss with her cast without writing them down.

If you think this is anything less than a feat, then think again. In her book The Creative Habit she says that most people cannot remember more than three.

The practice of both remembering events or things and then discussing them with others has actually been supported by brain fitness studies.

Memory activities that engage all levels of brain operation—receiving, remembering and thinking—help to improve the function of the brain.

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Now, you may not have dancers to correct, but you may be required to give feedback on a presentation, or your friends may ask you what interesting things you saw at the museum. These are great opportunities to practically train your brain by flexing your memory muscles.

What is the simplest way to help yourself remember what you see? Repetition.

For example, say you just met someone new:

“Hi, my name is George”

Don’t just respond with, “Nice to meet you”. Instead, say, “Nice to meet you George.”

Got it? Good.

2. Do something different repeatedly

By actually doing something new over and over again, your brain wires new pathways that help you do this new thing better and faster.

Think back to when you were three years old. You surely were strong enough to hold a knife and a fork just fine. Yet, when you were eating all by yourself, you were creating a mess.

It was not a matter of strength, you see. It was a matter of cultivating more and better neural pathways that would help you eat by yourself just like an adult does.

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And guess what? With enough repetition you made that happen!

But how does this apply to your life right now?

Say you are a procrastinator. The more you don’t procrastinate, the more you teach your brain not to wait for the last minute to make things happen.

Now, you might be thinking “Duh, if only not procrastinating could be that easy!”

Well, it can be. By doing something really small, that you wouldn’t normally do, but is in the direction of getting that task done, you will start creating those new precious neural pathways.

So if you have been postponing organizing your desk, just take one paper and put in its right place. Or, you can go even smaller. Look at one piece of paper and decide where to put it: Trash? Right cabinet? Another room? Give it to someone?

You don’t actually need to clean up that paper; you only need to decide what you need to do with it.

That’s how small you can start. And yet, those neural pathways are still being built. Gradually, you will transform yourself from a procrastinator to an in-the-moment action taker.

3. Learn something new

It might sound obvious, but the more you use your brain, the better its going to perform for you.

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For example, learning a new instrument improves your skill of translating something you see (sheet music) to something you actually do (playing the instrument).

Learning a new language exposes your brain to a different way of thinking, a different way of expressing yourself.

You can even literally take it a step further, and learn how to dance. Studies indicate that learning to dance helps seniors avoid Alzheimer’s. Not bad, huh?

4. Follow a brain training program

The Internet world can help you improve your brain function while lazily sitting on your couch. A clinically proven program like BrainHQ can help you improve your memory, or think faster, by just following their brain training exercises.

5. Work your body

You knew this one was coming didn’t you? Yes indeed, exercise does not just work your body; it also improves the fitness of your brain.

Even briefly exercising for 20 minutes facilitates information processing and memory functions. But it’s not just that–exercise actually helps your brain create those new neural connections faster. You will learn faster, your alertness level will increase, and you get all that by moving your body.

Now, if you are not already a regular exerciser, and already feel guilty that you are not helping your brain by exercising more, try a brain training exercise program like Exercise Bliss.

Remember, just like we discussed in #2, by training your brain to do something new repeatedly, you are actually changing yourself permanently.

6. Spend time with your loved ones

If you want optimal cognitive abilities, then you’ve got to have meaningful relationships in your life.  Talking with others and engaging with your loved ones helps you think more clearly, and it can also lift your mood.

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If you are an extrovert, this holds even more weight for you. At a class at Stanford University, I learned that extroverts actually use talking to other people as a way to understand and process their own thoughts.

I remember that the teacher told us that after a personality test said she was an extrovert, she was surprised. She had always thought of herself as an introvert. But then, she realized how much talking to others helped her frame her own thoughts, so she accepted her new-found status as an extrovert.

7. Avoid crossword puzzles

Many of us, when we think of brain fitness, think of crossword puzzles. And it’s true–crossword puzzles do improve our fluency, yet studies show they are not enough by themselves.

Are they fun? Yes. Do they sharpen your brain? Not really.

Of course, if you are doing this for fun, then by all means go ahead. If you are doing it for brain fitness, then you might want to choose another activity

8. Eat right – and make sure dark chocolate is included

Foods like fish, fruits, and vegetables help your brain perform optimally. Yet, you might not know that dark chocolate gives your brain a good boost as well.

When you eat chocolate, your brain produces dopamine. And dopamine helps you learn faster and remember better. Not to mention, chocolate contains flavonols, antioxidants, which also improve your brain functions.

So next time you have something difficult to do, make sure you grab a bite or two of dark chocolate!

The bottom line

Now that you know how to train your brain, it’s actually time to start doing.

Don’t just consume this content and then go on with your life as if nothing has changed. Put this knowledge into action and become smarter than ever!

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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