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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 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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