If I gave you an extra 18 minutes in your day, what more could you do? Longer in the shower? An extra cup of coffee? A brisk walk round the block? What if I gave you 18 minutes AND a powerful idea?
That’s the concept behind TED.com: the sharing of powerful ideas.
TED is a non-profit organisation devoted to spreading ideas in the form of short, powerful talks. TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged. However today TED covers almost all topics — from science to business to global issues — in more than 100 languages. Then there are the TEDx events – these are run independently to share ideas in communities around the world. Twice a year there is a TED conference, with more than 50 talks over the course of a week bringing together speakers from the fields of Technology, Entertainment and Design thus providing the opportunity for thought leaders and inspirational speakers to benefit from cross-fertilisation! My personal goal is to be invited to talk at TEDWomen.
There are more than 2,000 TED talks to choose from. Each one is 18 minutes or less. Even the busiest person can create 18 minutes in their day to discover a powerful idea.
When I need inspiration, TED.com is one of my first ports of call. I devote at least one hour of time per week to self-development and study. If I do not have a specific book to read or webinar to catch up on, I visit TED.com to see what I have missed.
Today then, I share 5 of my personal favourite TED.com talks. The ones that I share most often with my coaching clients and mastermind participants:
- Carol Dweck – The power of believing that you can improve
Carol Dweck is a psychologist and author of Mindset. She researches ‘growth mindset’. Much of her work and philosophy underpins the work of the best parenting coaches. The power of ‘yet’ and believing that you can improve is fundamental to the success of any one individual, child or adult. If you doubt whether you can learn something new, if you hear negative self-talk, this is for you.
- Simon Sinek – How great leaders inspire action
Simon Sinek is the author of Start with Why and Leaders Eat Last in which he explores how leaders inspire cooperation, trust and change. In this TED talk, he shares his powerful model for inspirational leadership, The Golden Circle and the incredibly powerful question of ‘Why’. Your why is your purpose, your cause, your belief. He explains how people don’t buy from you for WHAT you do; they buy WHY you do it. He uses Dr Martin Luther King and the Wright brothers to illustrate this. If you don’t know why you do what you do, if you are struggling to persuade people to follow you or to buy from you, then listen to this.
- Roxane Gay – Confession of a bad feminist
Roxane Gay was invited to talk at TEDWomen in May 2015. She epitomises for me what feminism is all about: ‘If a woman chooses to stay home to raise her children, I embrace that choice, too. The problem is not that she makes herself economically vulnerable in that choice; the problem is that our society is set up to make women economically vulnerable when they choose.’ She talks about how female leaders are scared to label themselves as feminists. She helps me to understand that I am right to be proud to label myself a feminist. What about you? Listen to Roxane to find out if you are a bad feminist too.
- Amy Cuddy – Your body language shapes who you are
Social psychologist Amy Cuddy studies body language and shares how our body position can change other people’s perceptions. You knew that, right? We all read body language. More significantly, she shares how a confident posture can affect the testosterone and cortisol levels in your brain. And that can have an impact on your chances for success. Not feeling confident? Watch this to learn how to fake until you become it!
- Susan Cain – The power of introverts
Susan Cain explores how our schools and our workplaces show bias against introverts. Susan herself is an introvert as well as former corporate lawyer and negotiations consultant. She is the author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. Watch this if you know that secretly you’re an introvert too.
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Leave me a comment and share which of these resonates the most with you.