11 Inspiring TED Talks That Will Change the Way You Think

By Camille Styles
follow your dreams and more advice from this TED talk

What’s your biggest Internet time-suck? You know, that social channel or website that you go to “just to check,” and then you suddenly find yourself 30 minutes older and a little bit dumber? Mine used to be celeb gossip site until I swore them off a few months ago (thanks Jenn), but I can get equally caught up in a scroll through my Instagram feed. Lately when I find myself with a computer and some downtime, I’ve been making a conscious effort to consume something more soul-nourishing, and I’ve loved exploring the countless TED talks that teach me about an issue, inspire me creatively, or direct me towards self-growth. I polled a few friends and our team for the best of the best, so click through the slides for 11 TED talks not to miss, and please share links to all of your favorites in the comments so I can check them out!

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Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are, Amy Cuddy

Social psychologist Amy Cuddy shows how “power posing” — standing in a posture of confidence, even when we don’t feel confident — can impact our chances for success.

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Looks aren’t everything. Believe me, I’m a model. Cameron Russell

I love this no-holds-barred confessional from Victorias Secret supermodel Cameron Russell. It’s not everyday you get to hear an intelligent, well-spoken model spill all about what it’s really like to have won the genetic lottery.

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Your Elusive Creative Genius, Elizabeth Gilbert

I’ve been a longtime fan of Gilbert’s work and after reading her latest book, Big Magic, one of my best friends sent me this TED Talk where she discusses the idea of ‘genius’. What really stands out to me in the discussion is how our fear of failure in regards to creative endeavors can hold us back from being our most creative self and that in fact, EVERYONE has an inner-genius.

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The Power of Vulnerability, Brené Brown

Brené Brown studies human connection — our ability to empathize, belong, love. In this talk she shares an insight from her research that sent her on a personal quest to know herself as well as to understand humanity.

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What’s Wrong With What We Eat, Mark Bittman

I’m game for any podcast or presentation about food and how our decisions regarding food affect not only our health, but how they affect those around us and the environment in which we live. Mark Bittman is a New York Times food writer who discusses the issues with food trends in our society and how we can actually reverse those negative trends with a few simple steps.

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The Power of Seduction in Our Everyday Lives, Chen Lizra

Lizra turns the idea of seduction on its head, showing us how we should all channel our innate charm, connection, vulnerability, and self-confidence to achieve our best lives.

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Feats of Memory Anyone Can Do, Joshua Foer.

Technology is amazing, but what is it doing to our cognition? Joshua Foer reminds us that a memory is a powerful tool that needs to be disciplined, cultivated and invested in.

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Why 30 is Not the New 20, Meg Jay

Although (statistically speaking) marriage, children, and careers are developing later in life, that doesn’t mean twenty-somethings shouldn’t start planning for these things now. Clinical psychologist Meg Jay specializes in helping young adults claim their twenties by giving them advice on how to invest in themselves in the defining decade of their lives.

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Do Schools Kill Creativity? Ken Robinson

Sir Ken Robinson makes an entertaining and profoundly moving case for creating an education system that nurtures (rather than undermines) creativity.

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Extreme swimming with the world’s most dangerous jellyfish, Diana Nyad.

At age 60, Nyad attempted her longest swim yet, from Cuba to Florida. In this powerful talk, she talks about how to prepare mentally to achieve an extreme dream, and asks: What will YOU do with your wild, precious life?

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A guerilla gardner in South Central LA, Ron Finley

Ron Finley plants vegetable gardens in South Central LA — in abandoned lots, traffic medians, along the curbs. Why? For fun, for defiance, for beauty and to offer some alternative to fast food in a community where “the drive-thrus are killing more people than the drive-bys.”

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