What you'll learn from this collection of passionate experts is incredible, and all of their insight is packed into less than 25 minutes per video. I hope you'll find these talks inspiring, informative and thought-provoking! They're arranged in alphabetical order by speakers first name because I could never pick my absolute favourite, they're all so good!
Amy Cuddy: Your body language shapes who you are
Arianna Huffington: How to succeed? Get more sleep
Andy Puddicombe: All it takes is 10 mindful minutes
Angela Lee Duckworth: The key to success? Grit
Brene Brown: The power of vulnerability
Daniel Amen: Change your brain, change your life
Elizabeth Gilbert: Your elusive creative genius
Eric Goodman: The unexpected physical consequences of technology
Goldie Hawn and Daniel Siegel: The power of mindfulness
Greg Wells: Sleep better, eat better, move better
Jill Bolte Taylor: My stroke of insight
John Ratey: The importance of movement
Ken Robinson: Do schools kill creativity?
Lissa Rankin: Is there scientific proof we can heal ourselves?
Matthieu Ricard: The habits of happiness
Maysoon Zayid: I got 99 problems... palsy is just one
Rick Hanson: Hardwiring happiness
Shawn Achor: The happy secret to better work
Susan Cain: The power of introverts
Temple Grandin: The world needs all kinds of minds
Tony Robbins: Why we do what we do
Did I miss any of your favourite TED Talks? Tweet me @LifeDelish!
I mentioned in an earlier post that my husband always has great advice, and I have him to thank for letting me know about the following two awesome websites.
If you ever want your mind blown by awesomeness, head to the TEDTalks website. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design, and started out as a conference bringing together people from those three industries. TED’s motto is "ideas worth spreading" and the talks are definitely ideas worth hearing.
Two of my favourite talks are below. The first is a fascinating and hilarious talk about nurturing creativity by Ken Robsinson, the author of a fantastic book called The Element featured in a previous post. The second is a captivating talk about a new way to think of “genius” by the author of one of my favourite books, Eat Pray Love’s Elizabeth Gilbert.
According to their website, “The 99% provides insights on productivity, organization, and leadership – all designed to help creative people take action and push their ideas forward.” I’ve only read a few articles so far but they’ve all been great and it’s definitely a resource that I’ll go back to for inspiration.
Current neuroscience research confirms what creatives intuitively know about being innovative: that it usually happens in the shower. After focusing intently on a project or problem, the brain needs to fully disengage and relax in order for a “Eureka!” moment to arise. It’s often the mundane activities like taking a shower, driving, or taking a walk that lure great ideas to the surface. Composer Steve Reich, for instance, would ride the subway around New York when he was stuck.
Science journalist Jonah Lehrer, referencing a landmark neuroscience study on brain activity during innovation, writes:
“The relaxation phase is crucial. That’s why so many insights happen during warm showers. … One of the surprising lessons of this research is that trying to force an insight can actually prevent the insight.”
The ebb and flow of concentrated focus and total disengagement has been a subject of particular interest to the composer, musician, and producer Brian Eno (U2, Talking Heads, Roxy Music). Drawing on interviews from throughout Eno’s career, Eric Tamm’s book, Brian Eno: His Music and The Vertical Sound of Color, delves deeply into Eno’s “creative process.”
Another 99% article, called 10 Awesome Videos On Idea Execution & The Creative Process, lists some great, inspiring videos. Among them, the previously mentioned TEDTalk from Elizabeth Gilbert, J.K. Rowling’s commencement speech to Harvard’s 2008 graduating class, and a truly moving address from from Apple and Pixar co-founder Steve Jobs to Stanford University’s 2005 graduating class (see below).
It’s no secret that answering the what-do-I-want-to-be-when-I-grow-up question has been a toughie for me. I’ve been an environmental educator, an aerobics instructor, the social director at a retirement home, and had my own personal training business as well as worked in a number of gyms and managed a sport and recreation facility. I’ve dropped out of teacher’s college and massage therapy school and I've auditioned to be a fitness expert on reality TV.
My epic quest for career contentment and fondness for non-fiction have gone hand in hand, and perusing the self-help section at the bookstore always gives me a rush. Maybe one of these books will contain the answers I’ve been seeking. Many have been stinkers, but the following three books have been truly helpful and insightful, and helped convince me that I wasn’t crazy to think I could (discover and) follow my dreams.
As I shared on my About page, I felt like a square peg in a world of round holes for an uncomfortably long period of time. Reading this book was like turning a corner and coming upon a field of happy, dancing square pegs eager to share the secrets of their success. Eikleberry breaks down the six basic personality types according to psychologist John Holland – Artistic, Social, Enterprising, Investigative, Realistic, Conventional – and further dissects the creative personality. She prompts and encourages the reader to discover the specifics of what their ideal career would look like and provides valuable tools to define or design that career by listing 25 categories that encompass 270 different creative occupations.
This is a brilliant book by a brilliant and very forward-thinking man. Sir Ken Robinson, an internationally respected educator, speaks on encouraging different types of intelligence with characteristic British wit. Robinson describes The Element as “the point at which natural talent meets personal passion.” And, he says, when people arrive there, “they feel most themselves, most inspired, and achieve at their highest levels.” Included are the stories of famous creatives such as Paul McCartney, Meg Ryan, Arianna Huffington, and choreographer Gillian Lynne. Robinson encourages the reader to think differently about intelligence and to discover themselves by finding their tribe: “For most people, a primary component of being in their Element is connecting with other people who share their passion and a desire to make the most of themselves through it.” Watch his TED Talk on creativity below.
As a follow-up to Goodman’s The Anti 9-to-5 Guide, My So-called Freelance Life provides a detailed map for navigating the freelance world. With 15 years behind her as a successful freelancer she brings weight to her advice on time management (especially when working from home), pursuing ideal clients, and shunning the “notion that artists have to starve” by creating a business plan. This book is easy to read, filled with knee-smacking humour, and leaves you with the hopeful epilogue “I Am Freelance (And So Can You!)”