I came across watch a Ted talk everyday challenge at multiple places. But that is not the reason why I watched. I watched a TED talk because I had lot of mobile data. Keeping aside the jokes, I wanted to see how a TED talk can change my life.
To your surprise and my surprise, TED talks don’t change your life just by watching them. I am sorry, I am not saying that you have to take action too. Because that is obvious. But what was not obvious to me when I started was, choosing a talk which actually gives me a new idea. I classify the talks I watched into 3 types.
Revision of concepts:
1.The puzzle of motivation – Daniel Pink
I watched it before but forgot that I did. It was a revision lesson. I am yet to read his book. This talk is about why rewards are not the right incentive to motivate a person to work.
2.The power of vulnerability – Brene Brown
I read her book the gifts of imperfection. That drove me to listen to her. This too was a revision because she repeated the same things which she wrote in her book.
3.How Boredom can lead to your most brilliant ideas
I learned this concept in ‘Learning how to learn’ coursera course. Brain needs to go into a diffused mode after focussed mode to remember better and get into idea generating mode.
4.Power of reading from a reluctant teenager:
If you are not much of a reader, I suggest you watch this. I wanted to see what a teenager has to advise. She was good for her age.
5.Words, not ideas: How to write a book
The reason why we like a few books and why we don’t like the others.
6.Why you should define your fears
The talk by Tim Ferris validated my method of dealing with fear.
7.How to know your life purpose in 5 minutes
He mentioned the what why how principle. The basic principle which everyone needs to follow in every aspect of life.
8.The first 20 hours to learn anything:
Similar to what I read on fluent forever and also 4 hour chef. You just need to know the few things which is going to make you decent at it.
9.50 books in 50 weeks:
Title is totally unrelated to the content of the talk.
10.Refusing to settle- Quarter life crisis:
I hit this a few years back. Now, I am happy that I am on the same path as Smiley, the TED talker. I am grateful to have already met believers who made me feel accountable. Now I lead a life where I don’t have the money I wanted but I definitely have a meaning. It was one hell of a nostalgic talk. And if you are in mid life crisis, you should definitely watch this.
Learnt something new:
1.The most important lesson from 83,000 brain scans:
I learnt that brain scan of a normal person and that with a disorder is totally different. Complex diseases like Alzhemiers can be detected as early as in twenties just through a brain scan.
2.Draw your future:
I took it as an action point. I want to draw how I want my life to be.
3.Why I read a book a day:
I always did not know how to apply the principle of ‘You are average of 5 people you spend time with’. Now I know that I have to spend one third of the time each with people less, equal and more than me.
4.My year reading a book from each country in the world:
This talk inspired me to read a book from each state of my country.
5.Brain Magic – Keith Barry
I don’t know how he did that magic. If it was an illusion or if there are actually techniques. This comes under interesting and not amazing because it was just an entertainment and not learning.
6.A rich life with less stuff – The Minimalists
I liked their creative way of presentation. The content was the same old one. Do more with less stuff.
Long long back, I made a list of ted talks I wish to watch. I don’t even remember why I made the list and the source of it. But it turned out to be a magic box.
1.100 days of rejection
The first one I picked up from the list was 100 days of rejection. I thought it will be a story of a salesperson who failed for 100 days to succeed on 101st day. But boy! I was wrong. The speaker was an entrepreneur. His rejection story as a 7 year old boy cracked me up. And then the story as 14 year old. I saw the potential in the letter he wrote as a 14 year old boy. Keeping his old time stories aside, what he did for 100 days was amazing. Not for how much his rejection potential increased but for his creativity and for the way he fulfilled his dreams. I felt so inspired by him that I created my own list for rejection.He made one point in the end, “ All I had to do was ask”. That was the same point which Randy Paush mentioned in Last Lecture. My life has definitely improved after I started asking for what I wanted.
2.Happy secret to better work
The second one from the magic list. The Ted talk is only 12 minutes because the author talks really fast. Thankfully subtitles helped me follow them. It was good that I encountered this in the month of positive thinking. He told the same I discovered. You think positive by looking at the positive in the negative situation. This one too has an interesting beginning. I really liked the idea of a 7-year old looking for the positive in the negative. I don’t think I was ever that smart at that age. Even though he mentioned what I already knew, the speech left me feeling good. A few key points mentioned in the talk:
- Medical school syndrome– I dont like reading about diseases because I feel I have them too
- Newspapers– I stopped reading them because it makes me worry about something I can’t change
- Looking at the positive in the hurt state– Kids cry because we tell them that is pain and they don’t if you make them look at something funny
- Changing goal posts – This is what I have done countless time and it ruined my happiness
- Chase the outliers and make everyone a outlier – makes the world a better place to live in
- Everything is measured by average – You need to do different things to become above average
- Why psychologists dig your past – So that you keep coming to them again and again
3.Why we marry the wrong person?-Alain De Botton
Outside my magic box too, I have an interesting life changing TED Talk. I had read it before in NY Times and was keen on listening to this. I found every word of his talk as gold nugget. The way you look at love changes completely after you listen to what he says. I wanted to hear more of his talks and stumbled on his speech at Sydney Opera house. Even though it is a one hour speech, I will vouch for its quality. After that, I subscribed for his youtube channel “ School of Life”.
4.Why we love, why we cheat? – Helen Fischer
This one was amazing because she cared to explain the different steps of love. It is totally different from what media shows you. It explains clearly what is what and why what happens. I don’t want to summarize it because I want you to watch this and learn it for yourself.
Moral of the story:
Just like how not all books are good, not all ted talks are worth your time. Ted talk becomes amazing only if you choose something which you have no idea about and are interested in knowing about it. Otherwise it is just going to be ‘an utter waste of my time’ to ‘thanks for revising my concepts’.
Happy watching ted talks!