TED Talks

Recently I discovered TED. I’ve heard about them for a while from other blogs I follow and from friends, but never had the time to stop and take a listen. Then I downloaded the TED app one day when I was particularly fed up with my music selection.  I was hooked after my first talk. Now, when I’m running an errand across town or doing the dishes, I can learn something from an expert in their field instead of just getting “Young, Wild and Free” stuck in my head for the millionth time.

TED is a non-profit organization that started way back in 1984. They host conferences twice a year and pull in the brightest minds from the Technology, Entertainment and Design fields. Their challenge to presenters? Give the “talk of their lives” in 18 minutes, NBD.  Some presenters are mediocre, and others have me pausing mid-plate scrub, tilting my head, and thinking to myself, “Well that was interesting!” My favorite feature is the Inspire Me function. It lets you select if you want to see something: Courageous, Funny, Persuasive, Ingenious, Jaw-Dropping, Beautiful, Fascinating, Informative, or Inspiring (aren’t the categories themselves just great?). Then you input how much time you have to listen (for example a 20 minute spurt to clean the bathroom, or a 40 minute train ride) and the app creates a customized playlist to suit your needs.

TED’s catch phrase is “Ideas worth spreading,” and in the couple weeks that I’ve been listening, I’ve found a few to pass along. Here are my favorites so far:

  • Brene Brown: The Power of Vulnerability
  • Shawn Achor: The Happy Secret to Better Work
  • Jill Bolte Taylor’s Stroke of Insight
  • Tali Sharot: The Optimism Bias

But I’m really just getting started. Download the app, and check them out yourself!

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