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8 Unmissable TED Talks: Lessons on How to Be

Do you want to know how to be the best you but you don’t have the time? Here is a crash course: eight unmissable TED Talks already viewed by millions because they are engaging, inspiring, and brief! These great thinkers and experts highlight eight characteristics that are vital for fulfilment, connection and personal growth.

1. Be Grateful

Length: 12:20

Views: 12.6 million

Quick-witted positive psychologist, Shawn Achor, shows us how to “Escape the Cult of the Average.” Apart from entertaining us with stories about his sister, he outlines a few simple strategies grounded in research that you can use right away to improve your emotional well-being and have a positive impact on others, and ultimately, be happier in work and in life.

2. Be Vulnerable

Length: 20:19

Views: 23.6 million

Qualitative Researcher and Storyteller, Brene Brown, discovers to her initial dismay that vulnerability is the key to self-worth, belonging and connection. She candidly describes her own inability to accept this notion and how her own research (and her therapist!) helped her to have the courage to show who she really is.

3. Be Accepting

Length: 10:01

Views: 1.9 million

Artist, Phil Hanson, powerfully demonstrates how acceptance of a limitation can unleash limitless potential. This realisation led him to purposely impose more limitations on himself to enhance his creativity and his life. You will not look at your limitations the same again.

4. Be Powerful

Length: 20:21

Views: 31.5 million

Social Psychologist, Amy Cuddy, gives an impassioned speech sharing her findings about how you can use your body to shape your mind to behave confidently and perform effectively. When you feel like you don’t belong or are not good enough, two minutes of “power posing” can help you ‘fake it’ and perform your best in even the most stressful situations. Her mantra, “Fake it until you become it.”

5. Be “Right”

Length: 18:13

Views: 18.5 million

Brain scientist, Jill Bolte Taylor, observes her brain processes during her own stroke and gains insight on the benefits of choosing “to step to the right of your left hemisphere.”

Jill takes you on a journey that may change how you see the world and your place in it.

6. Be Mindful

Length: 9:24

Views: 6 million

Mindfulness expert, Andy Puddicombe uses juggling to demonstrate how to practice mindfully effectively and to achieve the benefits of being in present moment. This is a brief video but if you are feeling really time poor, start at 4:40.

7. Be Curious

Length: 11:52

Views: 1.2 million

Kess Moeliker, Ornithologist and Curator at the Natural History Museum in Rotterdam, takes us a hilarious and somewhat dark journey when a curious sexual interaction occurred between two ducks. See how an inquisitive mind and sharing your interests (no matter how peculiar they are) can enrich your life. If you like quirky dark comedies—this one is a must!

8. Be Bold

Length: 14:13

Views: 7.4 million

Arab-American comedian, Maysoon Zayid, talks about her “crooked journey” to achieving her goals as a woman with cerebral palsy. Her can-do attitude, fostered by her family, guided her through her successes and failures. Always backing herself led her to her most prized role: advocating for “the largest minority in the world and the most unrepresented in entertainment.”

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