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Friday, 19 July 2019

6 TED Talks for Self-Improvement!


Hello Readers! How have you all been? Hope July is going well for you than it is for me. With so little blogging, you can only imagine how bored I must be. I thought I was out of my reading slump, but it wasn’t so much of a slum rather than laziness. I ended up binge watching Netflix shows instead of binge reading. No reading, so no reviews! No trips, so no travel posts. And then, out of the blue, this idea hit me. I’m sure you all know about my 19 Things to do in 2019 list. One of the things is listening to a TED Talk every week. This is something I am always looking forward to during my week. And, since it has been half a year already, I thought of telling you all about some of my favourite TED Talks when it comes to self improvement.

You can use the hashtag #OneTEDTalkPerWeek on Twitter to browse through all the talks I have listened to so far. But, the ones below are something worth for introspection. They have taught me some important things about life. Some I knew, while some were new to me. But, in a nutshell, they all are important for how we tread in life.

~~SCOTT GELLER: THE PSYCHOLOGY OF SELF-MOTIVATION~~
I watched this TED Talk just last week & it was truly an eye-opener. It’s a 16-minutes talk presented at TEDx VirginiaTech. The speaker Scott Geller is Alumni Distinguished Professor at Virginia Tech and Director of the Center for Applied Behavior Systems in the Department of Psychology.
In his speech, he talks about the theory of self-motivation. Now, I have read a lot of quotes on this subject & also seen similar talks. But this one actually works. Worked for me & I hope it works for you!

In his talk, he wants you to ask yourself 3 questions-
Can you do it?
Will it work?
Is it worth it?
If you answer yes to all these questions, then that’s your beginning to achieve your goal by being self-motivated. Below is one of the quotes from the Talk that I felt was too real. And, we need to backward engineer it to achieve the ultimate goal.
“From the day you were born, everything you did was because you wanted something for doing it.”

~~RYAN MARTIN: WHY WE GET MAD -- AND WHY IT'S HEALTHY~~
This talk about why anger is healthy is given by Ryan Martin, who is an Anger Researcher & chair of the Psychology Department at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. He presented this 13-minutes talk at TEDx FondduLac.
Now, when I saw the title of this talk I knew it was going to be really interesting. Being a kind of a short-tempered person myself, my purpose was to justify my behaviour. It sure as hell worked for me. It gave me a reason for my anger. Now every time I get angry, I calm down & then ask myself why am I angry & it always gives me right answer to further work my way to the problem. I think the below quote summarizes the entire talk & I found this to be profound when applied in my work life.
“Just as fear alerts you to danger, your anger alerts you to injustice.”
And, read that again.

~~ANDREW SOLOMON: HOW THE WORST MOMENTS IN OUR LIVES MAKE US WHO WE ARE~~

This 20-minutes talk by Andrew Solomon will not only throw you in a thought spiral, but also make you appreciate the speaker for his wisdom as well as humour. He is a writer specializing in politics, culture & psychology.
Throughout his talk, he quotes a lot of people, gives examples of people he knows & focuses on one important thing. He asks to forge meaning from our biggest struggles to overcome & build ourselves stronger than before. He talks about the injustice he faced as a gay man. And, how he used that to build himself. Of course, it is easier said than done, but once you cultivate this habit, you will find yourself to be enough & strong to fight any battle that is in front of you.
All through his speech, he focuses on 4 words which is the gist of his talk.
“Forge meaning. Build identity.”

~~ANNE LAMOTT: 12 TRUTHS I LEARNED FROM LIFE AND WRITING~~
I wasn’t so sure about listening to this one, but once I started, I couldn't stop. Anne Lamott, in her 16-minutes speech talks about the 12 hard truths she knows to be definitely true in her 61 years on this planet. She is a novelist & essayist.

In the beginning, it may seem a bit mundane as she reads her speech from a piece of paper, but later on it becomes quite funny with her candid humour. I could have written down the 12 things she has talked about here, but I won’t. It won’t be the same, which is why, you need to watch this one right away! Below is the TED description for Anne’s talk.
She dives into the nuances of being a human who lives in a confusing, beautiful, emotional world, offering her characteristic life-affirming wisdom and humor on family, writing, the meaning of God, death and more.

~~ROBERT WALDINGER: WHAT MAKES A GOOD LIFE? LESSONS FROM THE LONGEST STUDY ON HAPPINESS~~
Every one of us is so busy chasing after happiness, that we have forgotten the basics of what makes us happy. In this 13-minutes talk by Robert, you will find out! He is the Director of the Harvard Study of Adult Development, which is a 75-year old study on happiness. This talk was presented at TEDx Beacon Street.

According to this study, there is one important factor for happiness. Good relationships. He stresses on how the study show that people need to be close to their family, friends & community.
“The good life is built with good relationships.”

~~PETTER JOHANSSON: DO YOU REALLY KNOW WHY YOU DO WHAT YOU DO?~~
In this 16-minutes talk, experimental psychologist talks about his study of how self-knowledge & attitude can change. This was presented at TEDx Uppsala University.

This talk is unsettling & most people cannot deal with something like this. We go on about our life thinking we know all there is to know about our own self. And, when someone challenges that, our first instinct is to be defensive. That’s what this talk is all about. It’s about choice blindness, which is a phenomenon where we convince ourselves that we're getting what we want, even when we're not. It shows the nature of self-knowledge and how we react in the face of manipulation.
Below is my favourite quote from this talk. 
“If you can get people to see the opposite view and engage in a conversation with themselves, that could actually make them change their views.”


Until next time,


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