11 life-changing TED talks to start the year with

28 December 2017 - inspiration

Ready for change? Whether you’re bursting with newfound energy or overwhelmed by the thought of entering a new year (or both!), it can be helpful to take a step back to re-evaluate the how’s and why’s of our lives. Doing that provides us with a useful framework for designing the life we wish to lead.

We’ve gathered 11 of the best TED talks that do just that—refresh our perspectives, ask the important questions and offer us ways to create the lives we want. Whether you’d like to kick a bad habit, improve your emotional wellbeing and relationships, or find your calling in 2018, these talks are sure to inspire you.

Finding your purpose and passion

1. How to find work you love

After quitting a job that made him miserable, Scott Dinsmore dedicated his time to find joyful and meaningful work. In this talk, he shares what he learned: how to find what matters to you and how to get started on it.

2. Why some of us don’t have one true calling

Do you often feel like everyone around you has found their “one true passion” while you juggle multiple interests and can’t settle on one? You’re not alone. In this illuminating and heartening talk, Emily Wapnick introduces us to “multipotentialites”, people who have multiple interests and jobs over a lifetime. Are you one?

3. My year of saying yes to everything

How do you find your passion and purpose? By facing your fears. Shonda Rhimes, the woman behind shows like Grey’s Anatomy and How to Get Away With Murder, shares a moving story about how she conquered her fears and found the courage to say “yes”.

4. Why you will fail to have a great career

Everyone needs a reality check once in a while—and the start of a new year is a good time for one. Funny and blunt, this talk by Larry Smith gets right to the point about the excuses we create when we fail to pursue our passions.

5. Why you should define your fears instead of your goals

Productivity expert Tim Ferriss shares a powerful technique he calls “fear-setting”, which helps us overcome self-paralysis, take action, and separate what we can and can’t control.

Life tips and tricks

1. How to make hard choices

Which career should I pursue? Should I break up—or get married? We spend so much of our lives agonising over the big decisions, but are we looking at them the right way? Philosopher Ruth Chang offers us a new perspective to decision-making that may just change our lives.

2. A simple way to break a bad habit

Breaking a bad habit is probably one of our New Year’s resolutions. In this illuminating talk, psychiatrist Judson Brewster shares a simple but profound tactic to help you beat your worst urges.

3. Try something new for 30 days

You probably have that one thing you’ve always wanted to do but just…haven’t. If that’s one of your 2018 goals, this short and inspiring talk by Matt Cutts is for you.

Emotional wellbeing and relationships

1. Why we all need to practise emotional first aid

Our emotional wellbeing is as important as our physical health but is often neglected. How should we deal with emotions such as anxiety, guilt, loss and loneliness? Psychologist Guy Winch shares 7 useful ways to reboot your emotional health.

2. What makes a good life? Lessons from the longest study on happiness

What keeps us happy and healthy in life? Psychiatrist Robert Waldinger presents the findings of a 75-year study on happiness and satisfaction, and the results may change the way you prioritise things in life.

3. The power of vulnerability

Seven years ago, Brené Brown sent ripples through the Internet with her powerful insight on human connection. Seven years on, it’s still one of the most popular TED talks of all time—and for good reason. The relationships we have with ourselves and the people in our lives form the basis of our success and wellbeing. If you haven’t watched this, now’s definitely the time.

Bonus: What matters in the end

This isn’t a TED talk but we couldn’t complete this list without Atul Gawande’s interview on our favourite podcast, On Being. In this affecting conversation, the doctor and author of the bestselling book, Being Mortal, speaks about how to live well—and the relationship between life and death—by asking an important but rarely asked question: What does a good day look like to you?

What are your favourite TED talks? Let us know at hello@mindful-company.com.

All the best with your goals and dreams for the new year!

- The Mindful Company Team