My Favorite TED Talks

Chandan Rai bio photo By Chandan Rai

Now the winter is coming (nah, I ain’t gonna say anything of GOT here), get prepared to snuggle in your favorite quilt, with TV remote in hand, steaming hot tea on side table and enjoy your favorite videos. You can watch whatever you want, depending on your taste and situation, but I don’t find myself patient enough to watch a full blown movie from start to end, I do like movies but most of the movies I have seen in bits and pieces, sometimes playing my favorite scenes over and over again.

By the way, I have seen few movies in theaters, but am not a theater buff or even a movie buff. Sometimes I regretted the money I spent on watching few Bollywood movies. Only thing I liked out of entire movie was the verbal duel between villain and the hero, just before the actual dishoom dishoom starts, that’s where you get the value out of your ticket money :)

Jokes apart, let’s get down to the brass tacks. I like the inspiration or information packed short videos a great deal and what’s a better place for it than the TED Talks, the introductory music and clapping itself gets my adrenaline rush.

Last winter I discovered some popular talks and will share the list, I think it’s a must-watch. A popular TED talk does not become a must watch TED Talk. It becomes must-watch when you have a little clue and a lot of curiosity to know about it.

TED talk becomes must-watch when the presentation is amazing. You have to watch it, to learn how a public talk should be given and how presenter’s personality or demeanor impacts the acceptance/non-acceptance of the message.

A picture is worth a thousand words……..and a video is worth a thousand pictures! ― Ankala V Subbarao

How great leaders inspire action

Leadership is complex topic, different people, different ideas. The thoughts conveyed, in a simple and effective manner by Simon are very thought provoking and interesting.

By Simon Sinek

The power of introverts

Natural biases do affect the message that is heard. As an introvert, I liked this passionate talk and also get the message about the need for introverts to step out of their comfort zones and embrace some extroversion. But with some due apologies to extroverts, sometimes they are so busy talking, they can’t hear, not just others around them, but their inner voice, and that’s where the good questions come from… which can lead to important answers.

By Susan Cain

Your body language shapes who you are

There are so many of us whose fear suppress the power of who we really are. “faking it” is really an exercise of pulling out the powerful version of ourselves that is already within us. You should be the best version of your self that you can. Putting your best foot forward is not faking it. She is trying to teach people to be confident and decisive, rather than diminutive and week.

By Amy Cuddy

The power of vulnerability

In this poignant, funny talk, Brené Brown shares a deep insight stemming right out of human connection - our ability to empathize, belong, love.

By Brené Brown

Why we do what we do

Tony Robbins discusses how emotions drive us, the invisible forces that make us do what we do.

By Tony Robbins

The thrilling potential of SixthSense technology

While talking about the mouse with a ball inside and two rollers, he took me on a walk down memory lane :). He is the Global Senior Vice President of Research at Samsung and has worked on several interesting projects.

By Pranav Mistry

How to speak so that people want to listen

He talks about the seven deadly sins of speaking - Gossips , Judging , Negativity , Complaining , Excuses , Lying , Dogmatism. Also apply HAIL - Honesty, Authenticity, Integrity, Love.

By Julian Treasure

What I learned from 100 days of rejection

As a kid, I used to talk about conquering China, just to get even for 1962 war, ambitions were wild! When he showed his hand written letter to his family about acquiring Microsoft, I could connect instantly. Jia Jiang gives an inspiring and humorous talk about embracing rejection and reiterates the importance of asking.

By Jia Jiang

Happy secret to better work

He does not talk anything mind-blowing. “she had to do everything that I wanted to do”, he says about his younger sister and I think, all younger sister’s are alike. Shawn Achor, is a psychologist and advocates that happiness inspires productivity, I don’t doubt that!

By Shawn Achor

Depression, the secret we share

Andrew Solomon is a writer and what a moving account he has given, “There’s no such thing as love without the anticipation of loss”, he says. Depression is not grief or sadness, it’s much more…

By Andrew Solomon

How to stay calm when you know you’ll be stressed

We have all been under stress at some time or other and we tend to make more mistakes than often. Daniel Levitin is a neuroscientist and says that the brain releases cortisol in stressful situations, inhibiting rational, logical thinking, thinking becomes clouded — the pre-mortem. “We all are going to fail now and then,” he says. “The idea is to think ahead to what those failures might be.”

By Daniel Levitin

What really matters at the end of life

It’s emotional, sincere, thought provoking, most important, inspirational. BJ Miller is a palliative care physician who thinks deeply about how to create a dignified, graceful end of life for his patients. I wish every doctor was so compassionate.

By BJ Miller

The puzzle of motivation

Dan Pink is a Career analyst, he takes a scientific view at the subject of human motivation. “There is a mismatch between what science knows and what business does”, he says. Traditional rewards aren’t always as effective as we think and they are not the right incentive to motivate a person to work, to know why, watch on!

By Daniel Pink

How Boredom can lead to your most brilliant ideas

We in this digital age are deluged by the constant onslaught of information and the multitude of options have left us no options to get bored. I have heard few stories in mechanical or machinery fields, ordinary workmen provided better solutions than the engineers. One reason I think is, engineers are constantly feeding their brain with information, moving from project to project, using digital aids, peeping into phone etc., leaves them little time to get bored. Ordinary workmen, on other hand, have a lot of time. Brain needs to go into a diffused mode after focused mode to remember better and get into idea generating mode.

By Manoush Zomorodi

Refusing to settle - Quarter life crisis

“We are not the ‘me me me’ generation, we are the purpose generation, and we will be engaged with our work because we have to.”, says Adam Poswolsky, the author of an Amazon bestseller on finding meaningful work. Leading a work life with a meaning is more important than just having more money. “We can’t climb the career ladder to nowhere. The stakes are too damn high.”, he warns.

By Adam Poswolsky

Power of reading from a reluctant teenager

As a 14 year old, she tells steps to form a habit of picking up books. It may be difficult at first, but you will love it ultimately. Had we been this way as human beings without reading. At the end she cites:

The more you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you’ll go -Dr. Seuss

By Alexia Safieh

Words, not ideas: How to write a book

“I help people write books”, he says and truly his words resonated in my ears. “A brilliant idea does not equate to a brilliant book”, he goes on, “Words and writing are their own animals, and they operate by their own rules.” watch on and know the rules!

By Mattie Bamman

Why you should define your fears

I did know stoicism, but didn’t know the origin, thanks Tim Ferriss! What we most fear doing, asking, saying, are often what we need to do. He tells us how to counter the fear by simple steps defining, preventing and repairing:

By Tim Ferris

How to know your life purpose in 5 minutes

There’s plenty of books and plethora of information about how find purpose in life, some people spend entire life in finding the purpose! “I feel as though I’ve wasted my life, and I’m half way through it, I don’t know what my life is all about.”, this is what goes in the mind of people unhappy with life, Adam Leipzig discovers and those who are happy know who they were, what they did, who they did it for, what those people wanted or needed, and what they got out of it, how they changed as a result. Simple isn’t it!

By Adam Leipzig

The first 20 hours to learn anything

We, the programmers of the world, constantly feel the urge to learn something new. Well, there’s 10,000 hours rule, but I don’t have that much time for a single topic. “If you put 20 hours of focused deliberate practice into that thing, you will be astounded.” Josh Kaufman says, “Learn just enough, that’s it! It’s not rocket science.”

By Josh Kaufman

The most important lesson from 83,000 brain scans

Brain scan of a normal person and that with a disorder is totally different. Diseases like Alzhemiers can be detected as early as in twenties just through a brain scan. Did you know that psychiatrists are the only medical specialists that virtually never look at the organ they treat? Daniel Amen, despite criticism continued his work and “After 22 years and 83,000 scans, the single most important lesson my colleagues and I have learned is that you can literally change people’s brains. And when you do, you change their life”, he maintains. You are not stuck with the brain you have, you can make it better, and how do you know, unless you watch?

By Daniel Amen

Draw your future

When you draw something, you let your imagination take control, and what a quote he cites:

“A solitary fantasy can transform a million realities.” Maya Angelou

When we start writing software programs, we have nothing but a vision. So how do we see our vision? Through a picture - a blueprint, a wireframe a diagram… and gradually we make the working model of our vision - the actual program. Patti Dobrowolski dares we can do the same thing with our future by drawing what we want to be! We can take it as an action point, if we want to draw how we want our life to be.

By Patti Dobrowolski

Why I read a book a day

“If you want to learn how to grow a $1 million company, you have to find somebody who has a $10 million company.”, says Tai Lopez.
He reminds us that everyone wants the good life, but not everyone gets the good life because not everyone is willing to do what it takes - find a mentor, persevere, read books, be stoic, toughen up!

By Tai Lopez

My year reading a book from each country in the world

Though, the translated books never feel the same as the original one in its original language, writers do play important role in bringing the countries together. “When I looked back at much of the English-language literature I’d grown up with, for example, I began to see how narrow a lot of it was, compared to the richness that the world has to offer.” says Ann Morgan.

By Ann Morgan

Brain Magic

His profile at TED compelled me to watch some of his videos, it reads: “Think of Keith Barry as a hacker of the human brain – writing routines that exploit its bugs and loopholes, and offering a revealing look at the software between our ears.” and I wasn’t disappointed.

By Keith Barry

The future we’re building — and boring

Most of the talks at TED are 18 minutes or less. But this one is about 40 minutes, thanks to the breadth of Elon Musk’s vision. I wished it was one hour longer. He discusses his boring company (underground infrastructure concepts), the latest from Tesla and SpaceX and his motivation for building a future on Mars.

By Elon Musk