Top 10 Ted Talks That Have Made The Most Impact On Me

Criteria for the Ted Talk Selection

I love learning and implementing what I learn in real life. The Ted Talks listed below resonated with me and helped me make practical changes in my life. My criteria for selecting these ted talks was based on what actually made a difference in my life. These are the talks that pushed me to show up as the best version of me, overcome procrastination, create habits, define fears and understand that 24 y/o are lost.

What I learned from 100 days of Rejection

Most of us are beyond terrified of rejection or like me, aren’t even aware you are scared of it. This fear paralyzes us from living our best life. So Jia Jiang decided not to let the fear supersede him, to step up and make necessary changes in his life. He made a list of obscure things that he knew he would get rejected. (Borrowing $100 dollars from a stranger to having an Olympic symbol of doughnuts). Through the 100 days of rejection, he wanted to learn how to manage rejection & ways to overcome the fear attached to it.

Let me get into one of the many examples that resonated with me, “planting a flower in someone’s garden. .” Jia Jiang knew he would get rejected, and instead of running away, he decided to ask why.

And he learnt that” the guy had a dog who had a naughty habit of digging up everything up. But he knows someone that would love to the plant.” And like this, he realized that when we are scared we are only thinking about ourselves, not about the other person. So it’s really important to understand that not everything is personal. Each time he got rejected he got into the habit of asking why. A definite must-watch with the added bonus of him being hilarious.

How to Achieve Your Most Ambitious Goals | Stephen Duneier |

Similar Read: This Ted Talk Set Me in Motion

The whole Ted Talk revolves around this guy who was slower than everyone else yet never gave me. He said if he could work for 5 minutes with a minute break, it’s better than nothing and it’s true. Because in the end, everything adds up.

This reminds me of a quote by James Clear

The difference between motion and action.

Motion: -talk to a personal trainer -research your book idea -explore different types of meditation

Action: -do 10 squats -write 1 sentence -meditate for 1 minute

Motion feels like progress. Action is progress.

James Clear

Often times we forget it’s the small steps in the right direction that help us achieve the big picture. In 2018, I knew I wanted big things for myself, I had people around me getting certified as a personal trainer, working out, having a part-time job. I wondered, “How are they able to do this?” Then I came across this Ted Talk on how to achieve your biggest dream.

Back in 2017, I came across a photographer that wanted to improve his skills so he began the 365-day photography challenge. He spoke about how consistency is everything when it comes to achieving your goals. Read more

How To Raise A Black Son in America by Clint Smith

Clint Smith, a Harvard University Doctorate, a poet and a writer. This under 5 minute Ted Talk had such a long-lasting impact on me so much so that these lines still ring in my head, “Black lives matter not because others dont, because they are constantly told they don’t.” He spoke about his childhood not being able to play hide and seek along with his white friends or to wear hoodies after dark just to keep themselves alive. It was definitely eye-opening to learn about things we normally don’t think about.

Why You Should Define Yours Fears Instead of your Goals

I decided to brush up again with this ted talk. And both times I got a different message. First time I had a different takeaway.

We most often are scared that it paralyzes us into inaction. Instead of letting that happen, we must remember that the human brain has a tendency to think of the worst-case scenario. Equipped with this knowledge we must take advantage and prepare. Tim Ferris has come up with a system of defining fears which helps him rationalise his thoughts. It has helped him to live his life to the fullest. He came up with defining our fears. For example for the longest of times, I feared falling down the staircase. Because I have and I twisted my ankle, tore a ligament and was basically bedridden for more than a month. So to prevent this from happening I started walking slower on the staircase and paying more attention. Repair would be, if something goes wrong I can crawl my way back or down. That’s my escape plan. He says when we define our fears, it helps us think more rationally. He believes in stoic philosophy, “Easy choices, hard life, hard choices easy life.”

This Ted Talk reminded me of a quote by Dr Henry Link psychologist turned writer, “We generate fears while we sit. We overcome them by action.”

I heard this back in 2019 and the words still resonate in my head, “We aren’t me- me everyone thinks we are. We are a generation trying to find meaningful work.” It’s true most of our parents felt we are privileged to have so many opportunities at the touch of our fingertips. Yet we face FOMO, ‘Fear Of Missing Out’ on social media, doing things just to climb the career ladder. This ted talk is really inspirational and gives you realistic pointers

  1. Find Believers
  2. Find Meaning Work
  3. Make the Ask
  4. Start Hustling

Finding believers makes you accountable. Most people might unconsciously discourage you with remarks such as, “Yeah man everyone wants to quit their jobs,” Believers hold you accountable asking you, “When” will you quit your job? Its’s a huge mindset shift. It’s a beautiful ted talk I hope you find time to watch it.

Similar Read: My Top 10 Ted Talks Under 5 minutes

Do Schools Kill Creativity?

I watched this Ted Talk for two reasons

a)This is the world’s most-watched Ted Talk

b) I was working in the education sector for remote government schools in the Himalayas.

I wanted to know what an eminent educationalist & writer from the UK has to say about it, and how we could make a difference. Sir Kent makes amazing arguments about the education system claiming it does kill creativity.

“We don’t grow into creativity, we grow out of it. Or rather we get educated out of it”.

The whole talk covers the very definition of creativity, the importance of it, how it can be taught in schools. This is what I’d like to call food for thought. It gives your mind something to think about.

How To Use One Paper Towel -Joe Smith

I love it when Ted Talks give you ‘literal practical advice’. The guy talks about 12 different types of paper towels found in a bathroom. It was the most interactive Ted Talk I have watched, and I just absolutely loved it. He says that none of us knows how to use a single paper towel. We most often take 3-4 extra sheets out, So he divides the audience into two groups one yelling ‘Shake’ and the other yelling ‘Fold’. I honestly couldn’t stop smiling throughout. He begins with washing your hands, shaking them around and then taking a paper towel and keep folding till your hands are dry. I knew it was useful when I caught myself smiling in a public loo at the paper towels.

This woman was just brilliant. I mean I heard this just a couple of days ago and the words still ring in my ears. She talks about the power of letting go which come across as obvious and simple at first. Jill opened up about her abusive relationship, till one day she decided she could take no more. The 5 things she says to let go off are

Let’s go of taking things personally – Not everything revolves around us. Sometimes people are having a bad day and they snap, but we got to remember who we are at the end of the day and to breathe

Let go of what other people think – We are so caught up with what other people think even if it is in the subconscious level that we forget who we are deep down. I read a quote from James Clear, writer of the ‘Atomic Habits’ about practice.

Greatness is consistency. Meditating once is common. Meditating daily is rare. Exercising today is simple. Training every week is simply remarkable. Writing one essay doesn’t mean much. Writing every day practically makes you a hero. Unheroic days can make for heroic decades.

Let go of trying to be something you are not – perfectionism, it hampers our progress and keeps us from taking charge of our lives. Trying to fit in.

Let go of needing to be perfect – I find this the biggest barrier in starting out. Our fear of perfection paralyzes us that we don’t even begin the work. A real must watch to know more about the ted talk.

Let go of ‘NOT YET’ – I have noticed this with myself after watching the Ted talk. I think that’s the beauty of a ted talk it makes you aware of your thoughts and gives you mental tools to face the challenges that come your way.

The Art of Asking

It was a really heartwarming Ted Talk by Amanda Palmer. She has had multiple unconventional jobs from being an 8ft statue to writing songs for a band she was part of. She used the internet for crowdfunding. She gathered 1.2 million dollars from over 25,000 people worldwide. News covered it as how did you get people to pay you? She replied, “how about we refine the question and ask, how did I let them pay me? I simply asked.”

Amanda’s story was heartwarming, she needed to support herself, so she started off standing in the middle of the footpath holding a flower, and whenever a person drops money, she swoops in and hands them a flower. She says she makes intense eye contact to let them know she sees them and she’s thankful. However, the stare she gets from them, is they don’t see them. She has come across numerous incidents where people yelled from cars, “Get a job,” to which she replied, “This is my job.” But it hurt her. She says it’s most important to ask for help when needed.

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