With the plethora of TED Talks available on almost every subject online today, there is no excuse for not giving them a chance. Talks filled with motivational and educational messages may not seem like the most exciting way to spend ten minutes at first, but you almost always come away from TED Talks feeling refreshed and feeling a little smarter. There are certainly worse ways you could be spending your time on the Internet.
1. Inside the mind of a master procrastinator
This is probably my favorite TED Talk of all time. As a college student, procrastination is something I am all too familiar with. Tim Urban is able to perfectly sum up procrastination using relatable humor. This talk may not help you become motivated to kick your procrastination habits to the curb, but it will make you feel a whole lot better about future decisions to procrastinate.
2. How to order pizza like a lawyer
Legal thinking can help you do more than follow the rules when ordering pizza. Steve Reed proves that legal thinking can help improve your life. The talk covers three simple tasks — guide yourself through the rules, notice how we layer on the rules and build contracts, and change jurisdictions when necessary — that once applied in everyday life, will help you to understand the world from the point of view of a lawyer and better understand the social rules we are expected to follow when doing something as simple as ordering a pizza.
3. The skill of humor
This talk is really funny, which is fitting considering the topic. It shows you the practical ways humor can be used to improve understanding and make your point. Mixed with some pretty funny Grandma humor, this talk is everything you didn't know you needed.
4. The danger of a single story
If you have only ever watched one TED Talk in your life, it was probably "The danger of a single story." Many teachers include it in their curriculum, and rightfully so. Though you might argue that this one is overplayed, I truly believe that it is an important TED Talk that everyone should watch. Covering the importance of cultural awareness, Chimamanda Adichie tells us why it is important to have diversity in the stories we tell about cultures.
5. How do you know you exist
Wondering if you really do exist is not something you alone have felt. In fact, it is a question that inspired René Descartes' studies. This TEDEd argues that if you are able to wonder if you really exist, you do in fact exist. An interesting argument, making this TED Talk a must watch. It's also pretty short unlike a lot of TED Talks, so it's perfect for when you don't have a lot of spare time, but still want to watch something a little more educational than the newest trending cat video on YouTube.
6. Why the secret to success is setting the right goals
If you are someone who struggles to find motivation, this is the TED Talk for you. Perfect for the back-to-school season, this TED Talk touches on OKR's (Objective and Key Results) and why they are important in finding the motivation to achieve your goals. The next time you are struggling to find the meaning behind what you are trying to achieve, take a few minutes and watch this TED Talk.
7. Stop waiting for life to happen
This TED Talk covers a plethora of different topics focused on getting the viewer to realize all of the distractions that life offers. One of the talk's important messages focuses on the loneliness and inability to take action that occurs due to the data overload we now have with the access to the Internet and media. Peter Sage helps to motivate his listeners to put their own actions into perspective when it comes to finding motivation.
TED Talks may seem boring or maybe even intimidating at first, but the talks above prove that there are important messages within these videos that deserve to be heard.