Are you in the mood to get inspired, motivated, or hear new ideas? Look no further. TED talks feature "ideas worth spreading" from people with unique perspectives and important things to share. There are thousands of TED talks available online that will open your mind. I've found that watching successful ideas and projects from the people that created them provides me with a new perspective and inspires creativity in my own projects. Here are 10 TED talks that I have found to be enlightening and entertaining.
1. Sally Kohn: Let’s Try Emotional Correctness
As a progressive, lesbian commentator on Fox News, Sally Kohn knows what it is like to constantly be on the receiving end of hatred. Despite the awful hate mail she receives, she seeks to find common ground among political opponents by finding the humanity in everyone regardless of their stances on fundamental issues. She has an idealistic view of creating a more united, open-minded nation and argues that true political persuasion begins with being emotionally correct. According to Kohn, "You can't get anyone to agree with you if they don't even listen to you first."
2. Paula Stone Williams: I've Lived As A Man & A Woman-- Here's What I Learned
As a transgender woman, Paula Stone Williams has had the rare perspective of experiencing life as both a man and a woman. She speaks about the differences she's noticed in her funny, insightful talk. From little things like women's pockets being ridiculously small to bigger things like not being respected and taken seriously in life, Williams sheds how the sexism she experiences as a woman gives her a different outlook on her previous identity and the privileges attached to it.
3. Esther Perel: Rethinking Infidelity... A Talk For Anyone Who Has Ever Loved
Infidelity is often seen as the ultimate betrayal in a relationship. Relationship therapist Esther Perel refers to affairs in the digital age as "death by a thousand cuts." Perel examines the motives for cheating, analyzes why affairs are so destructive to a relationship, and speaks about whether or not it is possible for a couple to recover from such a traumatic experience.
4. Nick Thornton: Your Boyfriend Wants To Be Pretty
In this talk, Nick Thornton focuses on society's obsession with gender and the need to apply gender roles to every aspect of life. He brought up Bic's "pens just for women" and mentioned how they drew a lot of backlash from society. Then, he made an interesting point: "What's the difference between pens for girls and clothing for girls? Why is one totally okay (it seems normal to us) and the other one totally ridiculous?" Thornton uses a humorous tone to attack serious issues about gender roles in society and how damaging they are to men and women alike.
5. Pamela Meyer: How To Spot A Liar
Pamela begins her talk by mentioning how prevalent lies are in society. On a given day, you can be lied to anywhere from 10 to 200 times. Even though most of those lies are probably white lies, they are still lies nonetheless. She then goes on to say that if we don't want to be deceived, we need to learn to pick up on basic social cues that signify lying.
6. Justin Baldoni: Why I'm Done Trying To Be "Man Enough"
Justin Baldoni uses this talk challenge what it means to be a man and speak about the dangers of hypermasculinity. In an extremely personal talk, he shares his emotional struggle between being himself and struggling to fit into the confinements society has made. He challenges the men in the crowd, saying, "See if you can use the same qualities that you feel make you a man to go deeper. Your strength. Your bravery. Your toughness. Are you brave enough to be vulnerable? Are you strong enough to be sensitive? Are you confident enough to listen to the women in your life?"
7. Michael Specter: The Danger of Science Denial
Michael Specter talks about the problem of denying facts in the realm of science, warning that "When you start down the road where belief and magic replace evidence and science, you end up in a place you don't want to be." He speaks about the dangers of denying vaccinations. He says that people are entitled to our own opinions, but they are not entitled to their own facts.
8. Melinda Gates: Let's Put Birth Control Back On The Agenda
The topic of contraception is so widely accepted in private, but controversial in public. Melinda Gates argues that men and women should able to decide whether or not they want to procreate. Gates is a firm believer that the world's social issues depend on allowing women to control whether or not they want to have kids.
9. Sir Ken Robinson: Do Schools Kill Creativity?
In this talk, Sir Ken Robinson speaks about how our system of education educates children out of creativity. He speaks about the innate creativity of children and how we should work toward building upon that and not confining children into boxes of how we believe they should think.
10.The Price Of Shame: Monica Lewinsky
Monica Lewinsky expresses the shame faced after her affair with former U.S. president Bill Clinton. As the story became popular in the media, Lewinsky lost her reputation and dignity, leading her to become suicidal. Lewinsky analyzes how technologically enhanced shaming makes public humiliation even more damaging since it can be accessed constantly. Since her mistake was in the public eye, she faced a lot of judgement and hatred. She speaks out for other other people who have had their privacy invaded and sold for the profit of others, leading to humiliation and even suicide.