9 TED Talks With Incredible Life Lessons

9 TED Talks With Incredible Life Lessons

Dying, although not something we like to think of, is the largest vault of life education.

I love TED talks. They have TED talks to make you laugh, cry, or angry, all while educating you. I these hold the most important lessons because of their relative nature to the most important aspects of life.

1. "This is what happens when you reply to spam email" | James Veitch

In the midst of all of the educational and inspirational TED Talks, I found this gem. James Veitch has done multiple TED Talks and they all center around him instigating in some mischievous activity to mess with people. This video, in particular, involves James responding to a spam email inquiring about a “business proposal.” The video involves James playing this person about going into the gold business. The video makes me want to reply to all the spam emails in my inbox.

2. "If I should have a daughter ..." | Sarah Kay

This TED Talk was the one that pulled me in first. I had found it in Shailee Modi’s article “5 Times Poetry Blew Me Away,” and she was right, I couldn’t stop watching. Sarah spoke of why she writes and what she writes. The poems she speaks sandwich together her talk. She kept me on the edge of my seat and I wanted to hear every last word she would spout.

3. "I don't want children -- stop telling me I'll change my mind" | Christen Reighter

As a young woman, I can relate to everyone since I was a child talking to me as if having a family is the “end game” game for me. Christen Reighter decided that not only was motherhood, not her “end game,” but she wanted to not chance it by undergoing sterilization. In her TED Talk, talks about all the obstacles and patronizing looks and speeches she had while going through the preceding steps of this medical procedure. She makes it clear that bearing children is a bonus of feminism not the foundation of it.

4. "Plus-size? More Like My Size" | Ashley Graham | TEDxBerkleeValencia

I’m not sure where or when I first started seeing and hearing of Ashley Graham, but it seems as if one moment she was nowhere and the next she was everywhere and for good reason. Ashley speaks of her experience as a model, how when telling others of her profession she was made to feel as though she had to clarify that she was a “plus-size” model. I enjoyed this talk so much because she pushes on my favorite belief that beauty is not defined by size.

5. "Paper towns and why learning is awesome" | John Green

I’ve been watching John Green’s YouTube channel and reading his books for years. I love listening to him speak because he talks about an agenda with the goal of wanting to teach and make others learn. In his talk, he speaks of his

6. "What does it mean to be beautiful?" | Esther Honig | TEDxVancouver

This journalist speaks about her DIY social project gone viral. She speaks of how her experiment to be not hers anymore, but an expansion gifted to the social domain and whoever feels like their point of view is worth exploring. This will make you think about what beauty is and how the perspective changes from every culture to geographical location.

7. "Inside the mind of a master procrastinator" | Tim Urban

I admit I am guilty of procrastinating when possible and even when impossible. So, I can say (or type) that this is very relatable for all of us that are procrastinators and very informative for those who identify as “non-procrastinators.”

8."The lies we tell pregnant women" | Sofia Jawed-Wessel

Again, with the not trusting women with their own bodies. In her Talk, Sofia informs us of myths that pregnant women are told to “protect” them. She made me think of the way I socially view those who are expecting and how I should stop viewing them.

9."Lessons from the Dying" | Marie-Jo Cleghorn | TEDxQueensU

I think dying, although not something we like to think of, is the largest vault of education in life. Marie-Jo relays to us the lessons that she learned from those who were dying and added to her life. The biggest lesson I learned is that you should never settle for who you are and always move to be a better person.

TED talks can teach you lessons that you could never fathom possible, but isn’t that the glory of a good lesson?

Cover Image Credit: Instagram

Popular Right Now

Austin Alexander Burridge, Volunteer Advocate, Shares 3 Great Reasons to Volunteer and Help Others

Austin Alexander Burridge is an avid academic who studies Environmental Science at Winona State University and believes that work in the service of others is a key pillar to personal development.


Sometimes it's easy for someone to adopt a "me, me, me" attitude. While focusing on oneself, a person may feel nice in the moment, but serving and helping others will bring lasting benefits. While there are many great reasons to serve and help others, there are three universal truths that resonate with volunteers around the globe.

Austin Alexander Burridge's 3 Reasons to Volunteer:

1. Accomplishment

Often, people fall into a trap of focusing on themselves when they are feeling down. Maybe someone did not get a job they wanted. Or perhaps a person gets dumped by an expected lifelong companion. Maybe someone feels they have underachieved after looking at Facebook and seeing great things a high school classmate has accomplished. When feeling down, helping others is a proven way to improve one's mood and attitude, and it can provide a sense of pride and accomplishment. The act of giving to those in need is an inherently good action and leaves people with a wonderful feeling of joy.

2. Gratitude

One can become more appreciative of life by serving others that have less. Whether volunteering at a soup kitchen, visiting the elderly at an assisted living center, or helping families after a natural disaster, service enables people to be grateful for what they have. Seeing people who have fewer advantages, especially those who are spirited and thankful for small things, allows one to realize just how fortunate he/she is in life.

3. Friendships

Volunteering is a great way to build meaningful friendships, not only with other volunteers but also with those who are served. One of the most profound and fascinating aspects of these relationships is how volunteers will learn from those served and vice versa. As these special bonds are built, they lead to impactful connections that last for years to come.

Of course, these are just a few reasons to volunteer and serve others. One can never go wrong by helping others as opposed to merely focusing on oneself. Volunteering invariably and inevitably contributes to personal growth, development, and satisfaction.

About Austin Alexander Burridge: Helping others has been of paramount importance to Austin, and as a part of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), Austin gave back to the community around him. He also has participated in annual peanut butter drives, The Minnesota Sandwich Project for the Homeless and collected canned goods for local food shelters. Additionally, Austin has a passion for the environment, which he pursued when visiting the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, and the Amazon Rain Forest while studying at the School of Environment Studies, which investigates ecological systems and their sustainability

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Supporting Late-Term Abortion Is Actually The Opposite Of Feminism

Feminism is about gender equality and women supporting women- so shouldn't we support the unborn women of tomorrow?


Before you read this, if you are someone who feels strongly that abortions are the "right" choice and that supporting late-term abortions is a step for woman anywhere, I do not suggest you read this article. However, I do want to write that I support conditional abortions- situations where the birth can kill the mother or where conception occurred because of rape. If someone rapes you, that is not okay by any means, and a baby conceived of rape can be terminated by the mother to avoid PTSD, anxiety, depression, panic attacks, and any other mental health diagnoses. Of course, if a woman can bring a baby into the world to keep or give up for adoption, even if it was the product of rape, she should seek life for the innocent child rather than death. And what a rape victim chooses to do is neither here nor there- and it damn well is not anyone else's business.

So why should it be my business (or anyone's) if women have late-term abortions? Agreeing to murder out of convenience should not be societally accepted as okay. When the law passed in New York for late-term abortions, I did not picture 39-week pregnant women rushing to Planned Parenthood to abort their child because they got cold feet. I highly doubt that is the exact scenario for which the law went into effect for, and that was more so intended for women who did not realize they were pregnant and missed the time period to get a legal abortion.

Not that I support early-term abortion, because all abortion is the same regardless of when it happens during the pregnancy. Killing someone sooner rather than later does not make it less worse.

Excuses about how women are not ready to be mothers, do not have the financial means, would ruin their futures, they would get kicked out, lose their bodies, etc. are just that- excuses. Carrying a child for nine months might be an inconvenience, but killing someone will be on your conscience forever. If murders pleaded their motives to police as a way to justify what they did (excluding self-defense), what difference is it if a woman kills her unborn child?

Planned Parenthood might be taboo and have a stigma attached to it, but it does so much more than kill babies. Planned Parenthood is a place where girls can go to see OB/GYNO, get birth control, and learn about safe sex, protection, STDs, etc. Instead of stigmatizing it, young women should be encouraged to go to this institution for woman and feminism. Let high school health classes plan field trips there so that everyone becomes more educated on female health (boys included!). Female health education is very limited, especially in school, and many women feel that an abortion is their only way out, however, it's not. By becoming more educated, the rate of teen pregnancies can go down, as well as the need for abortions. Women educating other women should be the goal of Planned Parenthood, and abortions should be reserved for those who got raped or whose pregnancy cause death, health complications, etc.

Abortion might be giving women a choice- but who is giving the unborn babies a choice?

And of course the only way to 100% prevent pregnancy is abstinence, and if that is your choice then good for you, and if you choose to have sexual intercourse, good for you too. Be safe. No slut shaming here. Women need to continue supporting other women, regardless of their sex life. Women who have abortions are not "whores" and should not be labeled as such- they are just people whose biology reacted to another person's biology.

If you truly do not want to have a baby, please please please give it up for adoption and do not kill it. It did nothing wrong, and yeah, it might be a little inconvenient to be pregnant, especially if you are in school, but there are hundreds of thousands of people that would love nothing more than to raise your baby. Be a woman supporting other woman and give the gift of motherhood.

If you take away anything from this article it's this:


Related Content

Facebook Comments