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15 TED talks that get you stoked about life

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Inspiring greatness

6. Elizabeth Gilbert: Your elusive creative genius

Author Elizabeth Gilbert turned her dream of traveling through Italy, India and Indonesia into the best-selling memoir Eat, Pray, Love. As a writer, she is no stranger to the creative process involved in developing an artistic idea. Gilbert shares an interesting concept that can help artists avoid the anguish and suffering that can come with creativity. She shares that rather than folding into the pressure of “being” a creative genius, we should recognize that all of us “have” a creative genius that shows up to inspire. It’s a life-changing perspective on how to view the source of your creativity (and totally takes the pressure off the creative process).

7. Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action

Using a model he calls the “golden circle” and the simple question “Why?,” Simon Sinek explores elements of successful companies and leaders using examples of Apple, the Wright Brothers and Martin Luther King Jr. “People don’t buy what you do; people buy why you do it,” he says. Communicating the “why” helps people get invested and inspired to take action. “If you hire people just because they can do a job, they’ll work for your money. But if you hire people who believe what you believe, they’ll work for you with blood and sweat and tears.”

8. Susan Cain: The power of introverts

According to Susan Cain, author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, approximately one-third to one-half of the population are introverts. She challenges the audience to rethink extrovert “group think” ways of organizing schools and businesses so that we can stop wasting the talents and abilities of introverts. If you’re shy and would rather be reading a book instead of working in a group, this is the talk for you.

9. Shawn Achor: The happy secret to better work

In this fast-paced and hilarious talk, Shaw Achor, CEO of Good Think Inc., a consulting firm on positive psychology, delivers a dynamic presentation on how happiness can inspire productivity. “[It’s] the lens through which your brain views the world that shapes your reality. And if we can change the lens, not only can we change your happiness, we can change every single educational and business outcome at the same time.” 

10. Arianna Huffington: How to succeed? Get more sleep

You’d expect a busy woman like Arianna Huffington to boast about being able to pack a busy schedule with minimal amounts of shut-eye, but instead she advocates the power of sleep to help fuel productivity and smarter business decisions. Watch this short TED Talk and give yourself permission to hit the snooze button and sleep in.

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