3 TED Talks to Inspire You In 2016

by Kaitlan Whitteberry on January 15, 2016

We could all use a little inspiration from time to time. What better place to get it than from some of the brightest minds of our generation? Here are three TED Talks that are sure to get you headed in the right direction for 2016. From lessons on happiness, handling stress and getting people’s attention, we’re sure everyone can take something from these brilliant speakers. 

What Makes a Good Life? Lessons From the Longest Study on Happiness | Robert Waldinger

What makes us happy in our work lives and our personal lives? This question has hung over society’s head for centuries, with everyone possibly having their own definition on what makes someone truly “happy” by their experiences or what others have told them. Waldinger and his research team may have finally found the answer. Continuing a 75 year-long study, this determined group has followed the lives of individuals to help define what course of action leads a person to live a happy life.

“The clearest message that we get from this 75-year study is this: Good relationships keep us happier and healthier. Period.”

Everyone can take something from this inspirational talk. Waldinger and his team have learned what makes us most fulfilled. Replacing “screen time with people time” and “leaning on others” instead of ourselves may be the key. Watch this brief talk, and learn how taking a never before seen look into other people’s lives could show us the absolute best way to live our own.

How to Stay Calm When You Know You’ll Be Stressed | Daniel Levitin

Levitin starts off by telling us a story of the time he got locked out of his house the night before an international flight. He was forced to break into his own home to grab his luggage and passport so he could make his plane the next morning. He then tell us the second he arrived at the airport, he forgot the only thing he needed to fly. He had left his passport on the kitchen counter.

“Unfortunately, one of the things that goes out the window during those times of stress is rational, logical thinking…So we need to train ourselves to think ahead to these kinds of situations.”

Sound familiar? It’s scientifically proven that we make irrational decisions when we’re under extreme stress. The brain quite literally shuts down all unnecessary functions to prepare the “fight or flight” response. As a workplace manager, stressful situations are part of your job description. So, is there something we can do about it? As it turns out, yes. Levitin shares how to better prepare your brain to perform better when you need it most. There are simple habits you can add to your daily routine to lessen the probability that you’ll make a big mistake at work. Or leave your passport on the kitchen counter.

How to Speak So That People Want to Listen | Julian Treasure

We’ve all been there. You have a great idea or solution or topic of interest and your supervisor or manager just won’t listen. Or worse they listen, but they don’t really “hear” what you’re saying. It’s frustrating, because you don’t only feel ignored, you feel like your opinion doesn’t matter – and you’re less likely to try and speak up again in the future.

“What would the world be like if we were speaking powerfully to people who were listening consciously in environments which were actually fit for purpose?”

Treasure identifies that there are some people who always seem to be talking, and people seem to be listening to them. But, why? What is different about the way they approach a conversation? It turns out, everything. In this eloquent talk you’ll learn about tone, pitch and timbre. No these aren’t just phrases used in music class. They’ll help you identify how to gain and keep attention so you get your ideas heard at work and in life. By increasing the value of what you have to say and how you say it, you might be amazed at how many more people actually seem to be listening to you.

The New Year is a chance for everyone to try and become a better version of themselves. We can often get caught up in resolutions or jumbled trying to include too many new things into our lives. Instead, take advice from these three TED Talks – and focus on bettering your quality of life and bettering those around you.


Kaitlan Whitteberry

Kaitlan Whitteberry is a Magna Cum Laude graduate from the University of Missouri's journalism program, and currently focuses on iOFFICE press releases, software updates and related news.

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