Experiences · Monologue

Ted Talks

I’ve lately been on a kick of wanting to be smarter and trying to do things that will lead to a growth in my level of intelligence. I’m trying to find educational (and interesting) podcasts to listen to; I’m reading more nonfiction than fiction right now; I watched a couple of documentaries over the weekend instead of binging on Gilmore Girls, and I’ve started making Ted Talks part of my daily routine.

I watched a lot of Ted Talks during my time in school for a variety of courses: psychology, business, speech, etc. I always thought they were interesting and fun to watch, but I never considered watching them on my own free will.

Then I was trying to find something for my student (I tutor a few kids) to watch and write a paragraph on, and I found a Ted Talk on introverted people. I was reminded how much I like Ted and started an account that day. Now I try to watch a video a day, but realistically, I watch about three per week.

I’ve only watched a few so far, but they were all really powerful speeches. Susan Cain talked about the power of introverts, which I enjoyed and appreciated, especially after reading her book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking.

Today, I watched one on gratitude. AJ Jacobs gave a speech about his book Thanks a Thousand. This one was fun because the focus is on giving thanks and coffee: two of my favorite things. Jacobs went around the world to thank every single person responsible for making his morning cup of coffee, and he shares this humbling and insightful experience.

As an English major, I’m often flummoxed and irritated by the words that are added to dictionaries each year; it’s hard for me to accept the changing language. Anne Curzan talks about this exact thing in her speech “What makes a word ‘real?‘” It was uplifting and helped me see that the changing and growing of English isn’t a bad thing, it’s just what happens when the world is changing and growing.

I watched a speech on a Robert Waldinger who participated in a study that’s been studying the same group of people for the past 60+ years. How cool is that? The same group of people have been studied for basically their entire lifetime! The goal of the study was to track and understand what makes people happy and what can lead to a good life.

The last one I watched was about being vulnerable. Brene Brown gave this excellent speech on opening ourselves up to the world around us, meeting vulnerability head on, and taking that extra step that makes us nervous.

I’ll hopefully be watching more soon, but I won’t write about every one I watch. I just want to encourage people to use the free source that is ted.com. There’s so much out there to learn, and there are some incredible people to learn from. Go ahead and jump in. It’s fun and makes me feel smarter!


Image taken from You Tube.

3 thoughts on “Ted Talks

  1. Definitely a TED talk fan here too. My favourite might be either Brene Brown’s talk on vulnerability, Tony Robbins’ talk, ‘why we do what we do’, or Sting’s TED talk, which I thought was incredibly cool and unique, and yet insightful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Brene Brown’s is a fantastic speaker and writer! I’m digging into her stuff now. I’ll have to add those two to my to-watch list! Thanks for reading and for the recommendations!


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