Training & Development Manager,

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What do your favourite TED talks tell you about yourself?

Having recently reviewed my list of favourite TED talks I began wondering WHY they were my favourites - and whether that said anything about ME. For sure, they are all talks from outstanding individuals, but there was more to it than that. It led me to thinking whether there was any correlation between how I see myself, and the talks that I found most enjoyable - and whether there was anything to learn from this.

My first observation was that each of my favourite speakers were principally communicating from their heart and not their head – indicated by the level of conviction with which they shared their story.

My second observation was that I perceived each talk to be profound in some way. They dealt with things that I felt I had failed at, or failed to sufficiently appreciate / act upon.

Those observations, however, are simply data points. They are an indication for action and which are of little value unless acted upon.

So, for me, what they have taught me about myself is that I value conviction and that I have no excuse in failing to move to action. It’s time to make a difference…..

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    Apr 25 2011: I think this sentiment might be shared by many TED fans.. I think my favourite TED talks tell me that i am an idealist :)
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    Apr 24 2011: My favourite TED's

    http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/jill_bolte_taylor_s_powerful_stroke_of_insight.html My first TED Talk. I was hooked!
    http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/ken_robinson_says_schools_kill_creativity.html Changed my views on the need for great education.
    http://www.ted.com/talks/sir_ken_robinson_bring_on_the_revolution.html
    http://www.ted.com/talks/ken_robinson_changing_education_paradigms.html

    All of Sir Kens talks inspire me to wanting the best for our children's future and the idea that there is greatness in all of us.
    http://www.ted.com/talks/mick_ebeling_the_invention_that_unlocked_a_locked_in_artist.html What can be achieved with some talent and will.
    http://www.ted.com/talks/ric_elias.html Life is just too damn short to worry about the little things.

    In short my TED Talk favourites give the impression that I believe we all have genius and that I want to be part of the solution and not the problem. Life is a fleeting glimpse and if I am to make a difference it had better be starting now. My love of life and people is insatiable.
    • Apr 24 2011: Wow, Lee, you have real energy indeed - it shines through your comments. I can see what you mean and fully agree. The challenge is, I believe, finding ways for everyones unique potent to be realised. As Sir Ken commented, so many people spend time in jobs that do not inspire them. What a missed opportunity. It sounds as though you, at least, are revelling in your chosen field.
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    Apr 24 2011: My favourite TED talks indicate that I think that understanding economics, justice and people is the way forward in a complex world. Bjorn Lomberg's talk reports the priorities that economists set for practically solving the world's major problems in an order that is doable. I think setting real priorities is THE missing component in government and world organized efforts today. The biggest interfering factor in accomplishing our goals is corruption as demonstrated by Peter Eigen's talk. The greatest asset we have toward solving all the issues is our brain or our ability to cooperate as demonstrated by Dan Ariely, Robert Sapolsky and Michael Sandel. Empathy will lead the way as demonstrated by Sam Richards. Finally we always need to be open to flaws in our logic and perception so that we can course correct as demonstrated by Kathryn Schultz talk: On being wrong.
    So what does this say about me? I think it indicates that I am consistent in my path. I am buiding on what I have always thought was fascinating and that is people because I earned an MA in Social personality Psychology. Understanding how people think is facinating. My MBA helped me to understand a lot more about the major effects of economics and how capitalism is the best system to date to elevate people. It also indicates that I really resent the people who thwart the good things that are being done to augment their own selfish gain and that is also consistent with my values. I like practical solutions chosen for good reasons and plugged in with commitment. Given the above, I am planning to take all that learning and commitment and seek out a huge adventure where I can test all my convictions. I am planning to teach in Chinafor at least a year to understand the world and the economy from a whole new world view.
    • Apr 24 2011: Thank you for sharing this Debra, even after just a few responses it seems as though there is a strong correlation between the values an individual holds and the talks they rate as favourites. Maybe it is that they resonate so well with the way we either see ourselves or the way we would like to be, that they appeal so much.

      I think it is great that you are about to embark on such a super adventure in yoru life. i wish you all the very best and think that your future students are very lucky people.
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      Apr 25 2011: another great quote from Ted " I like practical solutions chosen for good reasons and plugged in with commitment" good one. I'm gonna start saving these somewhere.

      Hope you are taking your lap top to China so you can still be here with us as well.
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    May 6 2011: They tell me that I still have a lot to learn.
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    Apr 27 2011: Most TED Talk video that I have seen has been about innovations and architecture.
    I am finding hidden admiration's for measurements and detail.
    "My green school dream." has been my absolute favorite TED Talk. This gentlemen who created and changed the view of school to the children of Bali, has changed my life. Although I do not have the luxury of leaving home, yet, I try my best to impact my surroundings with my "green" thoughts.
    "Adam Savage's Obsessions" is an incredible TED Talk to watch it you're a perfectionist. I am a perfectionist! I really wasn't unaware until I watched his video. After watching both TED Talks, I am committed and obsessed to contributing something life changing in the years to come.
  • Apr 26 2011: After hearing it from Casey , goose bumps were all i could feel.
    Not because i was blind or anything, but because its not only the sight one has to prove that one is not blind. Even if we are gifted with eyes we can be blind.
    This talk, made me feel today , should i not walk and extra mile, should i not be lottle selfish and learn to do things for myself.
    But then only thing missing i feel is , the support to tell me to go ahead and do it - the way she had her dad.
    Amazing talk - am flabbergasted .
    • Apr 27 2011: Vini - thanks for sharing. Actually, you touch on an important question, in my opinion, which I have raised on this site as a question "How do we overcome the tendency to slip back into the old routine of life - and truly capture and ACT on the lessons in talks like this?"

      There have been some very good replies with tipe, which you might find valuable to look at.

      Mick
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    Apr 26 2011: For me three presentations come to mind - (1) Hans Rosling on use of data for explaining the real world problems (2) Ken Robinson on how schools kill creativity, which is probably the most watched TED talk, and we show to all our house visitors (3) by David Pogue on how simplicity sells products. The message in all of them is clear - we don't need to complicate the problems in order to better them and most often, the best solution is the simplicity.
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    Apr 26 2011: I like TED TLAKS .my teacher told me is address. I think love at the first sight.It's useful to learn ENGLISH.
  • Apr 26 2011: I think just from my personal experience, that my favorite TED talks are the ones that when I watch them they empower me to be better. They all deal with psychology, human nature, and the improvement of our current selves. I absolutely love the idea that we are never at our full potential, that we can always do and be more. Also, I really need motivation to just better myself in certain times of my life and Ted gives me the empowerment through these talks to change the way I think, and perceive the world around me. What Ted does is pure goodness and beauty.
    my favorites are:
    http://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_on_vulnerability.html (this one is so powerful, i wanted it to change me. Please watch it, its absolutely beautiful)
    http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_gilbert_asks_why_are_we_happy.html
    • Apr 26 2011: Thanks Katie – I agree that these are very good talks indeed.

      With regard to the central point of the question, would you say that your favourite talks have shown you that you NEED this motivation?

      Mick
  • Apr 25 2011: It speaks volumes. Our favorite TED talks are reflections of our interests and what we are most passionate about in life. Two of my favorite talks are: Marc Bezos's "A life lesson from a volunteer firefighter" and Ric Elias's "3 Things I learned while my plane crashed," I believe these reflect my recent yearning to find more meaning in my life.
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    Apr 25 2011: what we are seekimg is seeking us?
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    Apr 24 2011: That I want the world to unite through understanding of technology and educational values so we may reach the next plateau of human existence outside of this one planet.