playlist

What is success?

Success can mean: feeling that tingle of excitement about what you do, sticking with what matters through hard times, living a life you can feel proud of in retrospect. These talks say it all.

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  1. 11:41
    Sarah Lewis Embrace the near win

    At her first museum job, art historian Sarah Lewis noticed something important about an artist she was studying: Not every artwork was a total masterpiece. She asks us to consider the role of the almost-failure, the near win, in our own lives. In our pursuit of success and mastery, is it actually our near wins that push us forward?

  2. 3:57
    Richard St. John Success is a continuous journey

    In his typically candid style, Richard St. John reminds us that success is not a one-way street, but a constant journey. He uses the story of his business' rise and fall to illustrate a valuable lesson — when we stop trying, we fail.

  3. 16:51
    Alain de Botton A kinder, gentler philosophy of success

    Alain de Botton examines our ideas of success and failure — and questions the assumptions underlying these two judgments. Is success always earned? Is failure? He makes an eloquent, witty case to move beyond snobbery to find true pleasure in our work.

  4. 7:18
    Elizabeth Gilbert Success, failure and the drive to keep creating

    Elizabeth Gilbert was once an "unpublished diner waitress," devastated by rejection letters. And yet, in the wake of the success of 'Eat, Pray, Love,' she found herself identifying strongly with her former self. With beautiful insight, Gilbert reflects on why success can be as disorienting as failure and offers a simple — though hard — way to carry on, regardless of outcomes.

  5. 17:36
    John Wooden The difference between winning and succeeding

    With profound simplicity, Coach John Wooden redefines success and urges us all to pursue the best in ourselves. In this inspiring talk he shares the advice he gave his players at UCLA, quotes poetry and remembers his father's wisdom.

  6. 17:39
    Chip Conley Measuring what makes life worthwhile

    When the dotcom bubble burst, hotelier Chip Conley went in search of a business model based on happiness. In an old friendship with an employee and in the wisdom of a Buddhist king, he learned that success comes from what you count.

  7. 18:24
    Rory Sutherland Perspective is everything

    The circumstances of our lives may matter less than how we see them, says Rory Sutherland. At TEDxAthens, he makes a compelling case for how reframing is the key to happiness.

  8. 3:30
    Richard St. John 8 secrets of success

    Why do people succeed? Is it because they're smart? Or are they just lucky? Neither. Analyst Richard St. John condenses years of interviews into an unmissable 3-minute slideshow on the real secrets of success.

  9. 6:12
    Angela Lee Duckworth Grit: The power of passion and perseverance

    Leaving a high-flying job in consulting, Angela Lee Duckworth took a job teaching math to seventh graders in a New York public school. She quickly realized that IQ wasn't the only thing separating the successful students from those who struggled. Here, she explains her theory of "grit" as a predictor of success.

  10. 5:01
    David Brooks Should you live for your résumé ... or your eulogy?

    Within each of us are two selves, suggests David Brooks in this meditative short talk: the self who craves success, who builds a résumé, and the self who seeks connection, community, love — the values that make for a great eulogy. (Joseph Soloveitchik has called these selves "Adam I" and "Adam II.") Brooks asks: Can we balance these two selves?

  11. 17:11
    Anne-Marie Slaughter Can we all "have it all"?

    Public policy expert Anne-Marie Slaughter made waves with her 2012 article, "Why women still can't have it all." But really, is this only a question for women? Here Slaughter expands her ideas and explains why shifts in work culture, public policy and social mores can lead to more equality — for men, women, all of us.