Playlist (10 talks)
Graduation…now what?

After you swing your mortarboard tassel from right to left, your sense of excitement can give way to a sense of normlessness. For anyone feeling that, these talks offer exquisite insight.

Playlist (10 talks): Graduation…now what?

  • 6:12
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    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.
    “Whatever you choose to do after graduation, there’s one thing that will be far more useful than a high IQ or even a perfect GPA: grit. In this talk, psychologist Angela Lee Duckworth shares her thoughts on this unsung trait, saying, 'Grit is living life like it’s a marathon, not a sprint.'”
  • 12:20
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    We believe that we should work to be happy, but could that be backwards? In this fast-moving and entertaining talk, psychologist Shawn Achor argues that actually happiness inspires productivity. (Filmed at TEDxBloomington.)
    “Our culture generally teaches: the more successful you are, the happier you will be. But that equation might be backwards, says Shawn Achor. In this wicked funny talk, he shares how feeling more happiness actually leads to greater success at work, and gives strategies to help train yourself for positivity.”
  • 16:57
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    Why do we ever stop playing and creating? With charm and humor, celebrated Korean author Young-ha Kim invokes the world's greatest artists to urge you to unleash your inner child — the artist who wanted to play forever. (Filmed at TEDxSeoul.)
    “It’s easy to think that you need more professional training or schooling before attempting to write that novel, paint that portrait, or tell that story on film. But Korean author Young-ha Kim delivers a different message: do it now. For inspiration for your future, he suggests looking to your inner child. ”
  • 14:28
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    Stress. It makes your heart pound, your breathing quicken and your forehead sweat. But while stress has been made into a public health enemy, new research suggests that stress may only be bad for you if you believe that to be the case. Psychologist Kelly McGonigal urges us to see stress as a positive, and introduces us to an unsung mechanism for stress reduction: reaching out to others.
    “In college, you no doubt got used to the stress of exams and final papers. In the so-called 'real world,' different stressors await. In this talk, psychologist Kelly McGonigal shows how to see stress as your body’s way of preparing for a challenge, rather than as something toxic that’s bad for your health. ”
  • 17:33
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    Neil Pasricha's blog 1000 Awesome Things savors life's simple pleasures, from free refills to clean sheets. In this heartfelt talk, he reveals the 3 secrets (all starting with A) to leading a life that's truly awesome. (Filmed at TEDxToronto.)
    “In this honest, funny talk from TEDxToronto, Neil Pasricha shares the story of the very hard time he had after college—and how he plowed through it, creating the blog 1000 Awesome Things in the process. He also reveals how three words that start with ‘a’—attitude, awareness, authenticity—have helped him, in good times and bad.”
  • 16:51
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    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.
    “You can do anything and achieve any level of success—it’s all up to you. That idea, says philosopher Alain de Botton, leads to rigid notions of success and failure that end with us overwhelming ourselves with pressure. A great talk that urges each of us toward our own individual idea of success.”
  • 14:49
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    Clinical psychologist Meg Jay has a bold message for twentysomethings: Contrary to popular belief, your 20s are not a throwaway decade. In this provocative talk, Jay says that just because marriage, work and kids are happening later in life, doesn’t mean you can’t start planning now. She gives 3 pieces of advice for how twentysomethings can re-claim adulthood in the defining decade of their lives.
    “In your 20s, you may not get married or figure out exactly what career you want to pursue. But that doesn’t mean it’s a throwaway decade, says psychologist Meg Jay. In this talk, she shows why this time is a developmental sweet spot to lay foundations for what’s to come. It may make recent graduates a little uneasy, but it’s a good reminder to treat this decade as an important one. ”
  • 16:51
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    We're taught to try to live life without regret. But why? Using her own tattoo as an example, Kathryn Schulz makes a powerful and moving case for embracing our regrets.
    “An idea to throw straight out the window: live life without regrets. In this moving talk, Kathryn Schulz explains why feeling regret shouldn’t be such a scary thing and gives strategies for how to handle those moments when you make a mistake and can’t hit the undo button.”
  • 21:02
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    Body language affects how others see us, but it may also change how we see ourselves. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy shows how “power posing” — standing in a posture of confidence, even when we don’t feel confident — can affect testosterone and cortisol levels in the brain, and might even have an impact on our chances for success.
    “It’s not 'fake it till you make it.' It’s 'fake it till you become it,' says social psychologist Amy Cuddy. In this must-see talk, she shares how being conscious of how you hold your body can change how you feel and gives a simple trick—power posing—that can infuse you with confidence before a big interview.”
  • 19:08
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    Wofford College president Ben Dunlap tells the story of Sandor Teszler, a Hungarian Holocaust survivor who taught him about passionate living and lifelong learning.
    “You might be done with classes and exams, but this is far from the end of learning. In this talk, the former president of Wofford College tells the story of three men, coincidentally all Hungarian, who taught him the importance of indulging in insatiable curiosity throughout life.”