This article was last updated on February 22, 2016
A few years ago I was stuck doing a job I did not actually enjoy with no prospects of it changing anytime soon. It took me quite a while to muster enough courage to finally decide and start my life anew. Soon I left my job behind and started working from home. Even though I’m not sure what I expected to happen, I quickly realized that even this stay at home thing was no piece of cake. Still, during all of this time I stumbled upon several inspirational TED talks that were about to change my life forever. They helped me both make hard choices in life, and stick to them. Once I started working on my own, several of them also helped me improve my productivity.
Here are the inspirational 5 TED talks that changed my life forever:
1. Tony Robbins: Why We Do What We Do
One of the first motivating speeches that I encountered was Tony Robbins’ Why We Do What We Do. The thing I found the most helpful here was his reflection on how there are two secrets to life: science of achievement and art of fulfillment. In his own words, the first one is quite easy to identify, since it usually exists in physical form. You can see what you do or make, and estimate the size of your paycheck. On the other hand art of fulfillment is all about appreciation what you already have and it is much harder to analyze. Still, this kind of positivist is the only thing that can help you succeed against all odds.
2. Elizabeth Gilbert: Success, Failure and the Drive to Keep Creating
The author of “Eat, Pray, Love” Elizabeth Gilbert, had quite a thing to say about success and failure in general, as well as what is it that allows us to pick ourselves up. She explained that she was able to endure all her defeats (and even her success) because she loved writing more than she hated failing. This is how I was sure that my new profession was the right one. Once, you choose a profession that you are going to love more than your ego, there is no failure that may permanently harm you. As soon as I saw things in this way, I quit my job, got one of the best office workstations I could find and created a beautiful and quiet work zone. There I started my own career from home. Furthermore, online courses are another great way of achieving success from home.
3. Tali Shariot: The Optimism Bias
What I learned from Tali Shariot is that the optimism bias, a thing 86% of people in the world have, is bias toward expecting good things, rather than bad, to randomly happen rather to you. Still, while some would see this as nothing but a deception, it can be an ultimate tool for one’s success. Sure, being realistic is invaluable at times, but more optimistic people are more likely to recuperate from a failure. To use Shariot’s comparison, optimistic people are not less likely to get divorced but they are more likely to get remarried.
4. Susan Cain: The power of introverts
As an introvert I’ve always had a problem believing that this trait is a flaw or that it must result in my inevitable failure. That is before Susan Cain revealed to me the power of introverts. In fact, she expressed her thoughts and gave examples and cases in which introverts were better leaders than extroverts. Sure, they may not seem as inspiring to others, but introverts are far more likely to allow everyone do their best through their own terms. The diversity of methods that is achieved in this way is truly a powerful tool. Even though it may sound a bit strange, her talk gave me a huge amount of confidence in what I am.
5. Nick Vujicic: Overcoming hopelessness
Nick Vujicic is truly one of the greatest motivational speakers in the world. His talk about overcoming hopelessness helped me see how each obstacle can be a potential opportunity (he called it turning walls into windows). What Nick thought me was that even if you don’t get a miracle, you can be a miracle for someone else. Still, as always, Nick teaches us more about success with his examples than with his words.
In my opinion, the option of listening to some of these great minds is a rare privilege and I got a valuable lesson from each and every one of them. If you have the chance to really sit down and listen to their words, I guarantee you will not regret it. These inspirational TED talks have helped me become more independent, confident and to chase after dreams I didn’t even know I had. Not only has this helped me abandon the life that was never suited for me, but embrace a new one one and look more optimistically towards the future.
Photo credit: Steve Jurvetson via flickr