TED Talks to Ring In the New Year
The New Year signals a fresh start, a chance for reflection on what has been and what is to come, and an opportunity to start new projects, set new goals, and reinvent yourself. Here are 10 Ted Talks to inspire you, support you, and warn you of common pitfalls that can derail even the best-made plans for turning over a new leaf.
On Goal Setting
- Have you thought long and hard about what you want and how to get it, but are coming up short of the full realization of your dreams? Derek Sivers delivers a short Ted Talk about one way to improve your chances of reaching your goals – keeping them to yourself. At less than four minutes, you can squeeze in a viewing while you’re waiting in line for your morning coffee.
- What do you really want? Sometimes deciding is the hardest part. Tech investor, podcaster, and best-selling author Tim Ferriss takes an original approach to goal-setting in this Ted Talk: defining your fears instead of your goals. This presentation is less than 15 minutes long, and packs a powerful punch that spans from ancient Athens to his own life. This Ted Talk explains how the imagining of your worst fears can be an integral step in attaining your greatest dreams.
- Fears of failure can stunt goal progress. Stymied by uncertainty and the pressure of success, people use strange excuses to explain failures. In his short Ted Talk, professor of economics Larry Smith explains how fears can lead to a mediocre career.
- You may be asking, “Who’s got time to watch a bunch of Ted Talks?” The answer: You. In just over 10 minutes, time management expert Laura Vanderkam proves that there are enough hours in the day to build the lives we want in her Ted Talk, “How to Gain Control of Your Free Time.”
- The future requires action. In “3 Ways to Plan for the Very Long Term,” self-described futurist Ari Wallach explains how short-termism can impede how you think about the future. By taking a long view, your choices become part of not only your future, but your neighbor’s and children’s.
On Getting Healthy
- Whether it is ten pounds or forty, running a marathon or doing a single chin-up, New Year’s resolutions almost always include plans to get healthier. Social psychologist Emily Balcetis tackles why some people find exercise harder than others in her Ted Talk, and offers a simple solution to those that struggle.
- A healthy mind is as important as a healthy body, and Julian Treasure believes that our noisy environments is negatively affecting our mental health. In his Ted Talk, he offers an eight-step plan to quiet the noise around us, improving concentration and attitude.
- Feeling blue? Try looking skyward! In “Cloudy with a Chance of Joy,” Gavin Pretor-Pinney introduces you to his Cloud Appreciation Society, a random and growing group of people using cloud-watching to induce relaxation, happiness, and perspective. This Ted Talk illustrates the power of imagination, and the importance of giving your mind time to practice it.
On Planning for the Future
- Incarcerated at a young age, Curtis “Wall Street” Carroll taught himself how to read in prison. In his inspirational Ted Talk, he explains the importance of financial literacy in America and how harnessing this power will change your life.
- A combination of psychology and economics, behavioral finance analyzes the mistakes people make with money, and turns those challenges into solutions. In his Ted Talk, “Saving for Tomorrow, Tomorrow,” Shlomo Benartzi examines three common behaviors that have a big impact on financial stability in the long-term, and reveals methods to resolving them.
What’s your favorite TED talk, and why? Let us know in the comments! Happy New Year from AK PSi!