In no particular order, here are 4 TED or TEDx talks that have helped to motivate me to be happy, take hold of my own life and stop doubting myself. The path to self-improvement is not easy on your own and it’s important to hear from people who have either been there themselves, or have spent their lives studying how to help others. I find it enormously helpful to read books and articles on psychology, happiness, human behaviour, and anything that will help me to understand how I can turn depression and negativity into positive thoughts and motivation. However, I’ve found that this must be a proactive decision as once I’m already feeling down, it’s much harder to get out of the rut. If I’ve already fallen into that depressive hole, I won’t put my running shoes on and head out for a jog. Instead, during these ‘the sky is falling’ days, I’ll feel as if nothing I do would make any difference. I therefore give up and try to hide away from the world by turning on the tv and turning off my brain. If you are having one of these days and have neither the desire nor the energy to try to make it better, watch one of these videos. Watch all four! You will see that there is always hope, you are not alone and tomorrow really is a new day.
How to stop screwing yourself over – Mel Robbins – TEDxSF
If nothing else, Mel Robbins’ talk will wake you up, shake you out and get you to admit that you might not be feeling quite as well as you claim to. As Mel is a motivational speaker by trade, you don’t need to worry that this talk will be academic and stuffy. On the contrary, Mel gets right to the point by telling you that you are not F#@$…. Fine! This woman is paid to encourage people to go after what they want, so she is certainly motivated to help you to obtain it. After watching her talk yesterday, her book “Stop Saying You’re Fine: The No-BS Guide to Getting What You Want” is at the top of my to-read list.
Programming your mind for success – Carrie Green – TEDxManchester
Carrie Green is an inspiration. She has been there, where we have all been, that low place where you don’t know what you’re doing or where you’re going. I didn’t know who she was before watching her talk, which made it even more exciting to learn her story, to hear about her doubts and uncertainty and see how she has risen above them to be phenomenally successful. Watch the talk first and then check this page out, not only to see what Carrie has accomplished, but also for more inspiration on how to achieve your own personal goals.
The Power of Vulnerability – Brené Brown – TED Talks
If you have never read a book or watched a video by Brené Brown then cancel your plans for this weekend, visit her website, find one of her books at a store or at the library and get started. I’ve read her book “The Gifts of Imperfection” and it is a truly endearing mix of her personal journey to improve her own enjoyment of life, as well as a thoroughly well-researched description of human shame, vulnerability and self-doubt. She also has numerous other talks, including “Listening to Shame“. In my personal opinion, the research that Brené Brown is doing on how we think and feel about ourselves is essential to any journey to discovering happiness, as it involves a real and in-depth look at our relationships with ourselves.
The Surprising Science of Happiness – Dan Gilbert – TED Talks
I am a sucker for scientific evidence. Give me a crystal that’s supposed to cleanse the negative toxic thoughts from my body and I’ll get even grumpier. Show me statistical data that prove such crystals are effective and I’ll be putty in your hands. Dan Gilbert explains in very understandable detail how humans’ expectations of what they think will make them happy are inherently false. He uses excellent examples that will give you those light bulb moments. I watched this video for the first time over a year ago and I still quote his examples to friends (which is a major achievement since I usually forget half of what I read hours afterward) and use his words to remind myself that happiness is not something you can wait for, but rather something that you must decide to create for yourself.