5 TED Talks to Watch this Season

A few of my favourite TED talks

As a homebody and introvert, I like to spend time alone, learning new things and TED talks are one of my favourite ways to do this. The videos are packed with tons of information and some will leave you thinking “hmm, that’s good to know”. Whether you want to learn about politics, technology, creativity, lifestyle (really, anything), you’ll find something that will interest you on the website.

There’s even an app - so you can take your favourite talks wherever you go. I occasionally get sent some recommendations, based on what’s popular or my watch history and have enjoyed every one of them. These are a few of my favourites (in no particular order).


The Secret to Great Opportunities? The Person You Haven’t Met Yet

Tanya Menon

As creatures of habit, we tend to stick to the same routines and in this talk, Tanya argues that doing this - especially when it comes to our social lives - prevent us from connecting with and having a more diverse network.

If you look around you, most of the people you are close to are similar to you in some way - whether it be race, gender, looks, etc. There is nothing wrong with it because it makes us comfortable.

The problem though, is when we are in need of new ideas, resources or ways of doing things, we pay a price for not exploring beyond our comfort zones. Your weak ties (people you just met) are your ticket to a whole new social world and it’s unfortunate that we don’t utilize that and we prefer to stay closer to home.

She concludes with an advice to all of us to see ourselves as atoms, going through life, bumping into each other and transferring energy to one another to create something new through the social universe.


Get Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable

Luvvie Ajayi

Luvvie Ajayi (my Nigerian sister) is an award-winning author, speaker and digital strategist who thrives at the intersection of comedy, technology and activism. Luvvie considers herself a professional troublemaker, whose job is to critique the world and the people who refuse to do better and chooses to affect change by speaking up.

To her, being the domino - making the first move and hoping others see that and follow suit (especially in difficult situations) is what she loves to do. The people who step out first are not fearless or inconsiderate of the consequences of their actions. Rather, they do it because too few people are willing to make the first move to affect change.

She shares her story of how she went to med school, realized it wasn’t for her and fell in love with blogging instead. Blogging - which was her hobby at the time - became her full time job after she lost her job as a marketing professional.

Fear shouldn’t dictate what you do or take over your life. Everyone’s well-being is community business and we all should make that a point so that when we need help, we won’t have to look around so hard.

Get Luvvie’s book “I’m Judging You: The Do-Better Manual” here.


Why Some of Us Don’t Have One True Calling

Emily Wapnick

Some people are able to figure out their future and what they’d like to become but what about some of us that have varying interests, skills and passions? For me, I love writing, home decor, graphic design, cooking and photography.

The question “What do you want to become when you grow up?” goes from a cute way to have conversation to something that keeps most of us up at night as adults. Who says you can’t be more than one thing?

Emilie’s talk makes you think and ask yourself some important questions. My favourite statement from this talk was: “The notion of a narrowly focused life is highly romanticized in our culture, the idea that we each have one great thing we are meant to do during our time on this earth”.

The bad news for people with varying interests could feel alone in a society like ours but you shouldn’t have to. Embrace your ‘multipotentialities’ and be happy.


What I learned from 100 Days of Rejection

Jia Jiang

From not receiving any compliments in his class at 6 years old, to having big dreams at 14 years old about starting a company that would buy Microsoft one day, Jia was constantly fighting within himself.

After getting turned down on an investment opportunity, he began to question what was happening. He decided to become a better leader, entrepreneur and person. He went ahead to find ways to overcome the fear of rejection via Google search. That was when he came about a website that suggested that for 30 days, you go outside and look for rejection. As you get rejected by something every day, you desensitize yourself from the pain.

Jia’s amazing stories and humour will make you enjoy this video and learn a thing or two.


Success, Failure and the Drive to Keep Creating

Elizabeth Gilbert

If you didn’t already know, Elizabeth Gilbert is the author of “Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia”, a book that was made into a movie in 2010, starring Julia Roberts.

Elizabeth knew she had to write another book but had some doubts about if the second book will be as successful as Eat, Pray, Love. She knew she needed some inspiration to begin writing.

She found her inspiration in lessons that she learned earlier in life about how creativity can survive its own failure. Growing up, she wanted to be a writer but kept failing at getting the right people to notice her work and get them published.

Your home is whatever you love more than yourself - creativity, family, adventure, invention or even raising Corgis. Your home is that thing to which you can dedicate your energies with such singular devotion that the ultimate results become inconsequential.


Hope these videos inspired or motivated you in some aspect of your life. What are some of your favourite TED talks? I’m always itching to watch more of these.