7 TED Talks That Will Inspire You to Succeed

Everyone wants to succeed, but not everyone knows how to succeed.

There are many things that will help us go the distance, but few are as empowering and inspiring as a TED Talk.

Listening to a TED Talk is a great way to gain information, discover new sources of innovation, and jump-start your life toward success.

Here are some that are especially powerful with wonderful takeaways.

Each of them provides something that each of us can benefit from, learn from, and begin using right away.

If you’re truly serious about succeeding, then watch, listen, and learn.

1. Richard St. John, 8 Secrets of Success

After a high school student asked him what leads to success, St. John spent seven years conducting 500 interviews to find answers. In this brief, entertaining talk, he shares what he learned from people working in the sciences, arts, media, technology, and other fields, including such well-known figures as Rupert Murdoch, Norman Jewison, Goldie Hawn, Frank Gehry, and Bill Gates.

2. Arianna Huffington, How to Succeed? Get More Sleep!

We may live in a culture where people brag about how little sleep they need, but the simple decision to get enough sleep at night can make us happier, healthier, more productive, and smarter.

3. Steven Berlin Johnson, Where Good Ideas Come From

What’s the relationship between coffeehouses and the Enlightenment? Johnson has made a study of the places where human and biological innovation thrive, from the internet to the rainforest, in search of patterns that can help us become more creative and innovative. Along the way, he discovers some of the things we get wrong in our thinking about ideas and problem solving.

4. Tim Brown, Tales of Creativity and Play

Brown, CEO of the innovation and design firm Ideo, explores the ways adulthood shuts down the playful creativity of childhood and helps us understand how we can regain it.

5. Ludwick Marishane, A Bath Without Water

After a friend joked about how nice it would be to get clean without having to take a bath, Marishane–named the 2011 Global Student Entrepreneur of the Year–started connecting the dots. He learned that 2.5 billion people, including five million in his native South Africa, don’t have access to sanitary water, and children spend up to two hours a day finding water and bringing it home. He began seriously developing a new product, Dry Bath, which he describes as “a rich man’s convenience and a poor man’s lifesaver.” Marishane shares the lessons of developing and marketing his innovative product.

6. Malcolm Gladwell, The Unheard Story of David and Goliath

It’s an ancient story that’s familiar to most of us–the giant and well-equipped warrior Goliath is defeated by a young boy armed only with a sling and five stones.

It’s such a classic tale that it’s come to be used as shorthand for any underdog’s victory. But if we back up from our what we think we know and pay attention to the details, the story may be telling us something very different.

7. Ernesto Sirolli, Want to Help Someone? Shut Up and Listen

An expert in sustainable development, Sirolli draws upon his background with international aid agencies in this fascinating talk that applies to anyone in an entrepreneurial field. The usual model, in which an aid worker hears about a problem and goes to work fixing it, is actually a wrong-minded approach. Instead, the far more effective solution may be to listen, really listen, to those affected, and then use what you’ve learned to guide them to connect with their own problem-solving abilities.

Give some of these TED Talks a watch or listen. I am sure you will be glad you did.

Lolly Daskal is one of the most sought-after executive leadership coaches in the world. Her extensive cross-cultural expertise spans 14 countries, six languages and hundreds of companies. As founder and CEO of Lead From Within, her proprietary leadership program is engineered to be a catalyst for leaders who want to enhance performance and make a meaningful difference in their companies, their lives, and the world.

Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR, Inc.com, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.

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