The TED network of thinkers and speakers has become a powerful international movement inspiring individuals to think deeply and challenge themselves.
But for all the lofty ideas thrown around at TED conferences and satellite meetings, the talks have a surprisingly practical aspect to them.
What does that mean for the average employee who feels stuck, limited or ingrained in an unconquerable rut? Hope.
Idealistic as it sounds, just one faint glimmer of greatness can rekindle our motivation. And that’s exactly what some of the best TED talks do.
We’ve compiled a list of four TED talks we think everyone should watch. The idea is not just for you to be entertained, but to be challenged by these insightful speakers.
For the longest time, employee incentive programs, cash bonuses, raises and promotions were the ways that management motivated their employees to work hard and produce results. They’re still a popular method of lighting a fire within their employees.
However, as Dan Pink points out, the modern worker isn’t the same as his or her counterpart from decades past; something deeper is going on. Because of this, Pink believes that employers should start looking differently at motivation, going beyond tangible rewards and unearthing the power of themes like autonomy, passion and value.
We often think that “creative genius” is, first, not us; but we also go on to think of the typical brilliant artist as a transcendent person who has this amazing level of perspective in whatever they do. They are, we think, exactly what it means to be a genius.
Isn’t it interesting, though, that we see many of these outstanding artists lead tormented lives? Gilbert, the author of Eat, Pray, Love, explores the notion of the tormented artist and gets us thinking about genius not as an entity in us, but as an identity in us with whom we dialogue, wrestle and converse.
It’s a heady concept, but for writers, designers and other art-related fields, it’s an enlightening concept that can cut down on our creative angst.
We’ve got happiness all wrong. You see, most of us think that if we just work harder and get promoted we’ll reach a state of contentment that will make the grind worth it.
But, Achor says, what if we flip that mentality around? What if happiness is actually what makes us work harder and get promoted?
As Dan Pink says, “Achor argues that, actually, happiness inspires us to be more productive”.”
The matter of happiness gets down to perception, Achor says in his talk.
“We’re finding it’s not necessarily the reality that shapes us, but the lens through which your brain views the world that shapes your reality,” he said.
In a practical scenario, Achor points out that a recent study of hired applicants revealed that 25 percent of their job success was based on their IQ. The other 75 percent? Optimism levels.
“Work-life balance” seems like a mythical standard, doesn’t it?
We always hear the phrase tossed around more as a punch line than anything else. And since our smartphones are always within reach, it really is difficult to disconnect from what’s happening in the office.
But, as you probably know from your own experience, the more your work takes over your home life, the less like “home” your house or apartment actually feels. And that’s where Nigel Marsh comes in.
This is one of the first things he says during his brief, 10-minute presentation:
“The trouble is, so many people talk so much rubbish about work-life balance,” he said. “All the discussions about flexi-time or dress-down Fridays or paternity leave only serve to mask the core issue, which is that certain job and career choices are fundamentally incompatible with being meaningfully engaged on a day-to-day basis with a young family.”
If you’ve been longing for some balance in your life, this talk by Marsh may be the ticket to the equilibrium you’ve been seeking.