30 Inspiring TED Talks

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As my 30 day challenge in August, I said I would watch 30 new TED talks in 30 days. Unfortunately, I was away from home a third of the month and it took me a bit longer to finish the challenge than I expected. Oops. I finally did finish my challenge though. Every single talk was amazing for a different reason. Each one left me with something to walk away with pondering and something I wanted to share. I felt invigorated with ideas on the days that I marathoned groups of them at a time. I love feeling that inspired and hopeful for the future. I learned a lot. I approach sleep differently now, think pigs are RAD and love clouds even more than I did before. I’ve tried to change my body language and be happier. I absorbed a lot of what I learned into my day to day operations of our programs at work. This exercise had impact. I will definitely continue trying to consume as many of their talks as I can. I think I’m addicted. (But I’ve always been addicted to ideas, so maybe this is just my new drug of choice.)

Here are the 30 TED Talks that I finished. The below links are in the order I watched them in. I tried to step outside my immediate interest box sometimes, but sometimes that failed. These are only the videos I finished and not the handful of them that I bailed out of because they were so boring. Not all TED presenters are created equal. (It wasn’t that many though.) I can recommend all of these, and encourage any of my friends to watch some of them and spark up conversations if they generate thoughts and ideas in you too.

(But, if you’re just going to watch one, please let it be this one. Not only are the bits of information she shares truly mind blowing, but I want you to see the way she lays out the idea that we should approach problems from the perspective of the person who needs the problem solved and not our outsider view. It is in the way she thinks sociologically that reminds me why I love good thinkers and great ideas. More people should think this way. This talk was really fantastic.)

1. Charlie Todd: The shared experience of absurdity
2. Rajesh Rao: A Rosetta Stone for the Indus Script
3. Amy Cuddy: Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are
4. Jane McGonigal: The Game That Can Give You 10 Extra Years of Life
5. Shawn Achor: The Happy Secret to Better Work
6. Terry Moore: How to Tie Your Shoes
7. Sheena Iyengar: How to Make Choosing Easier
8. Pamela Meyer: How to Spot a Liar
9. Temple Grandin: The World Needs All Kinds of Minds
10. Dan Gilbert Asks, Why Are We Happy?
11. Kathryn Schulz: On Being Wrong
12. Dan Ariely on Our Buggy Moral Code
13. Arianna Huffington: How to Succeed? Get More Sleep
14. Michael Shermer on Strange Beliefs
15. Christien Meindertsma: How Pig Parts Make the World Turn
16. Dan Cobley: What Physics Taught Me About Marketing
17. Malcolm Gladwell on Spaghetti Sauce
18. Joachim de Posada Says, ‘Don’t Eat the Marshmallow Yet’
19. Frank Warren: Half a million secrets
20. Daniel Suarez: The kill decision shouldn’t belong to a robot
21. Tim Leberecht: 3 ways to (usefully) lose control of your brand
22. Rachel Botsman: The currency of the new economy is trust
23. David Binder: The arts festival revolution
24. Eleanor Longden: The voices in my head
25. Marla Spivak: Why bees are disappearing
26. Apollo Robbins: The art of misdirection
27. Sonia Shah: 3 reasons we still haven’t gotten rid of malaria
28. Russell Foster: Why do we sleep?
29. Peter van Manen: How can Formula 1 racing help … babies?
30. Gavin Pretor-Pinney: Cloudy with a chance of joy

Do you have any TED talks to recommend?

26.2

I think I’ve officially lost my mind.  I’ve been mulling it over for 3 months now since I finished the 100 mile bike ride around Lake Tahoe I thought I could never do, and the other night I had a dream about it, and now I can’t stop thinking about it.  I think I might do a marathon next year.  

Yes, I said it here first: Even though a few years ago I said there was no way in hell I’d consider it…I am considering it. I might make my body go 26.2 miles under the power of my own feet, and try and do it in less than 7.5 hours. I think I might commit the next 12 months of my life preparing for that 7 hours of potential torture. I love running in the rain, so that will be a nice incentive to start this challenge.

I fell in love with the half at Long Beach International City Bank Marathon and I think I wanna go back and do the 26.2 there next October. It was my favorite half course out of the 5 that I did in 2010-2011. This plan will of course be pending aggravating my hip injury, but dammit, I don’t think I can get this out of my head now.  I think I have to do it.

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(Long Beach Half Marathon, 2011)

This is also the course where I walked the whole last 6 miles injured and haven’t run seriously since…so I understand this is an ambitious dream my body needs to get on board with. We are going to start with new shoes in October and go from there…but wow, I might say YES to doing this! Whoa.