21 TED talks that changed my perspective on life

Want to change your life? Good. Because I’ve got the answer to that. All you need is in you. How to do it? Start by watching these TED talks to change your life. Then watch them again. Write stuff down if you must.

It was a long time ago when I first discovered TED Talks, but I remember it was a cold evening outside, and I couldn’t stop watching this never-ending source of inspiration and knowledge.

It’s not all the holy grail, and some speakers are better than others, but through my travels, I learned one thing: discovery and exploration start with myself. After years of listening to some talks over and over again, here is my list of 21 TED talks that changed my perspective on life.

I might be mistaken, but some of my best perspectives over life, I got from watching and listening to Ted talks. Sometimes, when I am driving, I just play a Ted Talk and listen to it. It’s my kind of podcast. You don’t need to watch them.

Why do I love Ted Talks?

Because you only need to listen. Usually, I play one while I do some chores around the house or while I commute. 

Ted Talks are short; most are around 20 minutes, just the time it takes to commute from one place to another (from work to home)

I believe these talks have helped me become a better version of myself. But these speakers are true leaders and an inspiration for me.

These talks have made me think about how and why we act as we do. And I recommend you try to do the same. Stop for a second and think. Just think for a second.

In no particular order, here are 21 TED talks that changed my perspective over life (and could change yours too), after hours and days and years of searching and listening to Ted talks.

21 TED talks that changed my perspective on life

1. The Art of Letting Go | The Minimalists

If you often think to yourself, “I’ll keep this *thing*, JUST IN CASE,” then this talk will have something to say about that, “you know, just in case.”

These two guys have also released a documentary, “Minimalism”, which was categorized as an indie documentary. I am not the judge of that, I’m just putting this here, for you to watch and then decide if, in any way, this idea is useful to you.

2. Start with why – How great leaders inspire action

This isn’t one of the best filmed Ted Talk. But the sound is great, and that is the only thing you will want from it. Listen to the stories and to this idea because it was one of those ideas that stuck with me and obsesses me each time I am in a new situation. And most importantly, about my life and where it is going.

I listen to these stories, on different mediums, over and over again. I will never get enough.

3. Stop searching for your passion

As I already mentioned, I am addicted to these videos. Don’t wait. Start watching and start doing.

4. Do schools kill creativity?

This comical talk helped me understand why the school was invented.

I don’t have to have a degree to understand what this gentleman is talking about, but I will make you understand what to do with your degree—if you have one. It doesn’t matter, really.

5. Learn to travel

How can you travel to 24 countries in 12 months? And what this man got out of it. What I ask of you is not to say to yourself, “No, that’s not me.” But better, try to imagine yourself in those stories.

Then, pay attention to that feeling you get.

But don’t believe me about traveling. Listen to this guy cuz he has been traveling a bit more than I have.

6. How to travel the world with almost no money

Wow. How most of us can go travelling. Before any further judgements, I hope you listen to this talk. Talking about travelling from logistics to everything else. Before saying this is not for you, ask yourself “why not?!”.

And even if you are not into traveling as I am, you will enjoy this talk and his humor. Promise!

7. Never, ever give up

Another talk I’d listen to more than once. Why? Because this lady is not just an inspiration but a really good storyteller. There is a documentary about her journey, and of course, I watched it all.

Something to take away from this is to never think it is too late. I’m working on this also, but I’m trying hard to never forget it.

8. Stop Waiting for Life to Happen

You were chosen to be here. This is the talk to listen to when you are feeling down. Nobody wants to be bad (so I like to believe), but people are not perfect.

Leave everything aside and think about this thing we all need and search for love.

9. Why comfort will ruin your life

It’s comforting to know I am not the only one thinking about my fishball. I know this deep down, and still, it hurts so much each time I suffer. No pains, no gains.

10. Why you feel what you feel

It’s not them, it’s you. I said it before, and I will say it now: we all need some personal development. Most of us will deny it. Unfortunately, forever.

But in the comfort of your own home, you could listen to this talk, and if you pay really close attention, you just might catch a gasp of what therapy feels like. Try not to take it personally.

11. The Power of Zero Tolerance

What you tolerate is what you worry about. It’s not easy to observe it, but most of the time, we are worrying for no reason.

She is another really good storyteller, and I loved watching her stories.

12. The psychology of self-motivation

I think I listened to this about five times, most of the time without watching. I guess I just love to listen to good speakers because not all of us have this skill, but it can happen if you only want to.

A memorable poem, I promise.

13. What makes a good life? Lessons from the longest study on happiness

This is deep. Sure, all of my favorite talks are about the ultimate goal in life, but this one gives me goosebumps. Maybe you know the answer already, but it never hurts to listen to it again.

14. What really matters at the end of life

And now, listen to the story of a humble human and the stories he has.

He is indeed an amazing speaker, and some comments even say he is a performer. It’s a beautiful reminder of how you, too, can still find the beauty of life, no matter where you are in life.

16. The art of being yourself

What do you see when you look into a mirror? A beautiful talk from a lady will make you want to look into yourself before you start looking for social acceptance around yourself.

17. How to stop screwing yourself over

This lady, this talk… I love her, and I love the talk. The talk was some years ago, but you can now find even more stuff about what she does. She is amazing, and I love her.

18. Unwavering Focus

A monk giving a speech. You would probably say “no,” but give it a try. Something tells me we should listen more to people who have to spend time for themselves, thinking about all those things we pretend that does not exist.

19. My philosophy for a happy life

You won’t believe it, but this boy is 17 years old. And he has a wonderful story to share with the world. Sam also starred in the documentary “Life According to Sam”. No words are needed.

20. Life is easy. Why do we make it so hard?

This is the story of a man from Thailand who tried to make it, like most of us, but then realized one simple thing which never occurred to us. Life is easy.

21. Overcoming hopelessness

The happy story of a man who never got any chances. From others. If he can do it, then you can too. “Transforming the walls into doors.”

Iulia Vasile

Iulia is a travel expert, blogger, engineer, freelance copywriter, and a curiosity-driven personality. She sees travel as the ultimate tool for self-improvement and personal growth, and that's the main topic of her blog, Juliasomething.com.

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