My favourite time in the week is my Friday afternoon TED hour. I pour myself a cup of tea, get comfy on my office sofa, plug in my earphones, and end the week with a good dose of inspiration.
Inspiration doesn’t happen in a vacuum. If you want to ignite the fire of possibility in others, you need to expand your own horizons!
The best way to broaden your perspective is to listen to where others have been before. Because a story you can relate to encourages you to take action and push your limits instantly.
So let me invite you to my Friday TED hour and discover how you can push your limits! Here are 8 TED Talks to nurture your inspiration vibe.
Want to be more creative? Go for a walk (Marily Oppezzo)
Do you lose your creative sparkle at times? Harnessing creative processes is not an easy task. From keeping your kids busy, to motivating a team to go through iterations, there’s more than enough in your day-to-day to push your limits when it comes to creativity.
But according to Marily Oppezzo, just a simple walk could get your idea generation machine working!
“The act of writing your idea down is already a filter. You’re going to be like, is this good enough to write down?”
Watch it here: Want to be more creative? Go for a walk
How to make stress your friend (Kelly McGonigal)
From the devastating impact on mood and confidence, to health and motivation, no one should ignore stress. But what if stress could be good for you?
In this talk, Kelly McGonigal pushes the limits of stress perception. Can you believe that being more aware of your stress symptoms could be enough for you to take action?
“When you choose to view your stress response as helpful, you create the biology of courage. And when you choose to connect with others under stress, you can create resilience”.
Watch it here: How to make stress your friend
The power of vulnerability (Brené Brown)
‘Vulnerability’ is a popular topic among leadership experts these days. There’s no better way to push your limits than embracing vulnerability; it is to have the courage to navigate change and face the unknown. But the real inherent value of vulnerability is that it makes you more human. And when you’re human, people are more willing to trust and be loyal to you.
“Vulnerability is the core of shame and fear and our struggle for worthiness, but it appears that it’s also the birthplace of joy, of creativity, of belonging, of love.”
Watch it here: The power of vulnerability
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The gift and power of emotional courage (Susan David)
Emotional agility (accepting our emotions) is important from a self-discovery perspective. But it’s also critical in the workplace. Diversity isn’t just about where people come from. It’s also what’s “inside” them. Being considerate of others’ emotional reality brings engagement, creativity and innovation in teams.
“When we are open to the difficult emotions, we are able to generate responses that are values-aligned. But there’s an important caveat. Emotions are data, they are not directives.”
Watch it here: The gift and power of emotional courage
Dare to disagree (Margaret Heffernan)
85% of European and American executives acknowledge that they’ve had issues at work that they were afraid to raise. Conflict is a reality for most of us. Not only can it push you to the edge of your limits, but can be seen as a lack of emotional intelligence.
But you can learn to use constructive criticism to deepen the quality of your thinking.
“When we dare to break that silence, or when we dare to see, and we create conflict, we enable ourselves and the people around us to do our very best thinking.”
Watch it here: Dare to disagree
How to speak so that people want to listen (Julian Treasure)
Communication is a real challenge, and certainly one where you’re pushed to the far end of your comfort zone! From being clear and concise to mastering active listening, suggesting an idea to your boss or fine tuning non-verbal communication, making what you say meaningful and engaging is a real art.
This talk is quite hands-on and practical: you’ll hear about deadly sins of speaking…and what to do instead if you want deliver a powerful speech. One to bookmark and revisit regularly!
“What would the world be like if we were speaking powerfully to people who were listening consciously in environments which were actually fit for purpose?”
Watch it here: How to speak so that people want to listen
Listen, learn…then lead (Stanley McChrystal)
You would expect a four-star general to have a few stories to share after decades in the military!
When “common purpose” can be a matter of life and death, learn how humility and servitude are necessary foundations for motivation and why, in the end, it’s all about leading teams through trust. These stories are practical examples sure to push your limits and leadership style.
“So how does a leader stay credible and legitimate when they haven’t done what the people you’re leading are doing? […] It forced me to become a lot more transparent, a lot more willing to listen, a lot more willing to be reverse-mentored from lower.”
Watch it here: Listen, learn…then lead
What reality are you creating for yourself? (Isaac Lidsky)
This last one if one of my favourites. So I’ll just let you enjoy it!
“Hold yourself accountable for every moment, every thought, every detail. See beyond your fears. Recognise your assumptions. Harness your internal strength. Silence your internal critic. Correct your misconceptions about luck and about success. Accept your strengths and your weaknesses, and understand the difference. Open your hearts to your bountiful blessings.”
Watch it here: What reality are you creating for yourself?
Inspiration translates to “in spirit”.
It means something which comes from inside and pulls you towards taking action. No need for external motivators to push your limits, challenge yourself to take risks and move forward!
We don’t often pay much attention to our inner world. Yet, it’s where the best inspiration usually comes from. Because when you speak from a place of authenticity, you create human connection. It means you touched people right inside. You made an impact.
And eventually, this will be the exact starting point for them to take action, change their behaviour or try something different.
Which of these TED Talks is your favourite? Share you thoughts with us in the comments!