Ted Talks I’ve actually Applied to Everyday Life


We all love a good TED Talk. They’re enlightening, interesting and extremely entertaining and digestible as an educational format… but what have you actually changed in your life thanks to a TED Talk?

When I think about it, not a lot! Of course TED has made me change my opinion (or at the very least, borrow a new and improved one from a far more informed individual than myself) but what about how TED viewers live their life, day to day?

To be honest, it feels a little bit like what Louis CK says about have a nice thought and not acting on it… but feeling ‘good’ for thinking it all the same. Like seeing a homeless person outside and thinking ‘Wouldn’t it be nice if I gave them my umbrella?‘, but walking right passed. Yet still feeling satisfied with yourself for just having such a ‘nice’ thought in the first place!

TED Talks feel a bit like that to me sometimes. Upworthy for the slightly more ‘intelligent’.  We can all collectively feel good about something that we are all collectively contributing nothing positive to. But we thought about it, so heck, we’s good people too.

As a member of the middle-class, it’s a trait of middle-class I hate the most… well that and middle-class self hate.

But there were a few vids that have actually changed my behaviour, and I’d like to share them on this short list. If you have any others I would absolutely love to hear them so I can watch them too! Unfortunately only one of them helps the world, the rest are all ‘new enlightened thinking’ secretly driven by a self-interest agenda… but that’s just us middle-class peeps all over in’nit? 

#firstworldproblems… yaaay!

1. How to use a Paper Towel:

I don’t always remember to do this one (particularly after a whiskey or two) but I like to think I’ve reduced my paper consumption because of it…

2. Change how you Communicate in the Workplace:

Yes, I have also read her book and I’m not sure which it was that actually changed the behavior, but I find myself recalling things  she said here a number of time, particularly during meetings or  while writing a work email…

3. A Simple Way to Trick your Brain into thinking you’re Awesome

Really useful pre-pitches and only takes a few minutes to do.

So that’s it, 3 talks. Anybody got any more? I really do want to find more. Because in all honesty, I am not going to be able to hand out mobile phones in 3rd world countries or manipulate Big Data to predict disease outbreaks today…but I could change something I do for five minutes every day. [end rant]

10 Comments Add yours

  1. Brett Jensen says:

    Some good how-to videos provided by “How To Basic”
    How to pick up an umbrella: https://t.co/cAZdvLXM53
    How to turn a handle: https://t.co/ADkIyvtdWt
    How to kick a ball: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-DNTIroa44
    And my favorite? Get ready for this, Rachel.
    How to make fruit salad: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lH616LkTaW0


    1. Rayray says:

      What I’d love to see from TED is a TED talk on how TED talks have changef peoples lives! *suggestion box*


      1. th3bak3rman says:

        Seriously, that would make a good topic. TED has been around long enough, and it has sponsored many projects, presentations, and ideas. A little follow-up now and then would be not only interesting to hear but also act as an incentive for others to start/suggest/sponsor/contribute to a TED project.


    2. Rayray says:

      thank god for that how to turn a handle vid.


  2. The battle between Present and Future self.
    “The only thing that stands between you and your goals is [probably] you”.
    Perspective is everything
    The bit about the toll bridge being the best bit.


    1. Rayray says:

      I LOVE Rory Sutherland’s original thinking and basis in actual human behaviour and psychology – not silly planner ‘gut feelings’. have used the examples in the day-to-day ad job plenty.. but havent been able to apply to my own life!


  3. Reblogged this on Alex Martin and commented:
    Here’s something I’ve always thought about myself. Ted talks can be influential in many ways.


  4. th3bak3rman says:

    Okay, so the first video (using a paper towel) was a little silly, and it makes you wonder, “He didn’t earn a grant for this, did he?” However, it makes you think about how much paper towel is wasted. I know that next time I am in a public bathroom and walk to the sink to wash my hands, I will think of Joe Smith and shake my hands in the sink 12 times.


  5. canalcook says:

    I’ve also used the body language one. Mainly because I like the expression ‘power poses’. That being said I used it before a big public speaking competition (along with at least one teammate) and we won so maybe there is something to it


    1. Rayray says:

      Won the pitches I’ve used it in too! The only sliiiight drawback is going into the bathroom cubicle right before any big public speaking moment makes you look like you’ve a nervous bladder or something 🙂



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