8 Ted Talks That Changed My Life (And Will Change Yours Too)

Feb 25
Everyday, we search for kind of inspiration – you know, something that will provoke you and make you better than you were yesterday.

And if you’re like me, you probably don’t have a ton of time to find that inspiration everyday, do you?

That’s why, I compiled a list of my favorite Ted talks of all time. These videos have changed my life in some way, whether they made me laugh, want to cry, think or question the unknown.

Check them out and let me know which one you like best in the comments below!


1) Dan Gilbert: The Surprising Science of Happiness

Did you know happiness isn’t even real? It’s just something we make up and in doing so, we create the story of our lives. Dan Gilbert explains how humans can synthesize happiness no matter what fate brings our way. He even did a study on someone who became paraplegic and someone who won the lottery to measure their happiness after one year. The result? You’ll have to watch the video to find out!


2) David Christian: The History of Our World in 18 Minutes

What are the odds that 13.7 billion years ago, a small explosion would happen that could create a universe the size of an atom – containing everything that’s in today’s universe. How did that one small, hot, complex atom become the world we live in today? David Christian explains the entire history of the universe in the most entertaining, engaging and (best of all) shortest way possible.


3) Sherry Turkle: Connected but Alone?

As we expect more from technology, do we expect less from each other? Sherry Turkle studies how our devices and online personas are redefining human connection and communication — and asks us to think deeply about the new kinds of connection we want to have. Sherry Turkle studies how technology is shaping our modern relationships: with others, with ourselves, and with it.


4) Peter Salk: Let’s Talk about Dying

We can’t control if we’ll die, but we can “occupy death,” in the words of Dr. Peter Saul. At TEDxNewy he calls on us to make our preferences clear for end of life care — and suggests two questions for starting the conversation. Over the past 35 years Peter Saul has been intimately involved in the dying process for over 4,000 patients. His passion about improving the ways we die is the reason why you should watch this one!


5) Michael Norton: How to Buy Happiness

At TEDxCambridge, Michael Norton shares fascinating research on how money can, indeed buy happiness — when you don’t spend it on yourself. Listen for surprising data on the many ways pro-social spending can benefit you, your work, and (of course) other people. Through clever studies, Michael Norton studies how we feel about what we buy and spend.


6) Elizabeth Gilbert: Your Elusive Creative Genius

When Elizabeth Gilbert wrote “Eat Pray Love” she experienced what she calls “freakish” success, and admits that sometimes she wonders if her biggest achievement is, in fact, already behind here. To her, the reason most artistry leads to anguish is because artists are afraid they’ll never produce something that good again. Her solution is thoughtful, and if you consider yourself to be creative in anyway, I highly recommend this Ted talk!



7) Joe Smith: How to Use a Paper Towel

You use paper towels to dry your hands every day, but chances are, you’re doing it wrong. In this enlightening and funny short talk at TEDxConcordiaUPortland, Joe Smith reveals the trick to perfect paper towel technique. Joe Smith is an active figure in the Oregon community and a powerful advocate for proper paper towel use.


8) Drew Dudley: Everyday Leadership

We have all changed someone’s life — usually without even realizing it. In this funny talk from TEDxToronto, Drew Dudley calls on all of us to celebrate leadership as the everyday act of improving each other’s lives. His Ted talk is meant to help people discover the leader within themselves.


Which Ted Talk is your favorite? Share your thoughts in the comments below!


Joe Joachim is the CEO and Founder of funeralOne, the first global solutions firm leading a movement of change for the funeral profession. For the past 10 years, he’s developed game-changing solutions that help funeral professionals increase the value of their service offerings, connect with the families of today, and become more profitable. funeralOne’s solutions include: website design, aftercare, funeral eCommerce, and personalization software. Connect with Joe on Google+.

Joe Joachim


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  1. Ed

    Nice list. My personal favourite is Salman Khan’s talk on education. He pretty much single-handedly ushered in a paradigm shift in education. Coursera and others are following in his footsteps…


  2. Krystal

    Hi Ed, Thanks for sharing that video! I’ll have to check it out.