1. How to live before you die, Steve Jobs:
At his Stanford University commencement speech, Steve Jobs, CEO and co-founder of Apple and Pixar, urges us to pursue our dreams and see the opportunities in life’s setbacks — including death itself.
Jobs’ famous persuasive power was equalled by his creativity and business brilliance — apparent in legendary hardware and software achievements across three decades of work. The Macintosh computer (which brought the mouse-driven, graphical user interface to prominence), Pixar Animation Studios (which produced Toy Story, the first fully-3D-animated feature film), the iPod, the iPhone, the iPad all owe credit to Jobs’ leadership and invention.
2. Your body language shapes who you are, Amy Cuddy:
Body language affects how others see us, but it may also change how we see ourselves. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy shows how “power posing” — standing in a posture of confidence, even when we don’t feel confident — can affect testosterone and cortisol levels in the brain, and might even have an impact on our chances for success.
Amy Cuddy’s research on body language reveals that we can change other people’s perceptions — and even our own body chemistry — simply by changing body positions.
3. Why you will fail to have a great career, Larry Smith
In this funny and blunt talk, Larry Smith pulls no punches when he calls out the absurd excuses people invent when they fail to pursue their passions.
A professor of economics at the University of Waterloo in Canada, Larry Smith coaches his students to find the careers that they will truly love. A well-known storyteller and advocate for youth leadership, he has also mentored many of his students on start-up business management and career development. The most notable start-up he advised in its infancy is Research in Motion (RIM), maker of the BlackBerry.
“What you see in the TED Talk is essentially thirty years of Smith’s frustrations reaching a boiling point,” wrote Carmine Gallo in Forbes. “’Wasted talent is a waste I cannot stand,’ Smith told me.”
Elizabeth Gilbert muses on the impossible things we expect from artists and geniuses — and shares the radical idea that, instead of the rare person “being” a genius, all of us “have” a genius. It’s a funny, personal and surprisingly moving talk.The author of ‘Eat, Pray, Love,’ Elizabeth Gilbert has thought long and hard about some big topics. Her fascinations: genius, creativity and how we get in our own way when it comes to both.
“Gilbert is irreverent, hilarious, zestful, courageous, intelligent, and in masterful command of her sparkling prose.” — Booklist
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg looks at why a smaller percentage of women than men reach the top of their professions — and offers 3 powerful pieces of advice to women aiming for the C-suite.
Behavioral economist Dan Ariely, the author of Predictably Irrational, uses classic visual illusions and his own counterintuitive (and sometimes shocking) research findings to show how we’re not as rational as we think when we make decisions.
The dismal science of economics is not as firmly grounded in actual behavior as was once supposed.
“If you want to know why you always buy a bigger television than you intended, or why you think it’s perfectly fine to spend a few dollars on a cup of coffee at Starbucks, or why people feel better after taking a 50-cent aspirin but continue to complain of a throbbing skull when they’re told the pill they took just cost one penny, Ariely has the answer.” — Daniel Gross, Newsweek
Clinical psychologist Meg Jay has a bold message for twentysomethings: Contrary to popular belief, your 20s are not a throwaway decade. In this provocative talk, Jay says that just because marriage, work and kids are happening later in life, doesn’t mean you can’t start planning now. She gives 3 pieces of advice for how twentysomethings can re-claim adulthood in the defining decade of their lives.
First, Keith Barry shows us how our brains can fool our bodies — in a trick that works via podcast too. Then he involves the audience in some jaw-dropping (and even a bit dangerous) feats of brain magic.Think of Keith Barry as a hacker of the human brain — writing routines that exploit its bugs and loopholes, and offering a revealing look at the software between our ears. The Irish magician’s relaxed style has made him an audience favorite worldwide, both in live shows and on his European television series, Close Encounters with Keith Barry, which aired in 28 countries.
9. What matters more than your talents, Jeff Bezos:
In this Princeton University graduation address, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos makes the case that our character is reflected not in the gifts we’re endowed with at birth, but by the choices we make over the course of a lifetime.
As founder and CEO of Amazon.com, Jeff Bezos defined online shopping and rewrote the rules of commerce, ushering in a new era in business. Time magazine named him Man of the Year in 1999. But Amazon.com isn’t just an internet success story. It’s the standard by which all web businesses are now judged — if not by their shareholders, then by their customers. Amazon set a high bar for reliability and customer service, and also introduced a wide range of online retail conventions — from user reviews and one-click shopping to the tab interface and shopping cart icon — so commonplace we no longer think of them as once having been innovations.
10. The power of believing that you can improve, Carol Dweck:
Carol Dweck researches “growth mindset” — the idea that we can grow our brain’s capacity to learn and to solve problems. In this talk, she describes two ways to think about a problem that’s slightly too hard for you to solve. Are you not smart enough to solve it … or have you just not solved it yet? A great introduction to this influential field.
As Carol Dweck describes it: “My work bridges developmental psychology, social psychology, and personality psychology, and examines the self-conceptions (or mindsets) people use to structure the self and guide their behavior. My research looks at the origins of these mindsets, their role in motivation and self-regulation, and their impact on achievement and interpersonal processes.”