I love Ted talks, they’ve been developed in a brilliant way where the speakers share their individual stories filled with valuable information and fun.

I would love to share with you my top picks. Not in any particular order.


  1. Success is a continuous journey by Richard St. John

Success is often interpreted as something happening to you, and then it’s just sitting there for eternity. Incorrect. Muddy mountain is a perfect example for this – you’ll gradually start falling down, unless you go up.

  1. On being wrong by Kathryn Schultz

Kathryn’s talk explains one of the most important concepts related to improving yourself: not trusting your internal feeling of being right when you can’t be absolutely sure.

Kathryn ‘s talk explores one of the most important aspects of self-improvement: not trusting your inner intuition of being right since you can not be fully certain.

I stayed still for so long because I was convinced that what I felt was “right” about the world and other people The reform movement started when I questioned every negative thought I had.

  1. Difference between winning and succeeding by John Wooden

John gives a great reminder how subjective concept success is.

I coined my own concept of success, which is peace of mind obtained only through self-satisfaction and understanding, you have made the effort to do the best you can.

  1. Keep your goals to yourself by Derek Sivers

Your brain can’t tell the difference  between reality and images your imagination makes. By telling people about your goals it generates a feeling that you have already accomplished them.

Derek talks about the studies that made this analysis and the findings were clear: by revealing your target to others you ‘re going to have a lower chance of actually achieving it.

  1. 8 Secrets of success by Richard St. John

Richard interviewed 500 successful people and compiled it, sharing the 8 secrets of success, for a little over 3 minute chat.

Passion – Do it for love, not for money

Work – Nothing comes easily

Good – Get damn good at what you do: practice

Focus – Always push yourself

Serve – You have to serve something of value for people to give their money to you

Ideas – Listen, observe, be curious, ask questions, solve problems and make connections

Persist – Number one reason for success. Giving up means failure.


  1. 100 Days of Rejection by Jia Jiang

Excellent example of how development is to abandon your comfort zone. Jia Jiang realized that the universe starts to open up to you by being open about the universe.

Nothing is as much limiting to our life as all doubts we have.

  1. The power of vulnerability by Brene Brown

If I had to say one thing that influenced my state of mind most profoundly, this is what Brene Brown is speaking about. It’s about putting down all the internal barriers against feelings , perceptions and outer situations. It comes when you are actually understanding that there is nothing to counter.

Great talk and great idea.

  1. Try something new for 30 days by Matt Cutts

What Matt Cutts describes here is the impact of breaking down the everyday life cycle.

It gives us more strength, makes us more confident and, above all, helps us to evolve as humans.

  1. Why 30 is not the new 20 by Meg Jay

Stop wasting time – you don’t have as much of it as you think you do.

Personally, I never thought of my younger years as “throwaway years,” but I can understand that many people do.

You are deciding your life right now- Meg Jay
  1. The skill of self confidence by Dr. Ivan Joseph

I loved this from the beginning because Ivan made it clear that self confidence is a skill that can be learned.

Self confidence comes from knowing what to do and knowing what to do comes from repetition.

  1. Why we do what we do by Tony Robbins

Tony Robbins has 30 years of experience of inspiring people. When he talks, it’s good idea to listen.

Unfortunately this isn’t one of his best talks, and it’s not as centered as TED talks are normally, but it’s still worth mentioning.

Recommended Reading: Road to Happiness #3 : Close the Gap


  1. The surprising science of happiness by Dan Gilbert

Dan explains beautifully with how our thinking fools us – especially when it comes to happiness.

  1. The Paradox of Fulfillment by Taylor Conroy

4 years before giving this talk, Taylor had everything: he had became a millionaire and was in the best condition of his life. He also felt deep emptiness.

In this inspirational video you can see his excitement towards what truly made his life fulfilling.

  1. All it takes is 10 mindful minutes by Andy Puddicombe

People recommend meditation for a reason. By taking 10 minutes each day and being completely present has a refreshing effect that ripples to every part of your life.

Recommended Article: Meditation and Mindfulness

  1. The happy secret to better work by Shawn Achor

There’s a common myth going on, that happiness is some distant thing that will happen to you after you’ve been working hard enough. Made up nonsense. Actually. Watch this talk.

  1. Flow, the secret to happiness by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

One of the best experiences you can have is being in the flow-state. It looks like you can only get that by chance when you come across something fun to do.

Mihaly explains how to reach the state of flow: It’s boring when you do something that’s simple for you. It is frustrating when you do something that’s hard for you. But when you do something that’s of equal difficulty with your current skills.. that’s when the magic of flow happens.

17. The habits of happiness by Matthieu Ricard

The greatest misconception about happiness is to associate it with a sense of pleasure. Matthieu explains how wellness is a better definition of happiness as it means a sense of serenity and fulfilment.


  1. Your body language shapes who you are by Amy Cuddy

I thought that the way we think and act forms our body language, but in fact it is a two-way path. Wherever I am, my intention is to portray myself with clarity and confidence.

The reason for that is not because I want to fake it, but to reinforce those values in me by doing so. Therefore the momentum gives me the ability to actually be confident.

  1. How to make stress your friend by Kello McGonigal

Highly recommended.

Phenomenal talk for those who wish to be more productive.

I’ve experienced this myself as I’ve focused on pushing myself and gaining momentum by being active. I never thought the stress as bad, but something that energized me to do more.

I always thought about it as the effect of momentum, but Kelly gave it a name backed by studies.


  1. The first 20 hours – how to learn anything by Josh Kaufman

Self-improvement is constant education. Some people believe they cannot learn anything new anymore.

Josh Kaufman’s brilliant talk explains why that’s complete nonsense. The song played by him at the end is also remarkable.

  1. Trial, error and the God complex by Tim Harford

The most successful way to learn is by trial and error. It’s also the toughest as it needs some thinking out of the box and a attitude that is different from other people.

Tim Harford often speaks from a business viewpoint, but that is completely applicable to personal growth.

Obviously, children do it all the time and so they learn stuff so quickly. They are open to making themselves fail, since they have not yet developed the idea of defeat and guilt.

  1. Smash fear, learn anything by Tim Ferriss

Any time I hear those excuses: “I can’t do that” or “Only talented people can do that.”  I cringe. This is the worst way of restricting yourself. Anyone can learn anything.  It’s all about taking action towards actual learning instead of taking the easy way: making excuses.

Watch this talk.


  1. The puzzle of motivation by Dan Pink

Dan Pink discusses how financial incentives carry mechanical efficiency to better results. When it comes to creative performance, financial rewards actually reduce efficiency. This is more of a business-oriented talk, but you can see how it applies to life for individuals: reward-oriented thinking, like doing something for money alone, does not motivate you for long.

You’ll have to find deeper reasons for anything that you do

At the end of the day we have to apply our knowledge to experience a change in our lives. This is how we are going to the better. Check out more in Self Reflection.

RWTH Aachen Mechanical Engineering Student

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