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5 inspirational TED talks

TED started as a technology and design conference in 1984 and has since evolved into a global community where people from all walks of life share their ideas in powerful talks (18 minutes or less) in order to “seek a deeper understanding of the world.” Here are five of their best.



1.   Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action

According to Simon Sinek‘s ‘Golden Circle’ theory, most leaders mistakenly talk about what they do and how they do it, instead of why they do it. A trained ethnographer and member of the RAND Corporation – one of the most highly respected and innovative think tanks in the world – Simon’s theories on leadership and the “concept of why” has resulted in his TED talk being the third most watched presentation of all time, gathering 27+million views.

By learning how successful companies like Apple articulate their why will hopefully help you comprehend and communicate your own.



2.   Shawn Achor: The happy secret to better work

Strap yourselves in because fast-talking Shawn Achor is going to introduce you to the fascinating field of positive psychology, which asserts that happiness fuels success, not the other way around. Shawn, who is the recipient of numerous Harvard University teaching awards, has become one of the world’s leading experts on the not-so-illusive connection between happiness and success.

As you’ll see in his TED talk, Shawn believes that our brains respond better to positive feedback more so than negative, neutral or stressed stimuli.



3.   Dan Pink: The puzzle of motivation

New York Times bestselling author of A Whole New Mind, Drive and To Sell is Human, Dan Pink challenges the common business assumption that financial incentives are the best motivator when it comes to sales based outcomes.

Instead, Dan reiterates what scientists have been studying for years, and that is intrinsic motivation – behaviour that is driven by internal rewards – is way more effective in achieving our goals. Doing things because they matter, because they make us feel good about ourselves, or because they connect us to something greater, can become irm foundations for our businesses if we know how to tap into them.



4.  Audrey Cho: How to make a profit while making a difference

According to investment expert Audrey Choi, almost half of all global capital is owned by individual investors, which she believes gives everyday citizens the power to make a difference through ethical investments. Living by the mantra that we need to “invest in the change you want to see in the world”, Audrey has become an inspirational leader on how finance can be harnessed to address public policy challenges.

A former foreign correspondent for The Wall Street Journal and current CEO of Morgan Stanley’s Institute for Sustainable Investing, Audrey explains that profit does not have to be at the expense of our principles.



5.  Turia Pitt: Unmask your potential

Lastly, but by no means least, we finish with the comparable Turia Pitt, a force of nature who is not only a medical miracle but someone who personifies strength through adversity.

In 2011 at the age of 24, the former model, fitness freak and successful mining engineer became trapped in a grass fire while competing in a 100km Kimberley Ultramarathon. She was choppered out of the remote gorge barely alive, with extensive burns to 65 per cent of her body.

Turia endured six months in hospital, underwent 200-plus surgeries, lost seven fingers, and spent two years in recovery. Surviving against seemingly insurmountable odds, Turia has not only re-built her life but has since become a humanitarian, athlete (last year she completed in the Ironman World Championships 2016 in Hawaii) and motivational speaker.

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Veda Dante

Veda Dante is an accomplished journalist, consultant and content creator who has nearly 30 years’ experience writing about everything from tourism, hospitality and health to architecture, pools and luxury goods. When she’s not producing copy for clients, this self-confessed word nerd is usually writing and photographing the Byron Bay region for her blog

The opinions expressed in this article are the opinions of the author(s) and not necessarily those of Homeloans Ltd.