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21 Of The Most Life Changing TED Talks You Will Ever Watch

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If you want some serious inspiration, want to up your ‘living your best life’ game and want to seriously shake things up, then you need to get on board with these – the most life changing TED Talks you will ever watch.

I’m a serious TED Talks fan, I’ve watched hours upon hours of talks, listened to the podcasts, I’ve even roped my son and my husband into watching some of them with me.

But to save you time, and to give you the biggest bang for the time you do have, I’ve collated the absolute best, the most impacting and the most thought provoking TED Talks for you here, all in one place. 

Because I know you don’t have time to sit and listen to them all, you can use this link to Pin this post and save it for later.

You can also download our free Mini Life Planner to take notes as you go and use the inspiration from these TED Talks to help you plan and organise your life. 

1 – The Magic of Not Giving a F*** – Sarah Knight

Any talk that starts with ‘the life giving magic of not giving a fuck’ is going to get my attention.

This, obviously, comes with a swearing warning, but even if swearing gets under your skin, you’ll still love this talk. 

We talk a lot about physical decluttering, throwing out excess in our life, but this talk looks closer at mental decluttering.

Choosing what and who you give you ‘fucks’ to. This is huge for those of us who are people pleasers. 

If this talk seriously floats your boat, then you can dive deeper into the magic of not giving a f*ck with Sarah’s book. It’s an awesome read. 

Watch this talk here

2 – How To DAD – Jordan Watson

If you’ve ever seen any of the ‘How to DAD’ videos on Facebook then you’ll know how funny this guy is.

When I saw that he had a TED Talk I was a little skeptical, I mean he is funny, but can he seriously be a person who can deliver one of the life changing TED Talks?

Umm… yes, yes he can. 

If you’re a creative, or like me and super impatient, this talk is a great reminder that a) you can’t always plan for success and b) the most important thing is to just keep showing up.

This translates to so much in life, our successes, our happiness, our health – everything. 

Just keep showing up. “Make it til you make it, fakers don’t make it.” 

Watch this talk here

3 – The Price Of Shame – Monica Lewinsky

We all make mistakes in our lives, (especially when we are younger) but what is the price of your mistakes? How far will your actions reach?

It’s sad that we have to live in a world where our mistakes can be dragged to all corners of the world and internet and things can quickly go viral.

Cyberbullying is never okay. Ever.

I could go on for hours about this topic, we all know someone who has experienced cyberbullying to some extent – and if you think you don’t, ask your friends.

I assure you, you know someone who has felt the sharp sting of cyberbullying. 

An incredibly compelling talk, an absolute ‘must watch’ (and I have to admit, it even made me cry).

Watch this talk here

4 – My Year Of Saying Yes To Everything – Shonda Rhimes

If you’ve read her book ‘A Year of Saying Yes’ you’ll know Shonda’s story (if not, it’s an awesome book, check it out).

Shonda talks of losing her ‘hum’ – the addictive thing that gave her joy in her work and how she found that hum again. 

She also talks about the power of play and the fact that we can all find 15 minutes, even on our worst day.

“Work doesn’t work without play.”

I love that she doesn’t deny that she loves working more than she loves being at home.

I relate to the love of work and find that I feel like I shouldn’t love my work as much as I do now that I’m a mother.

But it doesn’t mean that my family isn’t important to me, and that they don’t give me my ‘hum’, but that work is still important to me too. 

Watch this talk here

5 – Why Thinking You’re Ugly Is Bad For You – Meghan Ramsey

This one will rock you, like to the core.

As women, we obsess about our appearance. Even the most confident of us worry at some point about how we look and what others think about how we look.

This is one talk I watch regularly and am captivated every single time. And it’s one I will be making my children watch for sure. 

It makes me wonder, what am I benchmarking myself against without even realising. It certainly makes me rethink the way I look at myself as well as the way I speak to myself. 

“6 out of 10 girls are now choosing to not do something because they don’t think they look good enough.”

Watch this talk here

6 – Adira Svitak – What Adults Can Learn From Kids

I absolutely adore this TED Talk, and not just because it’s being presented by a 12 year old.

Adora challenges learning to be a two way street, where children learn from adults and adults learn from children.

She talks about how children don’t see obstacles like adults do and therefore their scope of possibilities is much wider.

A great reminder for us when we keep saying ‘you can’t do that’ to our kids (I know I do…). 

Watch this talk here

7 – Jamie Oliver – Teach Every Child About Food

This was the very first TED Talk I ever watched (and from that moment was hooked!).

I love Jamie’s passion for teaching kids about real food and as an extension, getting real food into schools all around the world.

Such an important message for our kids.  

Watch this talk here

8 – Tony Robbins – Why We Do What We Do

I absolutely love Tony Robbins. I am a massive fan and could listen to what this man has to say and absorb every single word, every single day.

He is captivating and to be honest, one of my favourite points in this talk is where he identifies himself as ‘The Why Guy’. The guy who challenges you to question why you do what you do.

Your why, and your understanding of your why is essential to your self confidence. Knowing not only who you are and what you do – but why you do it makes you more sure of your place in this world.

Find His Book Here – Awaken The Giant Within

Watch this talk here

9 – Brené Brown – Listening To Shame

In a follow-up to her previous TED talk, Brené clarifies that vulnerability is not weakness, as many believe, but is actually courage.

She encourages us to never be afraid to fail and that shame is what makes us fear failure.

Brené also explains that while guilt is a result of feeling like you have done a bad thing, shame is a result of feeling that you are a bad person.

It is also explained that empathy is the antidote to shame.

There is a reason why this talk has been listened to almost 7 million times and the last 60 seconds are absolutely amazing.

Watch this talk here

10 – Niko Everett – Meet Yourself: A User’s Guide to Building Self-Esteem

“If you could meet yourself, you might really like her.”

This talk hits right in the feels, if you’ve ever been in a situation where your self esteem has taken a hit, a relationship breakup, losing your job, having a baby, you can turn things around and build your own self esteem back up. 

I love how this touches on how uncomfortable it is for many of us to accept a compliment.

Filling our lives with more positivity results in us feeling more positive about ourselves.

Delete the negative, embrace the positive and create new stories about ourselves. 

Watch this talk here

11 – Lizzie Velasquez – How Do You Define Yourself?

“What’s wrong with me?”

The question, as parents, we hope our children never ask us.

Lizzie was faced with difficult challenges in her life, an extremely rare genetic disorder that affects her ability to gain weight, thus affecting her appearance, but she doesn’t let that define her. 

This talk made me sit back and wonder what I let define me, or how I choose to define myself. 

Prepare for the tears as she talks about being labelled as ‘the worlds ugliest woman’. 

Watch this talk here

12 – Tabatha Coffey – Why You Need To Be A Bitch

As a woman, if you’re confident, strong and passionate you’re a bitch.

These qualities in men are seen as successful and powerful, but as women, it makes us bitches.

But the most alarming thing is that it’s women saying this to other women. How crazy is that?

I love that Tabatha flips the negative connotation of the word ‘bitch’ and turns it into brave, intelligent, tenacious, creative, honest. 

Watch this talk here

13 – Alison Ledgerwood – Getting Stuck In The Negatives (And How To Get Unstuck)

I’m so glad I’m not the only person who gets stuck on negatives – it’s such a natural thing to do, especially as a people pleaser.

How many times have you experienced this yourself?

My husband and I were discussing the successes we had and how often we quickly adapt to our successes and chase the next one, but we hold on to negatives for so much longer. 

You have to work to see the upside.

This is such a great talk to shake up how you approach your day and reframe how you talk about things in your life.

Focusing more on the good things than the negatives and making more of an effort to see the upside. 

Watch this talk here

14 – Carrie Green – Programming Your Mind For Success

I’ve been following Carrie Green for a while now and love her approach. She is such a positive person who feels so relatable.

I love that she focuses on how we feel, not just what looks like success.

In the midst of having a massively successful global business, Carrie realised she was miserable. So she set out to change it. 

This talk makes you wonder what it is you’re missing out on by staying stuck in a job you don’t like, or not paying attention to what ideas are around you, or what you’re talking yourself out of doing. 

Watch this talk here

15 – The Minimalists – A Rich Life With Less Stuff

This talk is from the guys who bought the minimalist movement mainstream.

They flip the idea of ‘rich’ from earning money and having things and wanting and having more, to being intentional and living a simple, happy, enriched life. 

“I was spending money faster than I was earning it, attempting to buy happiness.”

This is the way so many people are living, and a way I too was living for a long time. Because that’s what we think is ‘normal’. 

Simplifying your life and getting the clutter out of the way helps you make room for things that are important – and I guarantee those ‘things’ aren’t the cupboards of possesions you have right now. 

Watch this talk here

16 – The Minimalists – The Art Of Letting Go

These guys are so life changing I had to include another one of their talks.

The average American household has over 300,000 items in it.

How much ‘stuff’ do you own? And how much of that are you holding on to ‘just in case’?

For many of us who have joined the minimalist movement on some level, we all have a ‘trigger’ moment.

Perhaps watching this Ted Talk will be your minimalist trigger (be warned, it becomes addictive). 

Watch this talk here

17 – Dr Cal Newport – Quit Social Media

How much time do you spend on social media?

I know I spend way too much time.

A quick ‘I’m just going to check Facebook’ turns into ‘where did the last 2 hours go?’

While I have to admit, I’m not going to quit social media anytime soon, this talk certainly makes me question if the excuses I give for my use of social media are actually justified, and question what ‘value’ it gives to my life. 

I agree wholeheartedly with Dr. Newport saying that social media brings with it an element of harm, they are designed to be addictive, and with a growth in online bullying it makes me nervous for the next (and current) generations growing up using social media. 

Watch this talk here

18 – Tomislav Perko – How To Travel The World With Almost No Money

Many people want to travel the world, but the most common excuse you hear is ‘I can’t afford it’.

This talk makes you wonder what societal thoughts and expectations are preventing you from doing what you want to do and stopping you from thinking outside of the box and pushing the boundaries a little further. 

You don’t have to apply these lessons to just travelling, there are many things that we stop ourselves from doing because other people tell us it isn’t possible or because it goes against the norm.

Think about what you could do if you didn’t have these restrictions. 

Watch this talk here

19 – Magnus Walker – Go With Your Gut Feeling

This talk seriously makes my heart happy.

In a world where so many people are telling you to ‘start with the end in mind’ and you map out your path to success, Magnus talks about how he followed his gut so many times and that, coupled with a little luck and a leap of faith.

In doing so he created successful businesses that led him to live a life he had never dreamed was possible. 

Success is the freedom to do whatever you want to do – love it. And don’t fear when you feel awkward, that’s often a sign you’re on the right track. 

Watch this talk here

20 – D. Ivan Young – Emotional Intelligence: Using The Laws of Attraction

Our mind is incredibly powerful, and the way we talk about things and think about things will reflect in our lives.

So often we focus on the negative ‘oh I’ll never have what they have’ or ‘my bills are so expensive’ and therefore subconsciously attract negative into our lives. 

Choose how you use your mind. Take the time to be quiet, be still and listen. 

This is one of the best and most concise talks about the Laws of Attraction I have ever seen. So good. 

Watch this talk here

21 – Dr Ivan Joseph – The Skill of Self Confidence

Self confidence isn’t something we just ‘have’. It’s a skill we need to acquire, nurture and grow. And it’s a skill that needs to be exercised.

Repetition is how we build self confidence and master a skill – remember the 10,000 hour rule?

That to master a skill we need to practice it for 10,000 hours.

But how many people bail after the first rejection, or negativity, or wall in our way? 

We know our thoughts influence actions, so why do we keep telling ourselves that we aren’t good enough?

We need to create our own affirmations to say and believe that you are confident and build it yourself. 

Watch this talk here

TED Talks can inspire and motivate you, but amazing TED Talks can change your life. These are some of the most life changing TED Talks you will ever watch.

47 Productive Things to Do When You're Bored | NunziaDreams

Saturday 7th of December 2019

[…] a cup of tea and watch one that intrigues you most. There are a lot to choose from, but here are 21 life Changing TED Talks via Project Hot Mess! […]

Russell Wretham

Wednesday 6th of February 2019

Wow, I just started watching the art of not giving a f**k and I have to say, I am blown away. What a cheap shot, bad language, that’s all it takes to make people laugh? There are so many reasons to do things you might not find particularly attractive at first thought. But how often have you thought something sounded like it might not float your boat, only to discover that, going to that leaving party after all lead to a great time or a conversation that changed your perspective for the better, OR, somebody else’s. You can use this positive stand point for, well you name it really, just keep it positive and you may leave out the flagrant language. Partly, the reason our western society is struggling in the mire is because of this negative, me first attitude. People, it really is time to change the ME to a WE, please we can not carry on this way, it is poisonous, for all of us.

Krystal Kleidon

Tuesday 19th of February 2019

Russell, thank you for your thoughts about this. I agree that swearing isn't always necessary, but if that's what she wants to do, and people love her for it, then go for it. If it's not up my alley I just scroll on by. Many people do resonate with her and her message, perhaps she is reaching a different audience this way?

As for changing ME to WE, I have to respectfully disagree. Selfishness is not a bad thing, it's about looking after yourself first, so you then can look after others. We have created a society where people are scared to take care of themselves because they fear being ridiculed for being 'selfish'. Self-care is not poisonous, it's more like an antidote.

Quarter-life Queens

Sunday 27th of January 2019

Absolutely beautiful post! Love your style of writing and there are some amazing TED talks on this list that I’ll definitely have to watch. Thanks so much for sharing!

Krystal Kleidon

Tuesday 19th of February 2019

Thank you so much for checking out the list! <3


Saturday 5th of January 2019

Hey, Thanks for the article, definitely need to see some of these. I just wanted to note that no. 3 and no. 5 have the same text.

Best, Anna

Krystal Kleidon

Tuesday 19th of February 2019

Argh, thank you for letting me know! I was having a problem with duplicate text, will see if I can fix it! Thank you xo

Comments are closed.
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