Posts Tagged :

ted talk

How to Plan for the Future
1024 640 Darryn Pulanco

 

Nowadays, we are able to immediately satisfy our needs, whether it be same-day shipping or doing a quick online search to find the answer to whatever question we have. With this, we can forget the importance of planning for the future. In this Ted Talk, Ari Wallach gives us the proper tools to have the foresight to ensure that we can help make the world a better place in the next 10 to 15 years, and beyond.

Wallach suggests that we can better plan for the future by realizing our responsibility to help set up the future generations, rather than just focusing on ourselves. Next, there are many different “futures” that we can help become a reality if we put in the effort. Lastly, all of this is not possible if we think of the “future” as 5 years from now. Rather, we must think “30, 40, 50, 100 years ahead.”

This is an important shift in thinking, as many of us just try to find “sandbag solutions”: temporary fixes to our dilemmas. However, these do not fully fix our problems and leave the future no better than before.

With this in mind, we can take control of the future and not think about it as something that just washes over us. Rather, it is something we have full control of. We just need to widen the view of the world and our impact on others.

Watch Wallach’s Ted Talk below, and check out other talks at Ted.com.

ted talk, julian baggini, real you, true self, reinvent yourself
Reinvent and Understand Yourself Better with This Ted Talk
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Many of us are very tied to the idea of a soul, or inner essence that makes us what we are. Attached to this are our memories, beliefs, desires and knowledge. We spend time with inner reflection and meditation, so that we can become more in touch with this “true self.” However, in Julian Baggini’s Ted Talk, he challenges this idea: asking “Is there a real you?”

Baggini is a philosopher, author, and editor in chief of Philosopher’s Magazine. You can learn more about him here. Baggini claims that their is no true center of yourself to which these components attach themselves. Instead, he argues that it is these components (your beliefs, knowledge, memories and desires) that are you. He says it is the way in which these factors interact in a unique way that make you you.

This seems like a minor distinction, but it actually has enormous implications. Think about it. You are constantly developing new memories, new knowledge, new beliefs and new desires. Parts of these stay constant, of course. For instance, your past memories stay constant, and many of your desires stay constant. This means that although parts of you will remain the same, much of you changes throughout your life. There is no constant, “true self.” Instead, you are forever changing.

The way Baggini sees it, this knowledge gives you the freedom to become what you want to. You are not wedded to a core essence within yourself that will dictate every one of your beliefs and desires with constancy. Instead, he says that we can “channel the direction of our development.” He says that the true self is “something you in part discover, and in part create.”

Watch Baggini’s Ted Talk below, or check out his and other talks at Ted.com.

dog, animal, animal cognition, psychology, carl safina, ted talk
What do Animals Really Think About?: Ted Talk by Carl Safina, and Other Studies
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When it comes to thinking about animal thought, people have widely differing viewpoints. Some believe that their pets feel love, happiness, curiosity, sadness, and many other emotions. Yet others believe that people with these viewpoints are simply anthropomorphizing animals: placing human feelings on non-human animals. Carl Safina, who is an accomplished author (writing novels such as Song for the Blue Ocean) and host of PBS’s Saving the Ocean, is also a knowledgeable marine biologist and overall nature and animal expert. In his Ted Talk What are Animals Thinking and Feeling, he provides great inside into animal cognition.

Safina shows an overlap between human capacities (like love and curiosity) and those possessed by non-human animals. He shows how crayfish respond to the same anxiety medication as humans, how otters use tools, and how the lives of whales follow that of a career path. But Safina does not even scratch the surface in his short talk about the immense number of impressive animal capabilities. This article and video shows how crows not only use, but actually make their own tools. Check out this article, which demonstrates how elephants, chimpanzees, and magpies have funeral practices for their dead: demonstrating that they feel grief. This study from Japan’s Kwansei Gakuin University demonstrates the incredible empathetic capacity of rats. As Safina says, the qualities that we think make humanity distinct are actually shared by many other animals.

To watch Safina’s Ted Talk in its entirety, click here. What do you think? What animal stories do you have of your own? Animals have complex understandings, emotional capacities, and thought processes, and we are just beginning to understand them.

daniel goldstein, ted talk, motivation, long term goal, future
How to Resist Instant Gratification and Reach Long Term Goals
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Daniel Goldstein, who is in charge of the blog Decision Science News, is an expert in how we make decisions that impact our future. He focuses on the impact of economic and financial decisions, but his research analyzes the way in which we make all kinds of decisions. In his Ted Talk, “The Battle Between Your Present and Future Self,” he discusses the way in which we are less in touch with our future selves than we might think. Although we all know that one day we will get old, and that our present decisions will later effect us, we see our present selves as more “us” than our future selves, and thus show more loyalty to our present selves.

If we eat junk food now, we will gain weight in the future. If we don’t exercise now, our heart and muscles will be weaker later down the road. If we don’t save money, we will have less money for retirement. Often, we do not think of these things as definite. We figure we can exercise more later, or save more money at a later point. But in reality, these are just tactics for us to avoid the reality that our future selves are a direct result of our present. And when forced into a decision, we show more allegiance towards our present selves than future selves.

The key to reaching those long term goals is to remember that we are just as much our future selves as we are our present selves. Protecting and helping yourself in the future should be just as much a priority as helping yourself today. For this, we can try several tactics. Goldstein suggests simulating outcomes so that you can directly see the correlation between what you do today and what happens in the future. For instance, create example investment plans that demonstrate how the amount that you save now influences how much you will have later. Or create model exercise plans that demonstrate how this will impact your health later down the road. If you are a more visual learner he suggests using apps or images. For example, show yourself pictures of apartments you will be able to afford depending on how much you have saved for retirement. There are also apps that can make it look like you have aged or gained weight.

Overall, if you are finding it difficult to keep those long term decisions, do whatever you need to do to simulate future outcomes. And remember, your future is directly impacted by your present!

Jason Fried, Tedx Midwest, Ted Talk, Productivity, Workplace, Interruptions
How Your Workplace is Secretly Killing Productivity
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Jason Fried, who wrote Rework along with co-author David Heinemeier Hansson, is an expert at reanalyzing the way we assume our workplace is productive. In his Tedx Midwest Ted Talk, he takes an inventive look at what allows us to work productively. Shockingly, he claims that working within the office actually hinders us from being productive or accomplishing any meaningful work. Instead, we must wait until we get home, or work at some other time of day in order to successfully accomplish tasks.

But why is this? Fried argues that work can only be done productively when people are given long stretches of uninterrupted time. He compares work to sleep: if someone was constantly interrupting you as you were trying to sleep, would you ever be able to reach a deep sleep? Of course not. Work, he says, is the same. Work can be done efficiently and effectively when we have been working for long, uninterrupted periods. The problem arises when we have constant distractions that rip us from any productive flow state which we have entered.

The reason why the workplace reduces productivity is the same reason why so many of us worked productively in the library or coffee shop back in college: people are the most productive when they do not have distractions, or the distractions they have (email, Facebook, instant messaging) can be answered on their own time. The workplace uses constant check-ins and meetings with the idea that this will keep everyone working, therefore increasing productivity. However, with these constant interruptions, most people enter the office each day and never end up having even a few hours of uninterrupted time. By the time you account for brief check-ins and un-wanted conversations, most of us rarely have a full hour of uninterrupted time during the day. This means that we aren’t ever able to work on anything thoroughly and deeply.

Fried’s suggestion is to limit interruptions that demand people to acknowledge the meeting or check-in at a specific time, and to increase communication which people can check on their own time. By using email, instant messaging, and collaborative platforms like Slack, it is easier for workers to finish what they are doing, and to then work on these other forms of communication when it is productive for them to do so. Fried further suggests that we should decrease check-ins and meetings, reduce personnel in meetings to only the essential people needed, and that we should establish weekly or monthly “No Talking Afternoons” in which no one in the office is allowed to talk to one another in order to decrease interruptions.

So if you’re looking for ways to increase productivity, start making changes that allow your workers longer and more frequent periods of uninterrupted time. Remember that the most important thing is to make the workplace a location people want to work because it allows them to accomplish their tasks efficiently.

Ted Talk, Shawn Achor, Happiness, Work, Success
How to Find Happiness in Your Work
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Here at United Eventures, we are all about promoting teamwork and camaraderie, so that going into work each day is something you love to do. We think it’s important for everyone to enjoy the work that they do, and appreciate the successes they have made. For this reason, we wanted to share researcher and bestselling author Shawn Achor’s inspiring Ted Talk with you. Achor discusses a major mistake we make by assuming that we will attain happiness if only we gain the success we are looking for. He says that every time succeed at one goal, we raise that goal so that we once again have to work for success. In this way, if happiness is on the other side of success, we will never reach it.

Achor lists several ways that we can find happiness that helps us achieve success, instead of success helping us achieve happiness:

  1. 3 Gratitudes: Each day, write three new things that you are thankful for.
  2. Journaling: Each day, write about one positive thing that has happened over the last 24 hours.
  3. Exercise
  4. Meditation
  5. Random Acts of Kindness: Write one positive email or text each day saying something kind to someone you know.

Achor offers each of these suggestions so that we can find happiness to improve our work, instead of creating an endless cyclical relationship between success and un-fulfillment. Comment below with your thoughts about Achor’s talk!

 

 

brain, free will, psychology, control, David Ariely, illusion, optical illusion
How much free will do we really have?
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In our series “Power of the Brain”, we are dedicated to showing you some of the fascinating ways in which our brains work. Here, in David Ariely’s Ted Talk, he discusses how our brain is tricked by various illusions, and how we have far less control and awareness over our decisions than we think. He talks about our tendency to choose the easier, “default” option, even when we seem to have free will. Often, we are completely unaware of the cognitive influences that hinder our ability to make objective decisions. The brain is capable of making very quick decisions, but it often does so with extreme biases, even when we think we are unbiased.

For all of the talks, go here: https://www.ted.com/playlists/164/how_we_make_choices

How do you think this effects our day to day actions?