We’ve put together some of our favourite Ted Talks to change your perspective, give your mental health a boost and get you out of bed in the morning!

June 3, 2020
June 26, 2023
Learning And Development

During the current coronavirus crisis, we all have a few things in common. The first thing is that we all have a bit more free time - if lockdown has taught us anything it’s that there are a lot more hours in the day that we ever thought possible.

For many of us, filling those hours has become challenging. After working, exercising and eating, there is a learning-shaped hole that needs to be filled.The second thing that many of us have in common is that our perspective on things may have become a little bit negative. There’s no shame in admitting that our perspective has become a little dampened by everything going on - it’s natural that a global pandemic is unsettling and creates an attitude shift.

However, if you’re ready to snap out of the mental rut that coronavirus can create, we’ve put together some of our favourite Ted Talks to change your perspective, give your mental health a boost and essentially get you out of bed in the morning when it somehow feels a lot harder. Watch these for an instant lift!

The Puzzle Of Motivation - Dan Pink

We love this Ted Talk where career analyst Dan Pink examines the puzzle of motivation, starting with a fact that social scientists know but most managers don't: Traditional rewards aren't always as effective as we think. Motivation and passion are essential to get the most out of your people, but what most of us forget is that this renders narrow reward systems invaluable.

People might work harder for a bonus, treat scheme or accolade, but if it’s not something that really matters to them, it will only be a short term motivation.We need to do things that REALLY matter to us, and if we don’t we really won’t get very far. That goes for personal and professional pursuits alike. When we're performing actions we don't care about, it's incredibly difficult to stay motivated.

Listen to this Ted Talk for illuminating stories and some inspiration if you’re a HR or business leader looking to improve the employee experience.

The First 20 Hours - Josh Kaufman

Ever wondered how you can learn anything? Josh Kaufman believes that we can!His amazing theory offers a systematic approach to rapid skill acquisition and is a very inspiring way to approach learning something new.

This Ted Talk is perfect for those of us who feel a bit deflated and are struggling to just get started.If you want to know how to learn any new skill as quickly as possible, then this talk is a motivating watch. His method shows you how to deconstruct complex skills, maximize productive practice, and remove common learning barriers.

In his talk, he shares how having his first child inspired him to approach learning in a whole new way and might inspire you to get going with a project you’ve been putting off.

5 hindrances to self-mastery - Master Shi Heng Yi

During this current period, we could all do with a better handle on self-mastery.

Whether that’s to become better at understanding how we feel, working through how to remain disciplined, or knowing how to keep pushing for personal growth, Master Shi Heng Yi has some great tips that will be sure to change our perspective on things.In this serene talk about self-discovery, he explains why rainfall is an essential part of each flowering, why every small step is part of the journey to the highest peek and how the hindrances along the way to self-discovery and personal growth are easy to overcome.

This talk extends beyond the professional and ventures into the interaction between mind and body and how we can really master our mind and body in order to feel better in ourselves.

Inside the mind of a master procrastinator - Tim Urban

We are all guilty of procrastinating, but for many of us the pandemic has taken that to whole new heights. Getting things done during a pandemic is hard, but there are ways around this if you’re willing to admit that you’re waiting until the last minute to get things done.

Tim offers actionable insights and ways around the challenges of just getting started, in this very human and endearing Ted Talk. Urban takes us on a journey through his own personal YouTube binges, Wikipedia rabbit holes and bouts of staring out the window -- and encourages us to think harder about what we're really procrastinating on, before we run out of time.

There is one quote in this talk that will stick with anyone who knows deep down that they’re a bit of a procrastinator, it’s this: For many,"the frustration is not that they couldn't achieve their dreams, it's that they weren't even able to start chasing them”. Watch this talk for an instant shift in perspective - it’s a game changer.

The power of vulnerability - Brene Brown

We all know that feeling of being totally emotionally exposed, and many of us run away from it whenever possible. It’s those moments where we step out of our comfort zone and make ourselves vulnerable.

Brene Brown argues that running away from these feelings of submission to change and challenge is the wrong way to approach them.Instead, we should dive head first into these feelings and understand them as signposts to personal growth. It is one of the most important things we look for in others - as a sign of authenticity. However when it comes to showing it ourselves, we see it as a sign of weakness.

Brown unpacks this notion and discusses how we could all use vulnerability as a secret weapon to boost our success in multiple areas of our lives.This is one of the most viewed Ted Talks of all time, and definitely one to share with friends and colleagues alike.For more amazing talks to keep you motivated and fill those extra lockdown hours, take a look at Ted.com. Plus, for more insights from us, head over to our resources page for some extra bedtime reading.