10 Inspiring TED talks for college students

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Sabeer Chalana

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10 Inspiring ted talks for college students

College Life: The phase of life where hanging out with friends, doing what we want, exploring our freedom and passion is our prime motto. But we also come across the “society” and its norms as we should rightly call it. Every college student starts observing the “right”, “wrong” of anything and everything happening around them.

Like whenever someone is called names or is bullied due to his/her looks, skin color or any other appearance trait.

Suddenly, our surroundings get divided into two groups of people. One who enjoys the joke and take part in bullying and the other half who start feeling bad for the person is bullied.

But what misses the human eye is the simple fact that we all behave and say things based on our ‘Perception’ and ‘Experiences’ in the past.

So, rather than seeing wrong and right of things we have to know the cause behind any behaviour that we exhibit or anything we utter. The compilation of these ted talks will give you an altogether different perspective about life, yourself and the society we live in.

After reading and listening to these we are sure that you will sense the ‘change’ in you. Enjoy the ride!!

1. Cameron Russell:

A supermodel for ten years, an apple of the eye for many, people dream of looking like her reveals- Every model you meet is the most insecure person living on this Earth. As every day I live with an obligation to look good and a question in my head keeps asking me that what if I don’t look that good today? She answers the three most asked questions and proves some of the most prevalent opinions wrong. Her talk signifies that there is no set parameter for beauty, you have to learn to shine through your flaws. As she believes our looks are the result of our genes but it’s actually our deeds that define who we are.

Highlights of the talk

  • Image is powerful but superficial
  • I have just inherited tall, slender figure & white skin
  • Never judge someone based on looks rather judge them for their deeds
  • Accept yourself as the way you are

 “Cameron conducted a survey which showed 53% of 13-year old American girls are unhappy with their bodies and this goes up to 78% by the time they are 17 years old”.

2. Julian Treasure:

A person who studies ‘sound’ and advise people about why do people not listen to you?

He has outlined the 7 sins of speaking: Gossip, Judging, Negativity, Complaining, Excuses, Penultimate, Dogmatism

Julian says these are the probable reasons why when you speak no one pays attention.

Also, he has given a golden rule of speaking. Anyone who follows it would definitely make people listen to him/her.

“HAIL: Speak honestly, Be yourself, Keep integrity and do what you say, wish people well & talk with love”.

3. Drew Dudley:

The world-famous speaker on leadership defines it in the simplest form.

From his funny talk, he pinned the exact definition of leadership- He says being a leader is just about the everyday things that you do which can bring about a change in someone’s life. He calls these small moments as ‘lollipop moments’, as these sweet moments when your acts, deeds or words affect someone in a positive way. You can proudly call yourself a leader

Major take ways:

  • Being a leader is not about great, grand things that change the world
  • Always be comfortable in calling yourself a leader

Leadership: “Small acts of kindness can change someone’s life, and each person in their own way positively affects the people around them”.

4. Susan Cain:

From a quiet girl whose favourite activity was reading with family. Discovered that she was an introvert but kept forcing herself to engage in activities loved by extroverts, just to prove introverts are equally competent as extroverts.

“She became wall street lawyer and keeps encouraging the world to not judge or be biased against introverts as they have the power to bring a change too”.

5. Angela Lee Duckworth:

The famous psychologist (University of Pennsylvania), before getting a taste of success, left her high-flying job of management consulting to become a 7th-grade Mathematics teacher. Eventually dropped the idea of becoming a teacher to make a career in psychology. If you are trying to question her decision, think twice.

Secrets Revealed by Her:

  • As a teacher, she didn’t just teach rather believed in observing the pupils she taught.
  • She asked the most relevant question, ‘Is IQ or intelligence the only difference between students who performed best or worst in Maths?’
  • After years of research, she found that not your looks, family background, intelligence etc are actually responsible for your success or failures
  • Only a person’s thinking or ‘growth mindset’ can make a person rise or fall in life
  • Any child’s ability to learn is not fixed, it can change with efforts and when they face challenges.

“After years of research on thousands, lakhs of people from different walks of life, Angela found only Grit is responsible to make someone stand out and win, Meaning of Grit: Perseverance, hard work, belief to win”.

6. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie:

A Storyteller who narrates her real-life experiences since the age of seven. Through her experiences, she demonstrates the pain of being judged just because you belong to Africa.The story showcases the harsh reality of how Africa or Africans are perceived and received by especially by Americans.

So, her ted talk was named as, “The Danger of a single story”

7. Takaharu Tezuka:

The architect who built a circular kindergarten on a “Roof-top” in Kyoto, Japan.  Just imagine about the school or pre-school we have been and compare it with this innovative way of nurturing a child. The kindergarten which has a 5-meter wide roof has no boundaries at all, remains open most of the time, allows children to run freely over the circular roof. Hard to comprehend even, right?

Some points which reveal the thinking behind this kindergarten:

  • Circular roof was constructed because children at a tender age love making circles
  • The concept is to impose no ‘control’ over children
  • Boundaries are considered make people nervous, so the school has no boundaries at all
  • Keep children in the least restrictions and just small dosage of danger can make them learn to play,

Fall and then rise again.

After the survey, it was found that on an average a child was running or walking 4,000 meters a day. Inculcating exceptional athletic qualities in him/her, all because of an architectural change.

8. Casey Neistat:

New York-based filmmaker. He is the writer, editor, and star of the series The Neistat Brothers on HBO and won the John Cassavetes Award at the 2012 Independent Spirit Awards for producing the film Daddy Long Legs. He describes or gives the solution to a situation every teenager faces, “The difference between Opportunity and Obligation”. The Ted Talk will take you through his journey of teenage years when he struggled to find purpose in his life and how he made his way from being a dishwasher to Casey Neistat.

9. Adora Stivak:

A child prodigy, blogger since the age of 7, she explains the world about what children can actually do. She explains being a kid, whenever I try to voice my opinion, I am termed as kiddish just like other kids of my age. She says I can give millions of examples where grownups behave like a kid and their behaviours have caused wars and destruction. This exemplifies the fact that just because we are young that does not mean we should be overheard.

She pleads the grownup population:

“You must lend an ear today as we are the leaders of tomorrow”

10. Dan Gilbert:

Harvard Psychologist and the author of ‘Stumbling on Happiness’. Explains how to be happy, even when things do not go as per your plan? We all struggle with gloomy times when we start feeling disheartened and loosing hope. He brings to light that in our brain, the pre-frontal cortex is the stimulator which is the reason how we experience happiness or sadness. Therefore, we have to learn to tune this psychological immune system to feel happiness.

Dan Gilbert, ”A system of cognitive processes, largely non-conscious cognitive processes, that help them change their views of the world so that they can feel better about the worlds in which they find themselves”.

These Ten Ted Talks make us realize the bitter truth which has been existing for long. The motive behind compiling this list is for students to break free and not conform to the norms this society imposes on you. Only this way we can take a step to remove these social evils.