3 Inspiring TED Talks on Life, Love, and Happiness

May 18th, 2011 by Nick Notas 2 Comments

TED talks are conferences around the world where some of the most brilliant people speak their minds. Doctors, writers, scientists, philosophers, presidents, and Nobel Prize winners join together to share their ideas in fascinating ways. The best part is these speeches (over 940 so far!) are available free online for us to enjoy. Now you can watch Bill Gates, Richard Feynman, Jane Goodall, and even Bill Clinton spill their best without leaving your computer

Since I discovered TED a few years ago, I’ve been hooked. I try to watch at least one new video a week because of how motivational they are. I felt you guys would enjoy these three videos and you’ll see why I love these talks so much.

When in Doubt, Smile

I’m a huge advocate of smiling but I’ve never heard anyone discuss it so elegantly like Ron Gutman. Here he introduces us to the power of a smile and how much influence it has on every aspect of our lives. Smiles are contagious, improve our health in many ways, and power our brains to make us happy.

If you want to have a more fulfilling life, smile more. You want to feel better and live a longer life? Smile more. You want to look more attractive and confident (especially to women)? Smile more damn it! It’s one of smallest changes you can make that will give you big benefits.

TED Link: Ron Gutman: The hidden power of smiling

Life is Short, Appreciate What’s Important

Remember the plane failing over NYC where the pilot (Chesley Sullenberger) saved everyone by landing in the Hudson River? Ric Elias is one of the survivors and has a beautiful talk about three lessons he learned from his experience. This resonated with me as I had a near-death car accident two summers ago that changed who I am and my outlook on life.

We have to realize that most things we get upset about aren’t worth the negative energy. That we can avoid fights we have in our relationships as they often do more harm than good. Life is better spent going after what you want and doing what makes you happy. Discover what makes you passionate.

TED Link: Ric Elias: 3 things I learned while my plane crashed

Be a Leader and Attract Others

Seth Godin teaches us about the concept of tribes and how we all yearn to be a part of something bigger. We love to connect and unite with others through our shared passions and goals. But to make a significant change in this world, we need someone who can lead us together.

Don’t worry about trying to attract every woman out there. Seth talks about how mass marketing is dying and instead we should focus on finding our true fans. Every girl isn’t going to be interested in you and that’s okay because there are plenty who will be. It’s one of the best lessons I’ve ever learned and it helped me get over my fear of rejection. Become the leader of your own tribe.

TED Link: Seth Godin on the tribes we lead

  1. Gary on May 19, 2011

    Loving the first video on smiling. I really don’t smile enough…I have to start reminding myself. Any tips on how to go about doing that?

    • Nick on May 19, 2011

      The first step is exactly what you said: be conscious and remind yourself daily. What helped me most was just constant repetition until it became a natural habit. Anytime you’re out and about, tell yourself to smile at people you see. Someone holding the door for you, cashiers, toll booth attendees, and even people walking by.

      As Gutman said, smiles are contagious and when you smile at others — they often return the gesture. That in turn makes you smile more and gives your brain a positive feedback loop and reference experience. It makes me feel good to see a person perk up and to know I’m giving them value, even if it’s for a few seconds. And because of that, it’s become second nature and a part of who I am. Hope that helps!

      Really happy you enjoyed the video as much as I did 🙂


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