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10 TED Talks Every Web Designer and Developer Should Watch

What is are TED talks? Why is it so popular nowadays?

Ted Talk is a nonprofit discussion event devoted to spreading ideas which can be in the form of a short, powerful and convincing talks usually runs from  18 minutes or less.

TED began in 1984 as a conference where (T)echnology, (E)ntertainment and (D)esign converged. But nowadays, it covers a variety of topics, from business to global issues and hot topics across the globe.

Some are independently running TEDx events that help share ideas in communities in every part of the world.


1. My Philosophy for a Happy Life: Sam Berns at TEDxMidAtlantic

The video was about Sam, who was diagnosed with Progeria, a rare, rapid aging disease, at the age of 2. He was able to experience a lot of obstacles in his life, which helped him create a philosophy of a happy life.

He said there are 3 aspects in his philosophy :

  • Be OK with what you ultimately can’t do because there is so much you can do.
  • Surround yourself with people you want to be around with.
  • Keep moving forward.

He believes that he can change the world and he will keep on striving to change it. His determination in surviving life’s difficulties despite of his impairment is truly amazing. It gives hope that everything is possible if one lives with it. The power to accept what one is leads to the fulfillment of one’s dreams.

2. John Maeda: How Art, Technology and Design Inform Creative Leaders

John Maeda delivers a funny and charming talk that involves his lifetime of work in art, design and technology mixed it with a picture of creative leadership in the future. It talks about the relationship of form and content and vice versa. Changing the form and changing the content affects any message.

He said:

  • Leaders are faced with how to lead differently.
  • A traditional leader is always wanting to be right, whereas a creative leader hopes to be right.
  • A regular leader loves to avoid mistakes.
  • Someone who’s creative actually loves to learn from mistakes.
  • In this complex, ambiguous space, and artists and designers have a lot to teach us.

3. How to Find Your Passion and Inner Awesomeness: Eugene Hennie at TEDxMMU

Eugene Hennie realized that his job was not giving him total happiness and adventure that he expected from life. He went on a soul-searching trip in South America before ending up working as a product launch strategist at Mindvalley in Kuala Lumpur. He now runs Anti Wantrepreneur, an online platform and podcast for aspiring entrepreneurs.

He points out these 10 things:

  1. Know yourself – Who are you? What do you like?
  2. Embrace yourself – Once you embrace who you are, everything in life becomes easier.
  3. Surround yourself with encouraging people – The company that you keep helps to dictate where you go in life. Surround yourself with cool, inspiring, and motivated individuals.
  4. Know what you want – Don’t feel ashamed to express what your wants and needs are in life.
  5. Work your s** off – Work hard, lose sleep, and put in the time to achieve your dreams.
  6. Make the impossible the new possible – Don’t ask yourself how can you do something; ask yourself, how can you not do something.
  7. Fail hard and fail often – If you fail a lot, the successes will be greater.
  8. Beat on your craft – Develop a crazy work ethic and perfect your craft.
  9. Learn to embrace confrontation – You must take risks for great things to happen.
  10. Do what is right – When you do the right things, good things happen to you.

He delivers his talk in a satirical way. Considering all of what he has said, this is an excellent foundation for inspiration for changing the way an individual think in relation to the things an individual really wants to do in  life. It simply helps the individual to be open-minded to the reality of embracing what an one wants to do and not by what the society is telling him to do. Breaking the conventional is what the talk is all about.

4. Overcoming Hopelessness: Nick Vujicic at TEDxNoviSad

Nick talks about the importance of parenting in early childhood and it’s vital role in overcoming hopelessness. Willpower is a driving force for making big dreams come true, but, if there is no chance of having  a miracle in life, anyone can always be a miracle to someone else.

He pointed out that what other people say about a person doesn’t matter, that the world needs hope and love. With these important characteristics, life will exist with contentment. His idea is very touching and moving that he can dream big. There are no walls. If someone finds inner peace, then those walls will become doors for hope.

5. Thomas Suarez: A 12-year-old App Developer

Most 12-year-olds love playing video games — Thomas Suarez taught himself how to create them. After developing iPhone apps like “Bustin Jeiber,” a whack-a-mole game, he is now using his skills to help other kids become developers.

This talk is a great example of innovation. As young as he is, he was able to conquer the possibilities and capabilities of an adult. He is just so inquisitive and smart to invent something that is very valuable.

He inspires a person to think like him. If someone has the right resources, the possibilities and exploration of resources, an individual can create something brand new.

6. How to Know Your Life Purpose in 5 Minutes: Adam Leipzig at TEDxMalibu

Adam Leipzig talks about life purpose. He tackles the necessity of doing what a person really loves to do. He formulated a set of questions to answer one’s life purpose. Change and transformation is necessary. Answering these questions can greatly help in find someone’s purpose in life.

  • What do I  love to do?
  • What do I feel supremely qualified to teach others?
  • Who do I do it for?
  • What do they want or need?
  • How do they change or transform as the result of what I give them?

He says that the most successful people in any field always focus most on the people they serve than how they are served by other people.  Adam Leipzig explains that knowing 5 things with conviction can open up your eyes to a greater life purpose.

7. The Skill of Self – Confidence: Dr. Ivan Joseph at TEDxRyersonU

As the Athletic Director and Head Coach of the Varsity Soccer team at Ryerson University, Dr. Joseph is often asked what skills he is searching for as a recruiter: Is it speed? Strength? Agility?

In this talk, he explores self confidence and how it is not just the most important skill in athletics, but also in people’s lives.

He points out, that without self-confidence, someone can be useless. Having a skill is really important.

Self-confidence can be trained by:

1. Repetition, repetition, repetition. Practice! – The problem with repetition is that anyone bails out after a few tries. Don’t accept failure; repetition and persistence are key.

2. Self-talk. He says that everyone has negative self-talk in their heads. There are enough people saying “We can’t do it; we are not good enough.” He explains more that thoughts influence an individual’s actions.

The more an individual focuses on the negative, the more that individual starts to believe in it. Everyone needs self-affirmation. It is more likely a good choice to avoid people who tear somebody down. A solid self-affirmations is very important.

Some valuable insights were:

  • Writing a letter to oneself of the things to be proud of and read it daily for reaffirmation.
  • Stop the negative self-talk.
  • Build confidence in others by praising the positive behavior someone wants to reinforce.
  • Self-confident people interpret negative feedback the way they want to.

Lastly, No one will believe in someone unless somebody do.

8. Amy Cuddy: Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are

In this talk, Amy Cuddy tackles the idea that the body language affects how others see us, but it may also change how we see ourselves. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy shows how “power posing”, standing in a confident posture even if we don’t feel confident, can affect testosterone and cortisol levels. It might even have an impact on our chances for success.

She expounds that the body language is a crucial consideration that proper posture and body language can affect an individual performance.

Her talk helps an individual understand about the power of nonverbal language. What someone projects may be very important. It turns out that the body language may also change how people see themselves.

9. Kelly McGonigal: How to Make Stress Your Friend

Stress makes an individual sick. It makes the heart beat fast, affects the breathing and gives someone a sweat in the forehead. Psychologist Kelly McGonigal urges us to see stress as positive thing. In this Ted talk, she gives us a way to reduce stress- and that is reaching out to others.

She shows that the people who are under more stress but don’t believe about its “negative” effects are healthier and more likely to live long happy lives.

Here are some ideas on stress:

  • People think that stress could kill them. People who have stress are said to have a higher death rate probability than those who don’t think stress can kill them. It’s the negative thought about stress that kills, not stress itself.
  • Oxitocin: also known as Anti – stress hormone. It is activated in times of stress when someone hugs a loved one or participate in any social activities.
  • Stress should not be the enemy, as many health specialists think. It causes the heart pump at a fast rate and blood tension to arise. Instead of thinking negatively about this, take the challenge of controlling it.

10. Simon Sinek: How Great Leaders Inspire Action

He describes how it is that great leaders inspire action, why some people are able to achieve things, when others are not.

He also talks about the brilliant, biologically-based “Golden Circle”, a new way of looking at how people approach what they do.  He also discusses the Law of Diffusion of Innovation, and weaves it all together with several brilliantly told examples, from Apple computer, the Wright Brothers, to Martin Luther King, Jr., some realizations why people fail.

According to him, there are 3 factors:

  1. Under-capitalization
  2. The wrong people
  3. Unfavorable market conditions

Closing Ceremony

TedTalks are so versatile and uplifting. They touch every human life. They inspire, change and transform individuals by its driving force of content and knowledge.

Ideas are really worth disseminating.

These are just some of my favorites that inspired me so much. How about you? What is your Tedtalk favorite?

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