The incredible popularity of the TED Talks series makes sense. In an age where your marketing plan needs to include multimedia to be successful, why should you be any different when it comes to consuming inspiration? Just like your clients and customers, you too want to engage in powerful “ideas worth spreading.” Content told through well-crafted storytelling is contagious. There’s a beauty to being able to watch it unfold before you instead of only reading it on the page.
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However, with so many incredible TED speakers to choose from, how do you decide what to watch? Do you go with the most popular or most recent videos? Or should you search deeper for the TED Talk that will inspire you most.
To help you whittle down the choices, here are five TED Talks that will make you think differently about your life. These are a great place to start.
1. Simon Sinek -- “How Great Leaders Inspire Action”
Sinek's TED Talk has over 16 million views. Filmed in 2009 at a TEDxPudgetSound event, it is still one of the most popular TED Talks in existence. Not surprising from the guy who wrote Start With Why and Leaders Eat Last. He’ll have you thinking about the importance of your why and the reason that “why” truly makes all the difference in the world. While most people and companies start from the outside “what they do,” and work their way in, Sinek shares that true innovators start at the core addressing the “why” first, and then work from the inside out for great success.
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2. Chris Hadfield -- “What I Learned From Going Blind in Space”
If you saw Gravity, you know there’s plenty that can go wrong in space. Watching Astronaut Chris Hadfield’s TED Talk about his personal experience going temporarily blind on a space walk can help you understand that a spacewalk can turn into a terrifying experience quickly. However, the real takeaway from Hadfield’s astronaut experience is learning to differentiate between fear and danger. Fear can play a big part in an entrepreneur’s journey, but rarely are you in danger. Know how to judge your fear to conquer it and achieve ultimate success.
3. Amy Cuddy -- “Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are”
What can you learn about perception from a social psychologist and body language expert? If you’re one of the 16 million people who have already watched Cuddy’s compelling TED talk -- you know there’s plenty to learn. Cuddy discuses how body language and even physical posture can affect not only others' perception of you, but your own self-perception as well. Could changing your posture change your life? It just might. Watch Cuddy’s TED talk and decide for yourself if an adjustment could alter your course.
4. Dan Gilbert -- “The Surprising Science Of Happiness”
The brain is a fascinating place. Harvard psychologist and Stumbling On Happiness author Gilbert shares some of the ramifications of our mind and our beliefs about happiness. It’s a fascinating journey to understanding what really makes you happy vs. what you might think will make you happy “one day.” Learn about the ramifications of your brain’s frontal lobe processing and impact biases and get to the scientific roots of your happiness and impact your life for good.
5. Susan Cain -- “The Power Of Introverts”
Often business and entrepreneurship is thought to be a game played best by the outgoing. However, in this passionate case for introverted value, Cain shares that really the best environment for every person to be in are the ones that stimulates their productivity and creativity best. While introverts might brainstorm best in small groups or isolation, how they do their best work isn’t important -- it’s the quality and contribution of the work brought forth that matters most for all personality types -- introverts included.
The author is an Entrepreneur contributor. The opinions expressed are those of the writer.
This post originally appeared at Entrepreneur. Copyright 2014.
Adam Toren is a serial entrepreneur, mentor, investor and co-founder of YoungEntrepreneur.com. He is co-author, with his brother Matthew, of Kidpreneurs and Small Business, BIG Vision: Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market from Self-Made Entrepreneurs Who Did it Right (Wiley). He's based in Phoenix, Ariz.