TED talks and videos, over the years, have become the go-to place for people who are looking for inspiration, compassion or just a little kick on the backside to propel them into action. The non-profit, which began in 1984 as a conference where technology, entertainment and design (TED) converged, has now gone on to become the global platform where outstanding individuals from varying disciplines and culture talk on everything from current global issues to personal journeys.
First appearing online in 2006, TED talks is now nothing short of a pop culture and to watch every once in a while must be on everyone's itinerary. Here is a list of some of the most out-of-the-box TED talks that absolutely cannot be missed.
Sam Berns, Progeria Awareness Activist: My Philosophy for a Happy Life
Sam Berns, the subject of the HBO documentary "Life According to Sam" was diagnosed with Progeria, a rare, rapid aging disease at the age of two. While his dream was to play the snare drum at the Foxboro High School marching band, his medical condition didn't allow him to even carry the instrument around, let alone play it. With a will to fulfil his dream, he sat with an engineer who custom-made a snare drum apparatus that allowed Berns to carry around comfortably. Berns went on to become the section leader at the high school marching band and achieved the Eafle Scout rank in the Boy Scouts of America. Berns throughout the talk reiterates that the one thing he wants everyone to know about him is that he has a "very happy life" even with the many obstacles in it. This TED talk is a reminder of the wonderful human who spread positivity throughout his life and showed the world that everything needn't be picture perfect for one to be happy.
Hyeonseo Lee, North Korean defector and activist: My Escape from North Korea
Hyeonseo Lee is an activist who escaped from the chaotic land of North Korea at the age of 14 and personally escorted her family to freedom via China and Laos. The TED talk video begins with Lee admitting that as a child growing up in North Korea, even though she saw her first public execution at the age of seven, she believed her country was the best on the planet and it wasn't until the famine of the 1900s that she began to think otherwise. She narrates her traumatic journey of survival and hope. This TED talk is a powerful reminder of those who never learn to stop worrying even when danger is left far behind.
Cameron Russell, Fashion Model: Looks Aren't Everything. Believe Me. I'm a Model
Cameron Russell, a top model created history on the TED talk stage by making the first outfit stage. In a brilliant exhibition of how people's perception can change in a mere six seconds and how you dress, Russell reiterates the message that "image is powerful, but also, image is superficial". Russell relates how she has been cashing out on a "genetic lottery" and "legacy". In this fearless TED talk, she takes a wry look at the fashion industry that had her posing seductively before she even had her first periods.
Chris Hadfield, Astronaut: What I Learned From Going Blind in Space
Colonel Chris Hadfield lived aboard the International Space Station for five months and woke the world everyday with the tweet "Good Morning, Earth". In this TED talk, Hadfield paints a vivid portrait of how he spent his times in space. He begins by asking the audience, "What is the scariest thing you've ever done?" In his case, the answer is quiet obviously choosing to travel to space in a NASA space shuttle, because you know that either you will be flying gloriously into space or die! He speaks of the sheer pressure of dealing with the dangerous and scary situations in space and life. This TED talk is a reminder of why space and the glory of the universe never cease to amaze us.
Brene' Brown, Scholar, Author and Public Speaker: The Power of Vulnerability
Dr Brené Brown, the author of #1 New York Times Bestsellers, "The Gifts of Imperfection" and "Daring Greatly" has been involved in researching a range of topics including vulnerability, courage, worthiness and shame. In this poignant and funny TED talk, Brown takes a very personal note of the uncomfortable feeling of being vulnerable and explains how those who dare to be vulnerable are generally happier and feel more deserving of love.
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