It’s a new year: Time to achieve new goals, but how do you get there? Turn to the experts. Since 1984, TED has brought together the greatest minds to talk about applying research and science into our everyday reality.
Some TED talks are on things that are interesting but will never apply to your job, like astrophysics and chemistry. Others can be a great source of inspiration and cutting-edge tactics on how to influence others, manage your time and hack your brain to be more productive.
They come in video form, and most can be listened to while you’re doing just about anything: driving in your car, cooking dinner or taking a walk. (If videos just aren’t your thing, you can read the transcripts instead.)
Without further ado, here are five TED talks to get you motivated enough, connected enough and productive enough to knock 2016 out of the park.
1) How to make stress your friend
Sales can be stressful. You probably don’t need an expert to tell you that.
Health Psychologist Kelly McGonigal wants you to learn to interpret signals your body gives under pressure — like sweating or your heart pounding — as signals that you’re preparing yourself to overcome a challenge, instead of thinking of them as negative indicators of anxiety.
Want to always be closing? This one keeps you cool when you’re in the heat of the moment closing the deal.
Not only that, McGonigal presents evidence on how experiencing stress can help you build more authentic connections with your clients looking to have a stress-free retirement. Double win.
2) The puzzle of motivation
Dan Pink is a career analyst who explains with great self-deprecating humor how what we think will motivate us doesn’t always work.
Motivational speakers not really you’re thing? No problem. This talk is for you if you’re into more facts and less touchy-feely.
Or as Pink puts it, “This is not a feeling. Okay? I’m a lawyer; I don’t believe in feelings. This is not a philosophy. I’m an American; I don’t believe in philosophy. This is a fact.”
One of his main points: “There is a mismatch between what science knows and what business does.”
This talk is great for a leader of a sales team or an independent seller looking to break out of a funk using hard facts that others have already proven.
3) The power of vulnerability
Brené Brown’s TED talk on vulnerability is a blockbuster of sorts – the video has been viewed more than 23 million times.
Her six years of qualitative research lead her to discovering what made people in happy relationships different from those who felt alone.
“They didn’t talk about vulnerability being comfortable, nor did they really talk about it being excruciating,” Brown said. “They just talked about it being necessary.”