Improve your mind

Posted on January 9, 2014 by


Nikki LebedisSo here we are already – the first full working week of January is coming to a close. How are you getting on with your New Year’s resolutions? Still going strong? Starting to waver?

As good as they are for you, some of the resolutions we set ourselves can be tough. Even the way we phrase them seems like we’re missing out or depriving ourselves; QUIT smoking, CUT OUT junk food, DRINK LESS alcohol.

So this year, why not add an extra one to your list that sounds positive and is much easier to keep? How about “educate your mind?”, “challenge your ideas” or simply, “be inspired”?

If so, then we have some great links to share with you – the phrases above are in fact taken from some of the comments from attendees of ‘TED‘ conferences. If you’ve not heard of TED talks before, it is a movement committed to ideas worth sharing; bringing together “the world’s most fascinating thinkers and doers” to spread ideas which they believe have the power ” to change attitudes, lives and, ultimately, the world”.

UP’s Training Team Lead, Nikki Lebedis, is an avid TED follower, has been an attendee at TEDGlobal and has even been a speaker at TEDx . This week, Nikki shares her favourite TED talks with us:

Last month, one of my favourite TEDsters, Kelly McGonigal, tweeted that she had been asked to pick 3 TED Talks she would want to “give” friends for Christmas.  This got me thinking about my favourite talks, as relevant to the courses we delivery here at TUP.  So in no particular order, here’s my top 5.

First off, it has to be Kelly herself talking about how to Make Stress Your Friend. Not least because I saw it in person and can be very briefly spotted in the audience!  I think it’s a great piece to get us thinking on how we frame our physical reactions whilst under pressure.  Out of everything that I heard at TEDGlobal, this was the one talk that had me sitting right up in my chair thinking “I have to tell EVERYBODY about this!!”. ( I must also say that Greg Gage’s piece on cockroach cyborgs had the same effect, but for entirely different reasons.  That’s the joy of TED…)

Next is Simon Sinek’s How Great Leaders Inspire Action. Why? Because it was my introduction to all things TED.  I was working with a colleague of mine, Yvonne Bridges of Communique Consultants in Calgary, when she told the group about Simon’s talk and the TED movement.  I remember Yvonne’s words so clearly… “Google Sinek, Start With Why TED.  18 minutes.  It’ll change your life.”  I guess she had no idea how much.

For a quick bite-size introduction next up is Derek Sivers How to Start a Movement. In 3 minutes he encapsulates more energy and wisdom that some authors do in hundreds of pages.  He also made my day when he replied to a few of my tweets.  He is definitely my techno-hero, and top of my dream dinner party guest list!

Number four is Amy Cuddy’s Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are. This is where I point everyone who has issues with confidence or personal presence.  If you need help in holding your space and speaking up, watch this today!  It’s 20 minutes – get kettle on, settle down and enjoy.

And finally it absolutely has to be Susan Cain talking about the Power of Introverts. I think this is one of the most insightful talks I’ve seen, and that it should be compulsory viewing for, well, everyone really, introverts and extroverts alike.  Some of the greatest influencers in my own career are deep introverts, and I’m eternally grateful for the patience and tolerance they’ve had for me over the years.

So that’s my top 5 TUP friendly TED Talks.  Let us know what you think!