How to Instantly Get Updated & Get Inspired: My 10 Favorite TED Talks

Grew up as a girl who is not a fan of TV shows, I sometimes feel like I knew nothing when I talk with my friends. Not only on cheesy issues such as celebrity gossips but also on important issues such as science, politics, socials, and so forth. When I started my master especially, I found that there are so many interesting global issues out there that I have no idea about. To be able to keep up with the conversation with my friends as well as to feed my curiosity, I decided that I need to regularly read or watch news. But I think a regular news is not enough - I need something that gives me inspiring knowledge that not only informing but also motivating at the same time.

That is when I met TED. TED's tagline is "Ideas worth spreading" - shows that TED is a media like no other. It shares curated ideas in a form of talks (known as 'TED Talk')  that related to various topics: social, health, environment, economics, religion - you name it. Surely, the topic is also updated with current hot issues. 


Watching TED Talk is like watching a short and concise seminar online. The ideas is delivered in a way that trigger your curiosity: it makes you ask for more elaboration and explanation. I sometimes find myself browse more on the topic right after I finished watching the talk. What I like the most is, TED has lots of talk playlist that classified based on its topics or its trend - which is really helpful when you need to learn on one topics yet need several different point of views. At some other time, it is not only the talk that makes me curious, but also the speaker. Who is he? What is he's been doing in this field? Does he runs any organization working on this issue? How did he achieve into this point? Questions are popping in my head, desperately need to be answered.


Committed to learn consistently about global issues, I set a target on how many TED Talks I should watch in a week. I love to watch the talk every morning so I get motivated and inspired before I start my day. However I sometimes also spontaneously open TED page and browse for some talks every time I feel like I need inspiration. There are many interesting TED Talks, but I found that I have my favorites: those that knock me just at the time when I need it. The 10 of my favorite talks, in no order, are:


Being introvert myself, I surely connect with what Susan Cain discuss on this talk. Most introverts don't enjoy public speaking - but don't judge their capability based on their speaking performance. It is possible that they who are not good at speak, has an excellent ability to write or to organize - compared to those who excel at speaking. Introverts most likely will escape social gathering - but it doesn't mean that they hate you, they just don't feel comfortable. These messages are important to be spread, so people will understand better when keeping their relation with others. That if you have some 'different' friends is not because your friends have abnormalities - it's just that they are introvert being introvert.

Probably the most career-motivating talks of all time for me. Larry Smith, in his straight-to-the-point kind of way, talks about how people tends to lean back towards their dream or their passion, and often ironically state 'having a family' as their excuse. Watching this talk again, I am being reminded of why I want to pursue my dream and not letting the family thing getting in the way: because one day I want to encourage my children to pursue their dream just like I did.

Exactly at the time when I am working on my thesis, this talk came up. Tim Urban shows how someone can procrastinate again, again, and again - despite their experience about how uneasy it is being a deadliner. Definitely a slap in the face for a deadliner (like me) who oftenly postpone work just because I know I still have time. Watch this and hopefully you'll get inspired to change your working habits!

"Find your one true calling", as easy as a motivator said. The truth is, not all of us have 'one true calling'. In this modern society especially, a person can be a doctor and a photographer at the same time. To ask them to leave one profession and focus more on another one is, based on this talk, actually not a good way to develop them. Apparently, it may cause a collapse in their career instead. A talk that inspires me that it is possible to work on fields that not related at all - because if you leave one of them, you will lose the interest to work on the other one.

I have always believe that women should have the opportunity to choose what they want to do with their life: be it a full time mom at home or a career woman. In this talk, Sheryl Sandberg elaborate on why woman who choose to be a career woman most often does not excel to the top level: because they don't believe they can do so, because they feel they should be responsible of all the housework, because they lean back even before they started. A talk that reminds me to not overthinking, give the best you can do, and let God do the rest.


How come we have abundant food here at my home but there are people out there starving to death? Tristram Stuart answered my question by explaining statistic data about food around the world. It shows how 'perfectionist' human being is, as they tend to throw away something just because they are unappealing - despite the fact it is edible. A must-watch talk, especially for those who still left leftover in their plate or those who stock food but never get a chance to eat it until its expire date.

This talk was introduced to me by Izul when I first joined Waste4Change. I have always curious on the environmental friendliness of materials: paper or plastic? book or e-book? and so on. This talk gives the information on the use of plastic or paper as a shopping bag seen from environmental perspective. Practically answer my question on which material is better for a particular propose. However, it also clarify the fact that environmental friendliness of  a material cannot be generalized for every item as it might different in other part of the world.

Two things that I love about Topher White's innovation: it aims to save the rainforest, and it uses used cell phone - which is one of the main source of electronic waste problem - to prevent the rainforest illegal logging problem. And oh, he did the trial in Indonesia. A brilliant way to utilize technology: to save the environment, and later, the world.

I barely know about muslim culture other than in Indonesia. Watching this talk, I realize as a fellow muslim there are different level of values that they apply in the daily life. I didn't know that in this modern society, such conventional value is still strongly hold by some community out there - and who knows what it may affect the young generation? This talk open my mind on how someone can interpret Islamic teaching in a different way and it triggers my curiosity to learn more about Islam and its teaching implementation in the daily life.

So, after watching TED Talk consistently, do I know everything now? Not really. There are still many, many issues out there that I have no idea about. As Hans and Ola Rosling said, you will never have time to read all the books or watch all the news. And you will never get enough of abundant information out there. So how to keep up? Watch this talk and find out how to improve your way of understanding life worldwide.

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