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7 TED Talk Videos That Spark Creativity

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7 TED Talk Videos That Spark Creativity

A simple search on the TED website yields about 1,754 results for creativity. So let me give you a good use of your 20-minute break. I curated 7 TED Talk/TEDx Talk videos for you on the subject. 

You can read the snippets to decide whether it’ll be worth your time to start watching. A few here I’ve already seen over and over. The rest are new but recommended by friends. That said, I should let you go for it now.

Adam Grant: The Surprising Habits of Original Thinkers

In this 15-minute talk, organizational psychologist Adam Grant shares what he learned after studying “original” thinkers, or the nonconformists. According to Grant, these are the people who come up with new ideas and take action to champion them. He found three habits common among them. 

First, they are procrastinators. That is, they let an idea simmer at the back of their mind and wait until the last minute to act on it. Case in point was Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” statement, which wasn’t part of his drafted speech. Second, originals doubt the default. Grant uses people who download Chrome instead of settling for the default browser on their computers to illustrate his point.

Lastly, original thinkers generate a lot of ideas, even the bad ones. Bach, Beethoven, and Mozart composed hundreds of music to arrive at a small number of masterpieces.

Jia Jang: What I Learned From 100 Days of Rejection

Jia Jang, a former marketing manager at a Fortune 500 company, tried the Rejection Therapy. It’s a 30-day challenge to seek rejection by asking for something, like money from a stranger or Olympic doughnuts from a Krispy Kreme doughnut maker. He was filming himself throughout the process, and the latter brought him YouTube fame when the lady said yes and made her exactly what he asked.

What did he learn from trying to desensitize himself from the pain of rejection? 

One: that instead of running away after getting rejected, you should consider facing the possibilities. Two, you can turn a “no” into a “yes” by asking “why.” Sometimes, people’s answers can surprise you. So next time you’re pitching your creative ideas, do not fear rejection. It can happen, and you won’t feel that great. But if you persist, you might discover opportunities along the path.

Manoush Zomorodi: How Boredom Can Lead You to Your Most Brilliant Ideas

Do you ever get bored? In our always-connected life, multitasking is the norm. You’re sitting on the couch browsing through Instagram or answering emails. You’re driving the car while taking a hands-free call. Amidst these activities, journalist Manoush Zomorodi encourages people to let their mind wander. Allow yourself to be bored, she says.

Using MRI, a data-backed project, and personal experience, she proposes that we drop our phone and take a break. Something as simple as staring at the window could spark creativity and imagination. It could lead to your next big idea.

It’s “in the default mode is when we connect disparate ideas, we solve some of our most nagging problems, and we do something called ‘autobiographical planning,’” Zomorodi explains. This is the time our brain creates a narrative, sets goals, and makes plans for the future. Why don’t you go ahead and take advantage of it?

Brian Janosch: Lessons Learned from the Onion’s Creative Process

Have you heard of The Onion? You should have. This 30-year-old publication is known for its satirical and comedic take on American society. Just consider the headlines World Death Rate Holding Steady at 100 Percent and Archaeological Dig Uncovers Ancient Race of Skeleton People. Much of its brilliance is attributed to the brainstorming strategy of the staff.

Former staffer Brian Janosch lets on the TEDxWilimington audience in The Onion’s secret to coming up with its killer headlines:

  • Create ideas alone
  • Vet ideas as a group
  • Build on the best ones together 

Janosch highlights the importance of step one: solo brainstorming. The act of creation starts with the individual, he says. Meanwhile, use the team to build on the best ideas. This strategy enables the staff to give an equal voice to its members. And, more importantly, it hits the mark when it comes to understanding that individual creatives often generate their best ideas in private.

Hannah Gadsby: Three Ideas. Three Contradictions. Or Not.

Stand-up comedian Hannah Gadsby’s talk is more of a stand-up set than a talk. She says something, the audience laughs. Which is what you would expect from a stand-up set. But one thing she also does is tell stories. Gadsby is a neurodivergent LGBTQ comedian who doesn’t seem to run out of stories. Yet, she admits she’s not that great at speaking her mind.

Her talk is a gem not because she lays out three ideas (warning: there might be none). Or that she enumerates her contradictions nicely. But while listening, you’d feel that authenticity in sharing her truth. And you can get more of that in her Netflix special Nanette. So, hit the play button and watch Gadsby. Listen to her jokes (or non-jokes). And glean fresh insights from her stories.

Eric Berridge: Why Tech Needs the Humanities

Eric Berridge, CEO of IBM software consulting firm Bluewolf, builds the case for hiring people from the humanities on your team. His company has a thousand people, but fewer than a hundred are computer science or engineering majors. It wasn’t always this way. Back when the business was smaller, it employed mostly those with a STEM background. 

But through a eureka-type experience, they once sent a philosophy dropout slash bartender to a client that was about to fire them. Jeff, the bartender, ended up figuring out how to program the solution. But he also helped the client understand what they were building and why.

Berridge thought about replicating what happened with Jeff in their recruitment process. And he shares the reason for this conversion: 

While the sciences teach us how to build things, it’s the humanities that teach us what to build and why to build them. And they’re equally as important, and they’re just as hard. 

Vittorio Loreto: Need A New Idea? Start At the Edge of What Is Known

Vittorio Loreto’s description of the space of the possible is both beautiful and peculiar at the same time. There is this whole mathematical explanation of how people experience the new. And he encapsulates it well with his Leonard Cohen example. 

Suppose you listen to Cohen’s Suzanne for the first time. That triggers a passion for his work, so now you play his whole production. But then, you also find out that Fabrizio De André recorded an Italian version of the song. And you see here how one thing leads to another. Novelties are correlated, not randomly occurring. 

Stay with him, and you’ll learn about the strategies people use to work out the edge of what is known: exploit and explore. Do you think you know which one are you more inclined to drive innovation and creativity? 

Final Thoughts

These are just 7 of the best TED Talk videos on creativity. If you’ve enjoyed this list, let me know what kind of videos you want me to curate next. Don’t forget to share this list with a friend.

Mindfulness

Why Do Animals Make Better Friends Than Humans?

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Animals are the pure, raw souls that need little to be genuinely happy. In a world continually chasing after materialistic bliss and happiness, your furry friends find fulfillment in a bit of touch, a bit of affection, and a dollop of kindness. 

There are no layers or hidden agendas, it’s just a beautiful bond of simplicity, or as popularly known as love. Somehow, for this generation, the meaning of the word love has been lost in translation. We are always after something, something better, something newer. 

Our fast-paced approach has derailed basic human emotions and its purity. Friendships for many people is less of a bond, and more of an unsigned “give and take” policy. However, if you look into your dog’s crystal-clear eyes, nothing but love and deep affection reflect back. 

pets

That’s the beauty of building relations with animals; they want nothing but some warmth and your time. It’s a sense of fulfillment that makes you believe that being you is enough, along with an odd satisfying sense of acceptance when your four-legged buddy comes running up like there is no tomorrow.

Like a true friend, they listen to you and give you comfort in the most unprecedented ways. We may not share the same language, but some words can be understood even when unspoken. 

We all look for hope and belief to be alive. Sometimes, it just needs a kind pair of eyes to stare at you with honest attention, without any judgment, to find that hope. I also believe honesty is a magically powerful language found in abundance in our furry friends.

But this is not only about pets; all animals in this world have something profound to offer. Their sense of affection, love, and gratitude is like a lighthouse in a deep dark sea. 

All around the globe, you can find various instances of animals and their bonds with fellow humans developing in unimaginable ways, simply because of their beautiful, unspoiled souls. They are more precious than us, I think, by being able to portray love in the most natural and pure way. 

If you have found it, always hold on to this feeling, because it is fulfilling and heart-touching to witness true love in their eyes, and eyes are thought to be the window of souls. At the end of the day, we are lucky to share this world with them, because they truly teach us how to be loved in this crazy, big world. 

So try to do your part to save them and provide for them, because your act of kindness can go a long way!

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Mindfulness

The Impact of Deep Melody

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Music is a form of art that has the power to touch your soul. Through this universal language, countless emotions have been depicted over the ages. The human mind grasps music differently under different circumstances. Even the same tune can be interpreted variedly from person to person. 

From Beethoven to Bach, Mozart to Yo Yo Ma, Einaudi to Mischka, the depth of soulful music is beyond the power of perception. The music created by these artists resonates deep within our souls through every note, every beat. 

If you close your eyes and listen to Yo Yo Ma’s rendition of the Prelude, irrespective of your mood, you will get absorbed into a moment of tranquil hard to describe in words. Or take, for example, Einaudi’s composition called “Waterways,” the sense of a pristine aura that lasts long after he finishes the piece, is simply beautiful.

Every note, chord, and tune affects your brain in a way you can’t even imagine. So here, we will try to explore some of the powers of music and the impacts of deep melodies.

Memory 

Since the 20th century numerous studies have been conducted to research the power of music over memory functioning of the human brain. Certain music can take your mind back decades in an instant. 

In a study conducted with dementia patients, it was found that music improves general well being, mood, orientation, and episodic memory recalls. It was shown to have an overall positive effect on life.

Stress Relief

Music can lower the cortisol levels in your body and can alleviate the symptoms of stress. 

According to the American Psychological Society, “In a trial conducted by University of Alberta, with 42 children aged between 3-11, it was found that while getting an IV inserted, patients who listened to relaxing music reported significantly less pain, and some demonstrated significantly less distress, compared with patients who did not listen to music.”

Alleviation of Pain 

Martin Luther King had famously said, “My heart, which is so full to overflowing, has often been solaced and refreshed by music when sick and weary.”

This statement, in fact, is quite true to an extent, as researchers now believe that listening to music triggers the release of opioids in our body. The same chemical comes into action when the body is in pain, acting as a natural antidote.  

Seizures

Christine Charyton, of the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, said that “Persons with epilepsy synchronize before a seizure. By listening to music, many patients reported that they felt relaxed.” 

Concluding Words

Music has the power to heal. It reaches the deepest corners of our soul and affects us in unprecedented ways. However, the depth of melody is without any boundaries of prefixed notes and scales. It is an eternal journey of understanding and perception beyond our senses.

“Music… will help dissolve your perplexities and purify your character and sensibilities, and in time of care and sorrow, will keep a fountain of joy alive in you.” ― Dietrich Bonhoeffer

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Health

4 Benefits of Doing Yoga Regularly

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Yoga is an excellent place to start a healthy lifestyle if your life has been quite a bit sedentary for some time. Even with health conditions like arthritis or osteoporosis, you can safely practice Yoga. With multiple types and forms of Yoga to choose from, you have the freedom to practice whatever suits you. Regular Yoga can help you become more robust and flexible by making it easier for you to do other exercises like dancing, walking, or swimming.

Moreover, it is also a great way to stay energetic and flexible. Your general alertness increases, and there is also a profound positive impact on mental health with Yoga. 

With regular practice, you will gradually notice overall well-being and a deep sense of inner peace. Yoga frees you of all the worry, stress, anxiety that bogs you down and lets you proceed towards a more holistic and spiritually fulfilling self-development.

Let’s take a look at four of the obvious benefits that come from practicing Yoga.

Cardiovascular

  • Improves poor blood circulation
  • Reduces high blood pressure
  • Reduces oxidative stress
  • Reduces body-wide inflammation, contributing to healthier hearts

Orthopedic

  • Improves mobility in people with lower back pain
  • Reduces risk for injury
  • Allows better coping with arthritis
  • Can slow down the advent of osteoporosis
  • Improves the condition of people with limited mobility

Stress-Anxiety-Depression

  • Reduces headaches
  • Helps you to have better control over tension or stress
  • Reduces anxiety levels and depression
  • Can help you get better sleep, improves insomnia
  • Relaxes your body
  • Increases overall mental and physical stability

Lung

  • Improves breathing patterns
  • Increases lung capacity
  • Improves lung output and pulse rates
  • Helps people with asthma, to control definitive symptoms

Final Comments

Yoga is an excellent way to heal your body, both physically and mentally. It allows you to have the perfect blend of de-stressing and exercise in a simple yet effective way.

A healthy body makes a healthy mind. Regular Yoga can help you achieve health and fitness. Moreover, daily practice brings in more discipline to your everyday life. Especially during these testing times of the COVID-19 pandemic, when we are all trapped in our homes, a regular fitness regime that is easy to follow is especially necessary.

The best part is that Yoga is trendy, and you can always find guidelines for the correct postures. With many materials and videos available online, you can start your fulfilling Yoga journey any moment you wish. So what’s stopping you today?

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