With tons of opinions and info spilling into the interwebs 24/7 (we don’t blame you if you’re considering killing your FB newsfeed or quitting social media altogether), it often feels like a survival strategy just to figure out how you feel about a topic and stick to it. Though keeping a strong opinion about something you care about (upcoming history-making election, anyone?) is ultra-important, opening yourself up to new ways of thinking can actually do you a world of good by presenting new possibilities and perspectives. To prove that things aren’t always so black and white, we found eight unreal TED talks that dig deep into a more curious mindset. Scroll on for our must-watch vids and prepare to be mind blown.
1. Dare to Disagree: Being agreeable is polite, right? Not so much. In this super compelling talk, entrepreneur and author Margaret Heffernan makes a solid case for disagreeing by pointing out how it can serve everyone.
2. Why 30 Is Not the New 20: This great talk by psychologist Meg Jay begins with an anecdote about the first client she worked with while studying clinical psychology — a 20-year-old with “boy problems.” To Meg’s surprise, instead of finding that the 20s are a throwaway decade for making mistakes, she discovered the opposite: the 20s are a developmental sweet spot. Use Meg’s learnings to rock your 20s now rather than waiting until you hit the big 3-0.
3. Your Elusive Creative Genius: It’s no surprise that this talk by Elizabeth Gilbert, the mastermind behind Eat, Pray, Love and Big Magic, will also help you see things totally differently. This time, she explores the idea of *having* a genius rather than being a genius. It’s a small mental switch that can make all the difference.
4. Do Schools Kill Creativity?: Schools are supposed to teach us the skills we need to be successful, but is it possible that they actually hamper creativity? This powerful talk by author and educator Sir Ken Robinson makes some solid points when it comes to re-thinking education and how we formally learn.
5. I Think We All Need a Pep Talk: It’s pretty easy to feel down in the dumps on a rough day, especially when people around you are in dull spirits or treat you poorly. But what if instead of catching the contagious bad energy, you were able to turn it around? We bet you’ll agree that this nine-year-old kid’s “treat everybody like it’s their birthday” mantra is worth keeping in mind.
6. How to Make Stress Your Friend: Nope, you didn’t read that wrong — stress isn’t necessarily a terrible thing! Psychologist and author Kelly McGonigal explains that when you change how you actually think about stress, the way it can affect you majorly changes. Don’t believe us? Watch for yourself.
7. Looks Aren’t Everything. Believe Me, I’m a Model: The first 10 seconds of this vid will leave you completely captivated as model Cameron Russell kicks off her talk with an outfit change and dose of radical transparency. A self-proclaimed winner of a “genetic lottery,” she explains exactly what modeling is like and how little appearances actually contribute to overall happiness.
8. Why Some Of Us Don’t Have One True Calling: The pressure to “figure out what you’re meant to do” can be confusing or crushing, especially if you haven’t stumbled on something that feels like a perfect fit in your work or life. Don’t get too down though — this inspiring talk with career coach Emilie Wapnick might help you consider the idea that not everyone has a single true calling, and that’s okay.
Which TED talks are your all time faves? Share ’em with us on Twitter @BritandCo!
(Featured photo via Getty)