8 Ted Talks Members of Gen Y Must Watch | The Best TED Talks Ever

by RJ

in Self Improvement

Once a year,  the greatest minds in the world gather at TED (Technology Entertainment and Design)  to share “ideas worth spreading”.

I’ve watched hundreds of talks over the last few years, which always leave me inspired.  Here are the 8 best Ted Talks I’ve watched, that are targeted towards members of Generation Y.

If one of your favorites isn’t included, let me know in the comments. 

# 8 – The New Way to Work – Charlie Hoehn

Summary: A six-step process of finding a career path that fulfills you and will eventually pay you. Out of this list, it’s the only talk that speaks directly to Gen Y.

  1. Choose a few areas you want to work in
  2. Get some skills
  3. Build your online presence
  4. Pay the bills and cut costs
  5. Contact targets and prove your worth
  6. Transition to paid work

Key Takeaways:

  • Make up your own rules
  • Economy doesn’t have to control your life
  • Work for people smarter than you
  • Get some skills that are in demand and difficult to learn
  • Google is more important than resumes
  • There’s no better time to take risks in your career than your early 20′s
  • Chase what interests you and makes you happy

# 7 – Fear and Permission - Chris Guillebeau

Summary: How to write your own permission slip.

Key Takeaways:

  • Fear is powerful
  • At some point in life, you’re going to have to confront your fears
  • To start overcoming fear, give yourself permission to act in your interests

# 6 – Let’s raise Kids to be Entrepreneurs - Cameron Herold

Summary: An unconventional approach that Gen Y’ers can use to raise their kids

Key Takeaways:

  • If kids can embrace entrepreneurship, there’s no problem we can’t solve
  • Don’t try to raise kids to be great into a system
  • Kids install business and finance habits at a very young age
  • Canadians still think Luongo is a legitimate goaltender (hockey joke)

# 5 – Are We In Control of Our Own Decisions? - Dan Ariely

Summary: Reviews research behind our irrational decisions

Key Takeaways:

  • Much of our decisions aren’t ever realized
  • When we have many choices, we often end up confused and pick the default choice
  • The better we can understand our cognitive limitations, the better world we can design

# 4 - 8 Secrets of Success – Richard St. John

Summary: Short but built on years of  research.

  1. Passion
  2. Work
  3. Focus
  4. Good
  5. Push
  6. Serve
  7. Ideas
  8. Persist

Key Takeaways: Great way to remind yourself that success isn’t rocket science.

# 3  - How Great Leaders Inspire Action – Simon Sinek

Summary: An inspirational model for inspirational leadership


  • All leaders  know What they do, some leaders know How they do what they do, the great leaders know Why they do what they do
  • The great leaders start with the Why
  • People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it

# 2 – How we are Killing our Kids with Bad Food – Jamie Oliver

Summary: A revealing talk about the current state of our food and health

Key Takeaways:

  • If we don’t change our eating habits, we will live shorter than previous generations
  • Diet related disease is the biggest killer in the world today
  • Obesity is expensive
  • We can need to change this

# 1 – How to Live Before You Die – Steve Jobs

Summary: Just watch it. Nothing I can say will do this talk justice.


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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Caleb WojcikNo Gravatar September 8, 2011 at 9:47 am

Great suggestions! I hadn’t heard of a few of these.

I did a similar post a few weeks ago and included the Chris G & Charlie H ones as well.


20 and EngagedNo Gravatar September 8, 2011 at 10:49 am

Thanks for posting these! I’m going to save them because I’ve been meaning to look into TED talks.


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