I will start with a confession that I watch a TED talk most days - and the value to me is so positive that if you have never heard of them, or if you have never tried them, I hope I can offer some information and encouragement here.
First, a bit of background. TED is a non-profit organisation which is devoted to spreading inspirational ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks. Originally people attended conferences, but in June 2006 the first six TED talks were posted online and within 3 months had reached more than one million views. The video talks proved so popular that the TED website was re-launched around them, giving a world-wide audience free access to some of the world's greatest thinkers, leaders, entrepreneurs and teachers.
Originally, as the title suggests, TED talks concentrated on the fields of technology, entertainment and design. Now the range of topics is vast. There are playlists on art, science, wellbeing, medicine, education, global issues.......and if none of these appeal, the 'TED talk collections for curious minds' search will bring up many more options.
The extent and breadth of experience and wisdom, available free online, is astonishing and TED talks are watched around the globe with an average of 17 new page views per second! There is no doubt that these statistics are impressive - so what exactly do TED talks offer and what are the benefits of watching them?
My own introduction to them came at a time when connecting to, and communicating with, other people face to face was challenging for me, to put it mildly. I had become unable to continue in my job which relied heavily on both of these abilities. Watching TED talks on a huge range of subjects provided - and still provides - these benefits:
* they only require small amounts of time to watch them - most are only a few minutes long.
*they give a snap-shot of someone else's experience
* they challenge your perspective and broaden your ideas
*sometimes a talk will directly confront a long-held belief, challenge you to re-think your opinion and question what you think you know
* they feed curiosity
* they broaden your view of the world and of people you wouldn't normally meet
* they are a great way to improve your general knowledge
* they provide positive news stories!
Many people find the enthusiasm and passion of the speakers contagious and listening to them certainly makes me want to continue improving and learning new things. The talks illustrate that life is so varied, so full of opportunity - and there is so much to be gained from ''ideas worth spreading''.
Here is a Ted playlist of talks on the subject of 'what makes you happy?' A great place to start exploring Ted talks, as well as looking at topics within your own sphere of interest.
We will be starting #TedTalkTuesday, where we'll be posting TED talks on our a Happy Cafe Ely Facebook page regularly, the aim being to link some of them to our Happy Cafe meetings on the first and third Wednesdays of each month. We hope they will act both as a follow-up and a further opportunity to explore what can make our lives happier!