Lately, I’ve been on a self-improvement kick. As such, here are three great TED talks related to self-improvement.
1. Amy Cuddy: Your body language shapes who you are
Did you know you could change how powerful you feel, just by changing your posture? You can also cause some physiological changes. I’ve always been interested in body posture and body language, especially after someone once pointed out to me that women are taught by society to take up less space (for example, we curl into as little space as possible on a bus, while men spread out and encroach upon our space), so I found Cuddy’s talk really interesting.
After watching Cuddy’s talk, I’ve been making a concious effort to strike a “powerful” pose for a few minutes every couple of hours and always before a presentation or meeting. I probably look very silly to anyone who walks by the internship office and sees me striking the “Wonder Woman” pose, but hey, they can laugh all they want – I feel great.
2. Matt Cutts: Try something new for 30 days
I love the 30 days concept. It’s something I’ve done before – go to the gym for at least 30 minutes every day for 30 days (ended up being 27/30 days but I was still pleased with the results), eat in for 30 days (saved a lot of money!), go vegetarian for 30 days (not all that hard for me, since I’m mostly veg anyways), etc. Having a goal of doing something for 30 days is really very doable. I always find the pattern of days 1-3 is “I can do this! This is awesome! Yeah!”, days 4-6 my enthusiasm flags, day 7 I start grumbling “Why did I decide to do this?”, but somewhere around day 10, it turns into “I can do this, and I can this for a while.” By the end of the 30 days, it’s really likely that it has become a habit, whatever I was trying.
So, make a list of everything you’ve ever wanted to try, and take Cutts’ advice and pick one to do for 30 days straight. Or, make a list of 30 things you’ve never done, and do one every day. It really changes your outlook on life.
3. Luke Syson: How I learned to stop worrying and love useless art
Sometimes, we need to reframe our thinking, and I think Syson’s talk is a wonderful example of somebody doing so.
When you catch yourself thinking negatively about something, take the time to stop and try to find the good in it.