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Two of the Best TEDTalks I've Seen Lately: Happiness & Leadership

[fa icon="calendar"] 31-Oct-2017 10:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva

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Admit it, you love TEDTalks. 

I do too. I'd love to have the opportunity to do a TEDTalk one day. In fact, this is in my 30 before 30 list where I've added things I want to do or achieve before I turn 30. 

Lately, I've been traveling a lot (pretty much every week) and as such, I've found a new way to spend the spare time at the airport. Instead of working on my laptop and dealing with emails or reading the next business book, TED has been a saviour. You all know how we've moved to interactive content formats - video has probably become the most favourite learning and entertainment vehicle for us. 

So what I want to show you today are two rather unorthodox TEDTalks that I saw recently because I believe they can both inspire and provoke you personally and professionally. 

The lines between work and personal life are blurring and as I always say, I believe we should be striving for work-life integration and not work-life balance. If you are not happy at home, you are not going to do well at work. Conversely, if you have troubles at work, you'll probably bring these back home. 

The two speakers are very much opposites in pretty much every aspect so watching the two videos one after another is quite impactful in two different ways. You'll see what I mean.

Let's start with happiness; then we'll get to the leadership lessons from war. 

Sharer of Joy: Nataly Kogan 

 My key learnings about happiness:

  • The American dream preaches the chase of the big happy which is by doing a lot, achieving a lot and making a lot of money. But chasing the big happy doesn't make you happy, it makes you exhausted. You're chasing the big nirvana happy but missing out on all the small (happy) moments that are part of your every day.  
  • Life is made of moments and we should choose to focus on collecting the positive ones. 
  • Stop saying "I'll be happier when..." and start saying "I'm happier now because..." 
  • Focusing on the small (simple) positive moments that are part of our every day has been fundamentally proven to change how positively we feel because according to research it makes us feel less stressed, more productive, less anxious, less depressed, helps us learn better etc. This sounds like a very simple principle but the key to it is that you capture those moments somehow rather than lose them so that you keep being aware of them and have the ability to reflect on them (like creating an emotional bookshelf where you collect, find and remind yourself of positive moments). 
  • Happiness is contagious - when someone smiles, you are naturally inclined to smile back. Similarly, being surrounded by positive people and their positive moments improves your feelings of happiness. 
  • Life is made of moments. Choose to create and collect the happy ones. 


Extreme Ownership: Jocko Willink

My key learnings about leadership from war:

  • War teaches you the most when things go wrong. 
  • To maintain my integrity as a leader, as a man, I had to take responsibility and in order to do that, I had to control my ego so that my ego did not control me. 
  • When I took ownership, he [his boss] now trusted me even more.
  • When a team takes ownership of the problems, the problems get solved. And that is true on the battlefield, it is true in business and it is true in life. 
  • Take control of your ego. Don't hide your delicate pride from the truth.  


What are some of the best TEDTalks you've seen lately?  


Topics: Personal Development, Leadership

Iliyana Stareva

Written by Iliyana Stareva

Iliyana Stareva is the author of Inbound PR - the book that is transforming the PR industry. She's also a keynote speaker and a consultant in inbound and digital for fast-growing companies and agencies. Currently, Iliyana is Chief of Staff to the EMEA President at ServiceNow. Before that, she held global and EMEA-wide positions at Cisco and HubSpot. She is also certified by the PMI as a Project Management Professional (PMP)®. In her free time, you can find Iliyana writing for her blog, dancing salsa or travelling the world.

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