6 terrific TED Talks for personal and professional success

Wade into a half-dozen of these brief yet insightful presentations to advance your career and make life in general more satisfying.

TED talks are among the best resources for practical insights from leading experts on an array of topics.

To refresh your approach to work, business and success, check out the following TED talks by John Wooden, Jason Fried, Yves Morieux, Andy Puddicombe, Richard St. John and Dan Pink.

You won’t regret it. These presentations are as engaging as they are informative:

1. The Difference Between Winning and Succeeding (John Wooden)

Born in 1910, John Wooden was the first person to be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame both as a player and coach, while ESPN ranks him as the greatest coach of all time, across all sports. He has created a model, the Pyramid of Success, and authored several books to impart his insight on achievement to others.

Summary: With profound simplicity, Coach John Wooden redefines success and urges us all to pursue the best in ourselves. In this inspiring talk, he shares the advice he gave his players at UCLA, quotes poetry and remembers his father’s wisdom.

2. Why Work Doesn’t Happen at Work (Jason Fried)

Jason Fried is a co-founder of 37signals (now BaseCamp) and a co-author of “Rework,” “Getting Real” and “Remote: Office Not Required.”

Summary: Jason Fried has a radical theory on working: that the office isn’t a good place to do it. In his talk, he lays out the main problems (call them the M&Ms) and offers three suggestions to make work work.

3. As Work Gets More Complex, 6 Rules To Simplify (Yves Morieux)

Yves Morieux is a senior partner in BCG’s Washington D.C. office and director of the BCG Institute for Organization.

Summary: Why do people feel so miserable and disengaged at work? Because today’s businesses are increasingly and dizzyingly complex — and traditional pillars of management are obsolete, says Morieux. So, he says, it falls to individual employees to navigate the warren of interdependencies. In this energetic talk, Morieux offers six rules for “smart simplicity.” (Rule One: Understand what your colleagues actually do.)

4. All It Takes Is 10 Mindful Minutes (Andy Puddicombe)

Andy Puddicombe is a former Buddhist monk and co-founder of Headspace.

Summary: When is the last time you did absolutely nothing for 10 whole minutes? Not texting, talking or even thinking? Mindfulness expert Andy Puddicombe describes the transformative power of doing just that: refreshing your mind for 10 minutes a day, simply by being mindful and experiencing the present moment. (No need for incense or sitting in uncomfortable positions.)

5. Eight Secrets of Success (Richard St. John)

Richard St. John is an entrepreneur, and the author of the bestselling book, “The 8 Traits Successful People Have In Common: 8 To Be Great.”

Summary: Why do people succeed? Is it because they’re smart, or just lucky? Neither. Success analyst Richard St. John condenses years of interviews into an unmissable three-minute slideshow on the real secrets of success.

6. The Puzzle of Motivation (Dan Pink)

Dan Pink is a former speechwriter for Al Gore and author of “The Adventures of Johnny Bunko: The Last Career Guide You’ll Ever Need” and “A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future.

Summary: Career analyst Dan Pink examines the puzzle of motivation, starting with an insight that social scientists know but most managers don’t: Traditional rewards aren’t always as effective as we think. Listen for illuminating stories—and maybe a way forward.

A version of this article originally appeared on the Ethos3 blog.

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