I admit it:
Sometimes I need extra inspiration in the course of my day as a social worker.
Do you know what I mean?
- Did I sleep and eat well? √
- Did I stretch and exercise? √
- Did I meditate and pray? √
If you attended to all those daily maintenance routines, and you’re still not “feeling it”, you may have to do what successful social workers do:
Reach into your wellness toolbox.
One of my wellness tools for tapping into positive emotions is watching videos.
- Babies laughing (our own children or others . . . guaranteed to bring a smile)
- Brain candy from Buzzfeed or NPR Tiny Desk
When you need to get refocused on your work though, you may need awe-inspiring videos.
You know the kind . . .
. . . the ones that make you tear up, give you goosebumps, or make you say, “Whoa.”
In today’s post I’m going to share one of my go-to resources for those inspiring videos: TED Talks.
What are TED Talks?
- Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft
- Bono, founder of the band U2
- Bill Clinton, two-term United States of America President
TED events have exploded in popularity with the addition of local, self-organized events called, TEDx, held in cities and countries around the world.
The topics have expanded beyond the initial technology and design focus, and now include academics, scientific, and cultural topics. Most TED Talks are approximately 20 minutes, but some are much shorter.
Which TED Talks do I watch first?
With literally thousands of TED and TEDx talks . . . how do you choose where to begin? Keep scrolling to see a handful of videos that I think are a good TED starting point.
1. Brené Brown may be the closest thing there is to a rock star in the world of social workers. Brown’s 2010 Ted Talk, “The Power of Vulnerability”, is in the top five most viewed TED Talks . . . ever. She uses engaging stories and humor to share insight from her research into vulnerability, shame, and empathy. I dream of giving presentations this awesome.
2. Anna Scheyett may not be a rock star social worker, but she brings something arguably more impressive: “superpower”. Her 2015 TEDx Talk, “Social Workers As Super Heroes” overviews the critical and broad ranging roles social workers provide to society. She flexes her super powers by telling a great strengths-based story about a client recovering from serious mental illness.
3. With one of the most popular TED Talks of all time, Amy Cuddy shot to fame in 2012 presenting, “Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are”. Referencing personal stories and her research into the impact of nonverbal behavior, Cuddy has influenced thousands of people to “power pose” their way to more confidence and success.
4. I could write an entire post about Julian Treasure’s 5 combined TED Talks . . . totaling an estimated 18 million views. Treasure’s 2011 presentation “5 Ways To Listen Better”, provides excellent tips about how to listen more empathically. His presentations include strategies that would benefit any social worker: improving conscious listening, how to talk so others listen, and having healthier relationships.
5. Andy Puddicombe’s 2012 TED Talk, “All It Takes Is 10 Mindful Minutes” speaks my language. I actually had never seen his talk before writing last week’s post on mindfulness. I love stumbling into people on the same wave length as me.
The style and tone of Social Worker Success articles, I hope, have similar qualities to TED Talks:
Brief + Educational + Entertaining
The next time you find yourself “having a case of the Mondays”, find time to squeeze in some positive emotion using video. TED Talks may provide you the needed boost.
Did you find this article interesting? If you liked this article, check out my review of TEDx Birmingham 2016.