Five TED Talks on Happier (School)Work

What makes us feel happy? Fulfilled? Motivated? Productive? The speakers in these enlightening TED Talks discuss the complex answers to these questions. Consider how you can use these evidence-based strategies to guide you in setting and achieving your academic and professional goals. Need help with your goals? Visit the Center for Career Development!

Shawn Achor: The happy secret to better work

“We’re finding it’s not necessarily the reality that shapes us, but the lens through which your brain views the world that shapes your reality.” Positive psychology is all about looking at how peoples’ strengths help them find fulfillment. In this comical talk, Shawn Achor shares how we can be happier and thus be more successful and productive in our (school)work.

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Dan Pink: The puzzle of motivation

Dan Pink explains the “puzzle of motivation.” Traditional rewards that are common in the workplace are not as effective as we think. While business is working to catch up, science provides insight into what does motivate people.

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Dan Ariely: What makes us feel good about our work?

“What motivates us to work? It isn’t just money, but it isn’t just happiness either. Dan Ariely explores the nuanced ways in which we make meaning of our (school)work.

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Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi: Flow, the secret to happiness

“Where — in everyday life, in our normal experience — do we feel really happy?” Csikszentmihalyi discusses how “flow,” a state of heightened focus and immersion in activities such as art, play, or work, can bring about pleasure and lasting satisfaction.

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Angela Lee Duckworth: Grit: The power of passion and perseverance

After teaching middle school math, Angela Duckworth noticed that IQ scores did not set apart the kids doing well and the kids struggling. Rather, it was grit – passion and perseverance for long-term goals. Learn how grit can be strengthened to facilitate academic and professional success.

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By Kelsey Keefe
Kelsey Keefe Career Consultant Kelsey Keefe