Life & Work

5 TED Taks about Work/Life Balance That Will Make You Rethink Your Lifestyle

Work/life balance may seem elusive. But it is not an impossible goal. Here are some of the best TED Talks that will make you rethink the way you live your life — and inspire you to aspire for a better work/life balance.

1. Alain de Botton: A kinder, gentler philosophy of success

So what I want to argue for is not that we should give up on our ideas of success, but we should make sure that they are our own. We should focus in on our ideas, and make sure that we own them; that we are truly the authors of our own ambitions. Because it’s bad enough not getting what you want, but it’s even worse to have an idea of what it is you want, and find out, at the end of the journey, that it isn’t, in fact, what you wanted all along.

2. Eduardo BriceƱo: How to get better at the things you care about

Real confidence is about modeling ongoing learning. What if, instead of spending our lives doing, doing, doing, performing, performing, performing, we spent more time exploring, asking, listening, experimenting, reflecting, striving and becoming? What if we each always had something we were working to improve? What if we created more low-stakes islands and waters? And what if we got clear, within ourselves and with our teammates, about when we seek to learn and when we seek to perform, so that our efforts can become more consequential, our improvement never-ending and our best even better?

3. Laura Vanderkam: How to gain control of your free time

It’s about looking at the whole of one’s time and seeing where the good stuff can go. I truly believe this. There is time. Even if we are busy, we have time for what matters. And when we focus on what matters, we can build the lives we want in the time we’ve got.

4. Robert Waldinger: What makes a good life? Lessons from the longest study on happiness

So what have we learned? What are the lessons that come from the tens of thousands of pages of information that we’ve generated on these lives? Well, the lessons aren’t about wealth or fame or working harder and harder. The clearest message that we get from this 75-year study is this: Good relationships keep us happier and healthier. Period.

5. Shonda Rhimes: My year of saying yes to everything

15 minutes is all you need. I can totally pull off 15 minutes of uninterrupted time on my worst day. Uninterrupted is the key. No cell phone, no laundry, no anything. You have a busy life. You have to get dinner on the table. You have to force them to bathe. But you can do 15 minutes.