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How to find happiness? How to define success in your own terms? How to find time to do what matters to you? TED talks are a great way to immerse yourself quickly into a world of wisdom so I’ve finally (this list has been long in the making!) took the time to put together what I think is the most comprehensive TED talk playlist for women who want to define success in their own terms and live a bigger life.

I’ve tried to cover areas I know are important to all you wonderful, ass-kicking ladies including living your purpose, what is success, how to be more confident and how to live your life wholeheartedly and be happy.

And yes, it’s possible I have missed a really good one, so please do leave a link in the comments section below with a little text on why you liked it and why you think it should be included on this list.

So here it is, a list of 17 must watch TED talks for driven women, in no particular order.

Brené Brown: The Power Of Vulnerability

Understanding the power of vulnerability is really in the heart of what we do. You could say that DrivenWoman groups are like little vulnerability labs, safe environments where women are free to discuss their insecurities and evaluate their life choices without a fear of judgement. This talk, and the teachings and research of Brené Brown, are a must for any aspiring driven woman!

Elizabeth Gilbert: Your Elusive Creative Genius

Did you ever wonder success was all you? Or failure for that matter. Gilbert opens up the door for taking a little bit of the pressure off and accepting that perhaps we are all connected to a higher source and in a moment of excellence we get a little help. All we have to do is to show up to our own work and not be afraid. A must watch for everyone who is trying to create something, ah well, that includes all of us doesn’t it!

Sheryl Sandberg: Why We Have Too Few Women Leaders

Sandberg explains that no one gets into the corner office if they don’t think they deserve their success. Unfortunately women often lack that confidence to claim their excellence and believe they are worthy of that success.

Amy Cuddy: Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are

Watch this before any important negotiation or a public speaking situation. Cuddy shares amazing evidence about the effects of body language to our belief of our own capabilities.

Jennifer L. Scott: The Ten Item Wardrobe

This was a talk that sent our members cleaning their closest. A really good idea (even if you don’t get down to 10) and motivational for decluttering.

JK Rowling: The Fringe Benefits Of Failure

The ‘Harry Potter’ author offers some potentially life changing advice in her Harvard commencement speech, and describes how “reaching rock bottom become my solid foundation to build my life on.” This is a must-watch talk for anyone who thinks their life circumstances prevent them from succeeding in their path.

Emilie Wapnick: Why Some Of Us Don’t Have One True Calling

Finding your true purpose in life seems to be a little bit of a fad right now. Even at DrivenWoman it is a hot topic. Well, if you’re not sure you want to do just one thing for the rest of your life, you’re not alone. In this illuminating talk, writer and artist Emilie Wapnick describes the kind of people she calls “multipotentialites” — who have a range of interests and jobs over one lifetime. Are you one?

Amanda Palmer: The Art Of Asking

If you don’t ask you don’t get. We women especially don’t always shine when it comes to asking. But to be successful you must learn to ask and let people help you. If you don’t ask you will deny them the pleasure (yes it is!) of giving you a helping hand, or money, as Amanda explains in this brilliant TED talk.

Tim Urban: Inside The Mind Of A Master Procrastinator

Everyone is procrastinating on something in life. When you have a deadline, there’s often hope even for the greatest procrastinators, but Tim explains that it’s those tasks and dreams that don’t have a deadline (your dreams, taking care of your health etc) that are the hardest. Don’t let weeks turn into months, or years. Watch this TED talk, one of my all time favourites.

Susan Cain: The Power Of Introverts

“I made self negating choices. When it comes to creativity and leadership – we need introverts to do what they do best. Solitude is a key ingredient to creativity.” Cain makes a compelling argument for introverts. Whether you are one or not, you should watch this as the chances are you work or live with one.

Robert Waldinger: What Makes A Good Life

Based on the longest study on happiness, secret to happiness is not getting what you want. Waldinger has unprecedented data on what makes a happy and satisfied life. Here he shares three practical lessons to a good life.

Dan Gilbert: The Surprising Science Of Happiness

Is there a difference between ‘Synthetic Happiness’ and ‘Natural Happiness’? Are you happier if you get what you want? Getting what you want matters much less than you think.

Arianna Huffington: How To Succeed? Get Enough Sleep.

The way to more productive and more joyful life is to get enough sleep. There should really be no surprises there, but to some of us high achievers, it comes as a surprise.

Rory Sutherland: Perspective Is Everything

The circumstances of our lives may matter less than how we see them, says Rory Sutherland. At TEDxAthens, he makes a compelling case for how reframing is the key to happiness.

Richard St. John: 8 Secrets To Success

A great ‘Driven Woman’ type of list on what leads to success, in 3 minutes! Analyst Richard St. John condenses years of interviews into an unmissable 3-minute slideshow on the real secrets of success. Unmissable.

Scott Dinsmore: How To Find Work You Love

Scott Dinsmore quit a job that made him miserable, and spent the next four years wondering how to find work that was joyful and meaningful. He shares what he learned in this deceptively simple talk about finding out what matters to you — and then getting started doing it.

Ash Beckham: We Are All Hiding Something. Let’s Find The Courage To Open Up

Approach hard conversations from a place of compassion and empathy. Everyone, at some point in their life, has experienced hardship. The only way out, says Beckham, is to open the door and step out of your closet.

Laura Vanderkam: How To Gain Control Of Your Free Time

For me this is the fundamental life defining question: “How can I build the life I want in the time I have?” There are 168 hours in each week. How do we find time for what matters most? Time management expert Laura Vanderkam studies how busy people spend their lives, and she’s discovered that many of us drastically overestimate our commitments each week, while underestimating the time we have to ourselves.

I hope you enjoyed this list. Don’t forget to add your favourites below with links.

~ Miisa

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