Ted Talks To Watch When You Need To Start Being All Productive Again

New job, new course, new school. We get you, they're all pretty scary

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by Isabelle Aron |

You’ve happily whiled away the summer months drinking G&Ts on rooftop bars, desperately working on your tan anytime the sun comes out, and attempting to master the elusive art of lighting a barbecue. But summer’s over and it’s time for us all to start being productive again. September is a time for starting something new - whether that’s going to university, starting a new job or moving house. Yes, change is good, but it’s also kind of terrifying TBH. But don’t panic - we’ve rounded up five TED talks to reassure you that it’s all going to be okay.

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Tim Ferriss: Smash Fear, Learn Anything

Tim Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Work Week, talks about how fear is basically holding us back from being the Incredible Hulk. Whether or not you’re into ripped purple shorts, his main message is to ‘deconstruct things that scare the living hell out of you’. He talks about how he couldn’t swim, wasn’t any good at learning languages and couldn’t dance. After he got over his fears he developed a love of swimming, became a Japanese translator and made it to the semi-finals of the Buenos Aires championships. No offence to Tim but if he can be a ballroom dancer, you can do anything.

John Wooden: On The Difference Between Winning And Succeeding

If John Wooden seems a bit old and stuffy on first appearances, it’s probably because he was around 90 years old when he gave this talk. But, you know, age and wisdom and all that. An ex-American basketball player and coach, Wooden talks about coining his own definition of success: ‘peace of mind attained only through self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to do the best of which you're capable.’ In other words, if you do the best you can you can call yourself a success. And hey, old John seems to have done pretty well off of it.

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Ruth Chang: How To Make Hard Choices

If you’ve already committed to starting something new then well done, go you. But for those still umm-ing and ahh-ing, this talk is all about making hard choices. You know, like 'should I go for a job that just pays the bills or one I actually like?' Chang initially started a career in law because it felt like the ‘safe’ option, before packing it in to take up philosophy. She learned: ‘when we face hard choices, we shouldn't beat our head against a wall trying to figure out which alternative is better. There is no best alternative. Instead of looking for reasons out there, we should be looking for reasons in here: Who am I to be?’

Derek Sivers: Keep Your Goals To Yourself

Short and sweet, but a handy little tip for when you’re starting something new. You know when you’re finally getting your shit together and you want to share with your friends all these things you’re going to do? Yeah, apparently doing that is actually stopping us from achieving our goals. Sivers says that when we tell other people about our goals, ‘the mind is kind of tricked into feeling that it's already done’. So if you have a load of grand plans for when you start something new, keep them to yourself or you probably won’t do them.

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Follow Isabelle on Twitter @IzzyAron

Picture: Eugenia Loli** **

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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