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1. What really matters at the end of life

This TED video got me thinking a lot about how I would love to die(at old age of course). At the end of our lives, what do we most wish for? For many, it’s simply comfort, respect, love. BJ Miller is a palliative care physician at Zen Hospice Project who thinks deeply about how to create a dignified, graceful end of life for his patients. Take the time to savor this moving talk, which asks big questions about how we think on death and honor life.

2.  Jane McGonigal: The game that can give you 10 extra years of life

Jane is a gamer. And she is not just any gamer, Jane has a mission to help the world by playing games, one game at a time. Games, Jane tells us, have many beneficial effects ranging from better health to better family relations. In this fascinating talk she tells us a story about how she got out of a depression by approaching her situation as a game she could beat. She shares with us this approach and convincingly argues that it can help to add 10 years to our lives, better our health and save the world. This geeky and fun talk shows us the hidden power behind games and how to harness it.

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

We often hear that success is a choice, that it is right around the corner and is for everybody to grasp. Alain confronts us with the assumptions that are often underlying these thoughts. These assumptions, he conveys to us, are often propagated by media outlets selling the story of success. However, there is a direct correlation between a society that tells you are capable of achieving your wildest dreams and low self-esteem. Because if you are directly responsible for your success then this also implies you are responsible for your failure. And because the chances that you actually fulfill these ideas of success are rather slim, the universe seems to randomly shoot people down, you end up with a lot of thoughts that it was your own fault. In this talk Alain creates room for us to ponder how we can live our lives when we are kinder towards ourselves and others.

4. Scilla Elworthy: Fighting with non-violence

How do you deal with a bully without becoming a thug? In this wise and soulful talk, peace activist Scilla Elworthy maps out the skills we need — as nations and individuals — to fight extreme force without using force in return. To answer the question of why and how nonviolence works, she evokes historical heroes — Aung San Suu Kyi, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela — and the personal philosophies that powered their peaceful protests.

5. Brené Brown: The power of vulnerability

Brené tells us a story about expanding our perception in a way that could change our lives forever. She starts of by speaking about connection, the ability to feel connected, as one of the most fundamental aspect of our lives. Yet, the stories we tell ourselves are filled with fear of dis-connection, which Brenë calls shame. Shame, she tells us, is universal, everyone has it. However, there are huge differences as to how different people relate to shame. In this funny TEDtalk she shows us how we repeatedly numb our vulnerability, and with it, our lives, and she shows us a healthier way to relate with difficult emotions.

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