TED Talks You Didn’t Know You Needed

Hear ye, hear ye! We’ve rounded up a handful of TED Talks you can watch during your commute or lunch break. Read on for Impact Hub Manila team’s picks on grit, failure, and innovation.  

Grit: the power of passion and perseverance

| Angela Lee Duckworth

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Watch and replay when you need the stamina for your daily grind and long-term goals.


This TED Talk discusses the sheer scientific evidence on grit, an essential success strait that outweighs social intelligence, physical fitness, IQ and SAT scores, family income, perceived level of talent, among a bunch of other factors.


Angela Duckworth defines grit as passion and perseverance for long-term goals. She believes that gritty people are those who live life like it’s a marathon instead of a sprint as grit fuels the passion to commit to goals that cannot be achieved in one day.


Duckworth’s research stemmed from her firsthand experience as a 7th grade math teacher at a public school where she witnessed hardworking students complete the school year on top. She used grit questionnaires for her research which found that among factors such as family income and test scores, grit was the significant predictor of high school graduation.


In case you’re thinking about talent, Duckworth notes that,

“Talent doesn’t make you gritty...Our data shows very clearly that there are many talented individuals who simply do not follow through on their commitments. In fact, in our data, grit is usually unrelated or even inversely related to measures of talent.”


Duckworth also touched on growth mindset, an idea developed by Carol Dweck from Stanford University. Growth mindset implies that an individual’s ability to learn is neither fixed nor incapable of change, and that according to Dweck’s findings, this encourages children to persevere after experiencing failure.


Don’t fail fast, fail mindfully

| Leticia Gasca

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When you need help celebrating your failures.


In her talk, Leticia Gasca shares her start-up journey, centered on co-founding a social enterprise that aimed to support indigenous women artisans in Puebla, Mexico by giving them livelihood opportunities. The plot twist? There was no miracle customer and she needed to close the business down.


Gasca walks the audience through her process in opening up about her failure. She attributes the shame and pain to not knowing other failed entrepreneurs and her thinking that she is the only “loser” in the world.


When she learned that her friends have also failed at some point, Gasca found so much comfort in it that they launched a platform of events to help others share their failure stories and named it Fuckup Nights. They found that this platform of events became an avenue to learn and build empathy, and they also discovered that when members of a team openly talk about their failures, bonds grow stronger and collaboration becomes easier.


Meanwhile, in response to the start-up adage “fail fast,” Gasca proposes a new mantra: fail mindfully. Failing mindfully includes being aware of the impact, consequences of the failure, lessons learned, and the responsibility to share your learning.


What’s on the line when failure is excessively punished? Gasca thinks that,

“we stifle innovation and business creation, the engines of economic growth in any country.”


By the way, Gasca’s team also started a created the Failure Institute, a research center devoted to the story of failure and its implications on business, people, and society.


The Surprising Habits of Original Thinkers

| Adam Grant

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Watch when you’re running out of steam.


Organizational psychologist Adam Grant studies "originals," the thinkers who dream up new ideas and take action to put them out into the world. In his talk, he discussed three unexpected habits of originals.


Originals procrastinate, they also have bad ideas, and they’re not spared from fear and doubt.

“And sometimes, it's not in spite of those qualities but because of them that they succeed,” Grant emphasizes.


He also underscores that to be original you don't have to be the first. You just have to be different and better. It is about being the person who refuses to settle with the default but instead takes the initiative to look for a better option.


He also shares that what distinguishes originals from the rest of us is that they're more afraid of failing to try rather than being afraid to fail. He noted that originals know that in the long run, their biggest regrets are not actions but inactions.


Learn this from Grant: Know that being quick to start but slow to finish can boost your creativity, that you can motivate yourself by doubting your ideas and embracing the fear of failing to try, and that you need a lot of bad ideas in order to get a few good ones.


Like what you read? Pay it forward and share this list with a friend!

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And if you’re in need of company, Impact Hub Manila not only organizes F*ckUp Nights to celebrate business failures, we also offer co-working and private spaces. Be part of our community and work among startup founders and entrepreneurs.

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