Discovering Your Purpose, by Steven Spielberg

In this 12 minute video, the iconic Steven Spielberg makes a very inspiring speech on following one’s dreams. His speech includes one of the major game changers in his destiny that led him to become one of the most phenomenal film makers of all times.
He begins by sharing a small incident from his childhood wherein, his father took him for one of the famous motion pictures, The Greatest show on earth by Cecil B. DeMille. A movie sequence in the film depicting a collision of a car with a moving train was etched in Spielberg’s memory. In later years, this memory propelled him towards creating a recording using a camera in which he recorded the crashing of two toy trains just to reprise the memory. He points out that this incident was his epiphany when a riveting memory and a camera together revealed what he truly intended to become.
He also explains how the dreams that lead you to your purpose in life are silent whisperers and, are hard to hear. Which is why, trusting one’s intuition is an extremely crucial step towards fulfilling one’s dream.

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Message From AliBaba’s Chairman

AliBaba is a Chinese e-commerce company created in 1999 that did its IPO in 2014 with a market value of US$ 231 billion. This 2-minute video contains a great message from AliBaba’s founder and chairman, Jack Ma.
As the hand behind running and operating one of the largest Internet companies in the world, Ma explains the need to understand the phases of a career graph before planning the goals. He divides the graph into different phases, each of them requiring different approaches and strategies. He then draws appropriate lessons for each of them: from the need to be open to experiences of all kinds and see mistakes as revenue before 20 to pampering oneself on a beach or in a spa after 60.

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Leadership Lessons From Benjamin Zander

Leadership lessons from orchestra conductor and an acclaimed speaker Benjamin Zander is what this 20-minute video is all about. Every talent on earth is impulse driven. Starting with faint references to the significance of seemingly less popular classical music, Zander initially leads his audience into the importance of impulses that drive one’s call to action. He explains how a seven year old exhibiting a passion towards playing piano, cranks up his ability to improvise with every passing year until one day he stops, not realizing how his amazing talent could have yielded him a phenomenal outcome, had he tried pursuing it further. According to Zander, just like an orchestra conductor wields an incredible power on the orchestra without making a sound, a good leader awakens excellence in his team in different ways: trusting himself and pushing towards excellence, never doubting about the capacity of his team, measuring his success by the shines in the eyes of his team members, and questioning himself time and again “Do I inspire the world around me enough?”

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The Power Of Our Choices, By Jeff Bezos

This video is a ten-minute extract from Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos’s graduation speech at Princeton University. Bezos explains about the incredible power of the choices we make in our lives. He begins with a childhood memory involving his grandfather who taught him at a tender age of 10 about the gift of being clever and the choice of being kind. If intellectual gifts are not checked by reason, the choices one makes in life are affected adversely. He recounts yet another experience about his dream to build an online book store with millions of titles, while he was still well employed. Despite the failures he experienced, he explains that the contentment that comes from having taken a risk and failed is more gratifying than playing safe for the fear of failure. He then throws the following questions to the audience:

• Will you follow a dogma or your heart?

• What will be your guide in making choices – inertia or passion?

• Will you dodge criticism or, accept it as a part of growing up?

• Will you bluff it when you are wrong, or apologize?

• Will you be clever at the expense of others or will you be kind?

Bezos beautifully sums it all up: “In the end, we are our choices. Build yourself a great story.”

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Tiny Beautiful Things, by Cheryl Strayed

The Tiny beautiful ThingsCheryl Strayed is an American writer who became famous writing under the pseudonym of “Sugar” for the blog The Rumpus. Following the popularity of her posts, she kind of became an online advisor on life and love, and engaged a large number of followers who, in addition to astonishingly beautiful and on spot responses to their letters, found a special motivation in the mystery of not knowing who was actually behind the such “Sugar”. Read more ⇉

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A Parent’s Guide to Gifted Children, by James Webb and Others

A Parent’s Guide to Gifted Children

A Parent’s Guide to Gifted Children

Parenting and leadership are closely connected, which is reason enough for us to be interested in the topic.

Being a parent makes you confront some of your weaknesses and shadows in an unavoidable way. Our kids need our best versions at all times and they act as mirrors for us to identify whether we are doing our job well. Moreover, they create a sense of urgency like perhaps no other stimulus can. A five-year old child cannot wait until he turns seven for his parents to improve their parenting skills. He would have changed forever and missed a significant phase in his development. Our children need our best possible version NOW. Read more ⇉

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The Conversational Nature of Reality, by David Whyte

In this beautifully poetical talk, internationally acclaimed poet David Whyte, an associate Fellow at Templeton College and at the University of Oxford explains about the conversational nature of reality and, how we elude it by being oblivious to the many factors that weave the actual reality. According to Whyte, “one of the essential realities of the conversational nature of reality is that whatever you as an individual would like to happen in the world would not happen exactly as you would like it. But equally whatever the world, your society, your organization, the people you serve in life want you to do will also not occur. You will not comply exactly as they would like you to comply. And what occurs is this third frontier, this conversational reality, and the ability to create an identity, where you can live at that frontier is one of the great triumphs of human life.” Whyte states the “everything is connected, all creatures are connected, that is the conversational nature of reality”.

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Reinventing Business and Education, by Ricardo Semler

Brazilian entrepreneur and CEO Ricardo Semler, questions the conformist thought process of following the herd and sticking to the run-of-the-mill approach towards work and life. In his own company and through his Foundation he has implemented new organizational approaches that challenge most aspects of the status quo in business and education. In this 17 minute Ted Talk, Semler beautifully describes the rigmarole of work life that never brings time, money and age on the same page. He holds in doubt the very need of a system that goes by rules to evaluate performances and salaries of employees in an organization. He feels the same about education where he explains why children should not be categorized by their age, and how they should learn freely sans clique formations.

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Why We Procrastinate?

It is not an unusual phenomenon for people to procrastinate about a task in hand. For instance, many students procrastinate until the day before exams and submissions in completing revision and journals. So, people resort to procrastination whenever they are intimidated by inundating tasks that they fail to process in their heads. Vik Nithy, a 21 year-old entrepreneur who is yet a student gives tips in this 9-minute talk to tackle procrastination. As per Vik, procrastination is a behavioral trait, associated with the human brain. The prefrontal cortex of the brain is designed to be decisive and therefore, gives an appropriate response to a particular situation. However, the limbic system of the brain pushes you to procrastinate by mitigating your motivation to work. The solution to this tug-of-war lies with the functioning of the amygdala of the brain that is responsible for memory processing, controlling fear and anxieties and, designing emotional responses and decision making abilities in a person. For instance, standing with an incomplete project in front of your angry professor past the project submission date, makes you freeze. That is a classic emotional response designed by the amygdala in your brain. To beat procrastination, Vik emphasizes on meta-cognition, which essentially means thinking about thinking. This strategy involves planning short term and long term goals with time frames, planning the process and visualizing it in your head, planning resources, planning distractions and importantly, planning to cope with failures and move ahead.

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Neuroplasticity: Our Brain Can Change, by Michael Merzenich

The brain is technically designed to change, to adapt and to evolve continuously. In this 23 minute TED Talk, Michael Merzenich, a renowned neuroscientist, explains the incredible powers of brain plasticity. Brain plasticity, explains Merzenich, is a remarkable ability to register massive information and adapt spontaneously to the various changes in the environment around. The two epochs of brain plasticity are the infant critical period (when the brain sets up basic processing machinery) and adult plasticity (when the brain rewires its machinery to master a wide repertoire of skills and abilities). Brain plasticity re-affirms that the brain learns to selectively alter the perception of inputs, albeit the environmental conditioning. Also, cortical processing in the brain is always in sync with the behavioral inputs, depending on environmental changes. Brain plasticity can be acquired over prolonged training sessions, to enhance cognitive skills and recover lost functions in children and aged people suffering from mental afflictions like autism and schizophrenia.

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