One of the things I really love about being an Academic Advisor is the fact that I can play a role in helping young people develop the attitudes, skills and work ethic they need in order to not only succeed in school,but in life.  I’ve always had a keen interest in personal development and learning about what each of us can do to become happier and more successful people.  I think that every first year university student should begin to walk down the road of personal development as soon as they step foot on campus.  University is a great  place to learn and grow as a person. It’s where most people begin to seriously ponder life’s biggest questions, such as What do you do with your life? andWhat kind of person do you want to become?   As such, your university experience can be a multidimensional learning process that goes beyond simply understanding what’s in your textbooks.  Below are some excellent TED talks that can help you get started on finding the answers to the big questions that you’ll undoubtedly be thinking about.   

  • Dan Pink on the surprising science of motivation: Career analyst Dan Pink examines the puzzle of motivation, starting with a fact that social scientists know but most managers don’t: Traditional rewards aren’t always as effective as we think. Listen for illuminating stories — and maybe, a way forward.
  • Nigel Marsh: How to make work-life balance work: Work-life balance, says Nigel Marsh, is too important to be left in the hands of your employer. At TEDxSydney, Marsh lays out an ideal day balanced between family time, personal time and productivity — and offers some stirring encouragement to make it happen.
  • Alain de Botton: A kinder, gentler philosophy of success: Alain de Botton examines our ideas of success and failure — and questions the assumptions underlying these two judgments. Is success always earned? Is failure? He makes an eloquent, witty case to move beyond snobbery to find true pleasure in our work.
  • Tim Ferriss: Smash fear, learn anything: From the EG conference: Productivity guru Tim Ferriss’ fun, encouraging anecdotes show how one simple question — “What’s the worst that could happen?” — is all you need to learn to do anything.
  • Diana Laufenberg: How to learn From mistakes: Diana Laufenberg shares 3 surprising things she has learned about teaching — including a key insight about learning from mistakes.
  • Richard St. John’s 8 secrets of success: Why do people succeed? Is it because they’re smart? Or are they just lucky? Neither. Analyst Richard St. John condenses years of interviews into an unmissable 3-minute slideshow on the real secrets of success.
  • Elizabeth Gilbert on nurturing creativity: Elizabeth Gilbert muses on the impossible things we expect from artists and geniuses — and shares the radical idea that, instead of the rare person “being” a genius, all of us “have” a genius. It’s a funny, personal and surprisingly moving talk.