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microphone womanThe following five TED talks showcase several areas where Business as Usual is actually misguided. Shake things up a bit and give a listen.

Is the Obesity Crisis Hiding a Bigger Problem? – Peter Attia

In this emotional talk, physician Peter Attia asks that we take a different stance on diabetes and obesity. He recounts an encounter with a gravely ill patient when he was a medical resident, and places it in the context of what he now knows to be true. This is an excellent example of how fat-shaming is prevalent in the current medical model.

Looks Aren’t Everything. Believe Me, I’m a Model – Cameron Russell

So many women believe, at least on some level, that if they were only thin and beautiful, they’d be happier. Fashion model Cameron Russell turns that belief system upside down as she talks about the power of image in our perceived successes and perceived failures.

She nails it when she says, “If you ever are wondering, if I have thinner thighs and shinier hair will I be happier? And all you have to do is meet a group of models, because they have the thinnest thighs and the shiniest hair and the coolest clothes and they are the most physically insecure women probably on the planet.”

The Surprising Science of Happiness – Dan Gilbert

Professor of psychology at Harvard and host of the PBS series This Emotional Life, Dan Gilbert shares his research findings. Happiness is not what you might think it is, and it is not dependent on outside events. My favorite quote from this talk: “We synthesize happiness, but we think happiness is a thing to be found.” If you are intrigued by this talk, read Gilbert’s book Stumbling on Happiness.

Why Dieting Usually Doesn’t Work – Sandra Aamodt

Neuroscientist Sandra Aamodt challenges the dominant belief that we can control our weight, especially by dieting. She presents scientific research about why diets don’t work, and actually cause harm.

One of my favorite parts of this talk is when Aamodt shows a picture of herself at age 13, at the time of her first diet. She recounts that all-too-common experience of looking at her young self and recognizing how thin she was at the time.

Meet Your Microbes – Jonathan Eisen

After this talk by microbiologist Jonathan Eisen, you may throw away your hand sanitizer. Most of us have been taught that microbes are nasty micro-critters that cause disease. However, most of them actually have a positive impact on our health.

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