March 14, 2016

These 3 TED Talks Will Help You Make Your Next Big Decision

Making big decisions is hard. Understanding how the brain makes decisions can change everything.

If I didn’t watch the three TED talks below, you wouldn’t be reading this article right now.

I had a choice between working for two awesome startups and I couldn’t decide which one to pick. After watching these talks, I felt confident in my decision and accepted a position at The Hustle.

It’s pretty corny to admit this but these TED talks have literally changed my life.

If you’re struggling to make a big decision or you are just curious to learn how your brain works, you’re going to want to watch all three talks.

Dan Gilbert: Why we make bad decisions

Daniel Gilbert is the Edgar Pierce Professor of Psychology at Harvard University. He has won many awards for his research and teaching, including the American Psychological Association’s Distinguished Scientific Award for an Early Career Contribution to Psychology.

Basically, Gilbert is a badass in the psychology world.

Why you should watch this talk:

To make good decisions, we must understand why we make bad ones. Gilbert presents research and data from his previous psychology projects. To end his talk, he shares some surprising tests and experiments you can try on yourself.

Sheena Iyengar: How to make choosing easier

Sheena Iyengar is a professor at Columbia Business School. She focuses on finding what influences people’s decisions.

Iyengar has worked on a host of cool projects, like improving employee performance in a global organization (Citigroup), making the chocolate displays at Godiva more effective, and even designing the user experience when walking down the magazine aisles of supermarkets.

Why you should watch this talk:

We all want customized products but when we’re faced with dozens of options, we freeze. Iyengar presents new research that shows how businesses (and people) can improve the experience of choosing.

Ruth Chang: How to make hard choices

Ruth Chang is a well-respected and outspoken philosopher at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. Chang also teaches at UCLA and the University of Chicago Law School.

Why you should watch this talk:

Which career should you pursue? Should you break up or get married? Where should you live? Big decisions like these can be complicated and difficult. But Chang offers a new framework for how we think about decisions that anyone can use immediately.

Takeaway

Making big decisions is hard. But understanding how we think about these decisions can make life a whole lot easier. These talks were the catalysts for my career and I hope they will help you on your journey. Good luck.

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