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    Admit it: in your downtime, you sometimes find yourself chatting on social media or clicking through videos on YouTube. But you’re absolutely not interested in mindless scrolling. You want whatever time you spend to be useful. You either want to feel educated, inspired, or make a connection — or you’ll be wasting time that you could have spent working or with your friends and family.

    Here’s the good news: there are so many TED Talks that can make you a better person and a better loan officer. We did some digging and found five of the best TED Talks for you to meet you at various stages of life and work.

    1. Your Body Language May Shape Who You Are by Amy Cuddy

    If you’re one of the last people to watch Amy Cuddy’s “Your Body Language May Shape Who You Are,” then stop what you’re doing and watch it now.

    Body language is one of the most important tools professionals (and well, people in general) have to interpret communications — and that’s in a pre- and post-COVID-19 world. From networking events to in-person meetings to video conferencing calls these days, the way people shake hands, make facial gestures, or hold their bodies “says” a lot without saying anything.

    This TED Talk will teach you both about how body language affects our us physiologically, but also as a way to appear — and feel — more powerful.

    2. Inside the Mind of a Master Procrastinator by Tim Urban

    Remember that social media habit mentioned above — if you find yourself scrolling…and scrolling…and scrolling some more — know that you’re just procrastinating, something Tim Urban, creator of Why But Wait, knows all too well.

    This TEDTalk is filled with humorous, hand-drawn illustrations that will keep you laughing as you nod your head in agreement and understanding at his personal dilemmas. You’ll be able to reflect on the role fear plays with procrastination so you can see how it really affects our lives.

    3. The Unexpected Benefit of Celebrating Failure by Astro Teller

    “Great dreams aren’t just visions,” says Astro Teller, “They’re visions coupled to strategies for making them real.”

    When was the last time you failed…and celebrated those failures? When was the last time you took a huge risk with a higher potential of failure? This TED Talk overviews the moonshot factor for X while still encouraging viewers to dream big, take bold risks, and continue to repeat that pattern regardless of the outcome.

    4. How to Save the World (Or At Least Yourself) from Bad Meetings by David Grady

    Let’s face it: you spend a lot of time in meetings. Between calls with your clients, your boss, or your teams, you’re either answering the phone or logging in to a video call. You get that meetings will always play a vital role in the professional sphere, but you also sincerely wish you spent less time in them.

    This TED Talk is not only funny, but it’s helpful too. Watching it allows you to determine your approach to meetings now and in the future. (Hint: You can say no or adjust your involvement!)

    5. How to Make Work-Life Balance Work by Nigel Marsh

    What is success to you? There’s many different ways to answer that question, but what is your own personal definition? In this TED Talk, Marsh, the author of Fat, Forty, and Fired makes the case that success should be determined on how a person lives their life, not how many hours they log in the office.

    But this isn’t just another motivational speech. Marsh goes ahead to suggest what the ideal balance is, and gives some thoughts on how viewers can work toward it.

    All these TED Talks can be digested in any quick break, but do take the time to watch them if you’re looking for a little personal and professional development.

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