What is it that makes someone successful? What is it that makes someone happy with their work? In the following TED talks, some of the sharpest minds on Earth share their experiences with work, success and happiness.

Jason Fried: Why work doesn’t happen at work
Jason Fried, co-author of the best selling book Rework, explains in this talk why the modern notion of getting work done in an office building is worth challenging. He explains that some of the most productive minds almost never identify the office as the most important place to get work done, so why do so many businesses place so much emphasis on it?

Nigel Marsh: How to make work-life balance work
Author Nigel Marsh speaks on the problems associated with giving too much power to an employer. In his talk, he outlines the fundamental problems that come with losing family and personal time to excessive work, and gives valuable suggestions for balancing working productivity and personal life.

Tim Ferriss: Smash fear, learn anything
Tim Feriss shares his personal experiences and thoughts on the various ways that fear impedes learning. Author of The Four Hour Work Week and an in-depth blog, Tim explains the subtleties and nuances of going from a place of fear to a place of understanding.

Shawn Achor: The happy secret to better work
Psychologist and CEO Shawn Achor entertains his audience with his unique take on happiness: work is not necessarily the root of it. He explains instead why happiness acts as a catalyst for productivity, effectively reversing the roles of work and emotion.

Dan Pink on the surprising science of motivation
In this eye-opening talk, Dan Pink uses his experience with law to make a case against the way that rewards are presented in the modern era. He explains that several studies have shown current reward systems to produce worse results in an unusual way.

Alain de Botton: A kinder, gentler philosophy of success
Alian de Botton gives critical insight of how our perception of success and failure can distort our ability to relate to others, while simultaneously explaining the power of transcending the traditional habit of judging others by their profession.

Diana Laufenberg: How to learn? From mistakes
Teacher Diana Laufenberg shares wisdom from her years of experience. In this very easy-to-follow talk, she speaks on some of the key problems and misconceptions in the world of education and sheds light on how learning from mistakes is quite possibly one of the most valuable approaches to personal growth.

Elizabeth Gilbert: Your elusive creative genius
In this moving TED talk, best-selling author Elizabeth Gilbert articulates the problems that creative minds face by assuming all of the responsibility of being a genius. She explains how many other cultures have lived in assumption that genius was something that resides outside of the body, rather than something that lives within the confines of one’s own mind.

Dan Ariely asks, Are we in control of our own decisions?
Dan Ariely, writer of Predictably Irrational, makes a strong argument against peoples’ common belief that they are rational. In his talk, he gets his evidence in a compelling way that helps to illustrate why he has come to believe that the average person’s decision-making process is not as rational as they might assume.

Richard St. John’s 8 secrets of success
In this short yet powerful talk, Richard St. John encapsulates the elements of success. Over his years of research, he has conducted various interviews and found that the factors of success are different than the traditionally-assumed factors like luck and book smarts.