How to motivate yourself to change your behavior | Tali Sharot | TEDxCambridge

What does make us change our actions? Tali Sharot reveals three ingredients to doing what's good for yourself.

Dr. Tali Sharot is a neuroscientist at University College London and the director of the Affective Brain Lab. She is a faculty member of the department of Experimental Psychology, a Wellcome Trust Fellow, and currently a visiting Professor at Harvard Medical School. Her research focuses on how emotion, motivation, and social factors influence our expectations, decisions, and memories.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at


  • Rizal Malawi

    I know why social media is very addictive for us. Because it gives us the immediate reward by the time we post something (‘likes’ notification) which we don’t easily get in a real social interaction. That’s why some people look superior in social media but lack of confidence in their real life. By listening to this talk, I definitely agree that we need to focus more on the progress of what we/other people do, instead of the results. Because we cannot please people to give us the reward, so we have to value our progressing work as the reward.

    • Akhsin Ilhami

      Hello fellow Indonesian

    • PelikuLAGOM

      If not for business, I’m not gonna log in to social medial again.

    • thanh tung

      gold comment!

    • deeprest

      Yah, it was sad that people only look at the result. They are not aware how hard for u to make it happen. Sometimes, they are not contented that will makes u feel pressured and the worst is to be compared with others. My man told me that I act like a doll of everyone because I was afraid of what others would think and before I do something that I really want, I need to envision first if they will feel bad about it. I always wanted to be the best daughter that’s why I considered myself as a doll of my mom lols.

  • Nadia Ham

    I’ve been following her for a few months and I think she’s amazing, I love her colorful artwork and I’ve even buy her book, she has a lot of incredible examples and techniques to try, she’s a big inspiration for a lot of artists, including myself!

  • Question Everything But WHY

    “When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but with creatures bristling with prejudice and motivated by pride and vanity.”
    ― Dale Carnegie

  • leandro baluyotjr

    Very good lecture ! Highlighting the positive outcome of a positive change in our attitude ,behavior and practise on matters that needed improvement correlates with the principle in metaphysics i.e. like attracts like ; we harvest what we’ve planted .

  • Jayani

    “The fear induces inaction while the thrill of the gains induces action. If we want motivate change or progress we might want to think about the above on how we want to do it”. No solution fits all, but this gave a good insight as to deciding the best strategy when dealing with individuals. It’s also true that people like to be in control therefore social insentives, motivators and progress monitoring are great tools to use to give them the control while motivating change and progress.

  • Julia B

    i even had to motivate myself to watch this

  • A-Wav. Music

    All of these 2020 comments taught me that we are all coming here for self help. Proud of you all

  • Grace Ann Neri

    1. Social incentives
    2. Immediate reward
    3. Progress monitoring

  • Diego Martinez

    -Science shows that warning has little influence on behavior; it’s effective but limited.
    -People tend to change their beliefs towards a more desirable option (in all ages)
    -Kids, teenagers, and elderly people are less likely to learn from warnings
    Three principles that drive the behavior and mind
    1-Social incentive: we are motivated through the positive actions of others.
    2-Immediate reward: reward your good behavior.
    3-Progress monitoring: We are motivated by seeing progress.
    -Highlight the process, not the decline
    -Giving people a sense of control is a motivator

  • S S

    LOVE your animations!! What a great way to introduce something that many have had a huge problem with. Good for you for starting with the core of the issue, which is the motivation to do anything that a person would desire to do.

  • Joniel Jordan

    I just love the way how she, with evidence, goes through science to practical life. Amazing!. Thank you so much!

  • Olaf Lieser

    It works!
    Here in Germany it has become usual for a town to place a speed radar at the town entrance, and a monitor telling people “you are travelling at … speed” with a “thankyou” and a smile if you comply with the speed limit – or a “please slow down” if traveling too fast. No police, no citation. But it really works, people want to comply if they have that positive feedback. Positive feedback rather than the abstract warning of dire consequences.
    Just like the nurses with the machine feedback they get regarding cleaning their hands as they enter a patient’s room, which the presenter describes.
    It works with me and one can watch drivers respond to this!

  • German Dimplez

    13:42 “Highlight the progress. Not the decline.” Scientifically proven fact. How many of us focus on the negative? Thx for the life lesson ❤️

    • Ebrelus

      it’s deeper. When you learn something in steps it is effective to stop for second or two after each successful step. brain literally needs moment to save new progress or it looseses it in continuous steps skipping it and overloading.

  • Your Calm Place - Meditation

    My comment will probably get lost but whoever reads this.. You got this! Whatever you are going through will get better hang in there ✨❤️

  • Michael Ravenwood

    God bless you Tali. I’ve used this ever since watching it for the first time &, after decades of trying, I’ve established a daily practice of breath work, visualization, meditation & exercise… I’m grateful for your work & this talk!!!

  • HY G

    The talk is really inspiring, not in the sense of giving us concrete tips about how to motivate, but provides very helpful ideas of how to make effective plans for the improvement. Thanks for the talk!

  • William Turner

    I feel like other people have always had it so much easier than me. I’ve always struggled with this so much. It’s so hard to motivate myself. I’ve been watching videos like this thought and it’s really helped me. I don’t even like TED talks but this helped me today. I needed to hear it

  • Juan 🪙

    True. Great video.

  • Rafeal Rusdi

    I wonder if we can also hypothesise that the reason humans do something is for selfish reasons and not selfless one.. with reference to the social experiment on the nurses, even though it’s not part of their job to maintain good hygience and practise to wash their hands but they nevertheless, neglect or reluctant to do so, when they know it’s for the betterment of the medical practise, but yet, put up a board that shows how many times they wash their hands so it gives them the ‘social reward/incentives’; no ones wants to be left out and also probably have a topic of conversation.. so, even though this experiement showed that human behaviour can be changes, but it also shows how superficial and self-centerdness most of us are, as the primary objective of keeping good hygiene was not a main factor but a board showing everyone in that circle, how ‘well’ they are doing… just my take on it..

  • Hana Shanks

    Fantastic talk. Really inspirational. Going to take some ideas back to my classroom.

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