What will you do on your lunch break today? Work through it? Spend 15 minutes queuing for a sandwich? Surf the net? Pop into town for some mindless browsing? Or run a load of errands?

What if there was a way to use your lunch break to motivate you, inspire you, and help you to think differently? What if there was a way to use your lunch break to figure out how to be a better person and change your life for the better?

January is the perfect time to ask yourself what you want to be known for, and what kind of imprint you want to leave on the world. To reflect on what was good and bad last year and what needs to change in order for you to grow. And ultimately, to commit to making 2017 the year you become the person you’ve always wanted to be.

So, starting this week, we challenge you to make more of your precious lunch breaks by watching these enlightening TED Talks (PLUS a very special talk on courage by our very own founder Beth Kempton. They really could change your life…

1. What reality are you creating for yourself? By Isaac Lidsky

Reality isn’t something you perceive; it’s something you create in your mind. Isaac Lidsky learned this profound lesson firsthand, when unexpected life circumstances yielded valuable insights. In this introspective, personal talk, he challenges us to let go of excuses, assumptions and fears, and accept the awesome responsibility of being the creators of our own reality.

2. 10 ways to have a better conversation By Celeste Headlee

When your job hinges on how well you talk to people, you learn a lot about how to have conversations — and that most of us don’t converse very well. Celeste Headlee has worked as a radio host for decades, and she knows the ingredients of a great conversation: Honesty, brevity, clarity and a healthy amount of listening. In this insightful talk, she shares 10 useful rules for having better conversations. “Go out, talk to people, listen to people,” she says. “And, most importantly, be prepared to be amazed.”

3. Why you should talk to strangers By Kio Stark

“When you talk to strangers, you’re making beautiful interruptions into the expected narrative of your daily life — and theirs,” says Kio Stark. In this delightful talk, Stark explores the overlooked benefits of pushing past our default discomfort when it comes to strangers and embracing those fleeting but profoundly beautiful moments of genuine connection.

4. 5 ways to listen better By Julian Treasure

In our louder and louder world, says sound expert Julian Treasure, “We are losing our listening.” In this short, fascinating talk, Treasure shares five ways to re-tune your ears for conscious listening — to other people and the world around you.

5. How to overcome our biases? Walk boldly toward them By Vernā Myers

Our biases can be dangerous, even deadly — as we’ve seen in the cases of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner, in Staten Island, New York. Diversity advocate Vernā Myers looks closely at some of the subconscious attitudes we hold toward out-groups. She makes a plea to all people: Acknowledge your biases. Then move toward, not away from, the groups that make you uncomfortable. In a funny, impassioned, important talk, she shows us how.

6. Your body language shapes who you are By Amy Cuddy

Body language affects how others see us, but it may also change how we see ourselves. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy shows how “power posing” — standing in a posture of confidence, even when we don’t feel confident — can affect testosterone and cortisol levels in the brain, and might even have an impact on our chances for success. (Note: Some of the findings presented in this talk have been referenced in an ongoing debate among social scientists about robustness and reproducibility.

7. Try something new for 30 days By Matt Cutts

Is there something you’ve always meant to do, wanted to do, but just … haven’t? Matt Cutts suggests: Try it for 30 days. This short, lighthearted talk offers a neat way to think about setting and achieving goals.

8. Success is a continuous journey By Richard St. John

In his typically candid style, Richard St. John reminds us that success is not a one-way street, but a constant journey. He uses the story of his business’ rise and fall to illustrate a valuable lesson — when we stop trying, we fail.

9. The hidden power of smiling By Ron Gutman

Ron Gutman reviews a raft of studies about smiling, and reveals some surprising results. Did you know your smile can be a predictor of how long you’ll live — and that a simple smile has a measurable effect on your overall well-being? Prepare to flex a few facial muscles as you learn more about this evolutionarily contagious behaviour.

10. How to talk to anyone By Beth Kempton

We also just had to share the talk that our very own founder, Beth Kempton, gave at ‘I am… courage New York City’ at the end of last year where she shared the stage with five amazing women who lit up the room with their tales of brave and truthful living. Beth says: “Organising this event with these inspiring women and giving this talk taught me that we don’t need other people’s permission to do amazing things. We can make them happen ourselves, especially when we have the support of others like us, committed to a common goal. So when you’re stuck in a mid-week slump, remind yourself that you have all the power you need to lift yourself out. You just need to commit, and then follow through!” If you haven’t already seen it, you can watch it here.

BK at I Am Courage NYC