9 Inspirational Ted Talks to Help You Kick A** in Life, at Work, Anywhere

Ever felt like life kicked you in the a** too hard? Leaving you completely unmotivated to do anything?

I sure did — an unspeakable number of times. When that happens, I turn to two plans:

  1. I message my friends to talk or hang out.
  2. I do what I love (in my case, it’s cooking, watching Korean dramas, or grabbing a milk tea).

But sometimes, these plans fail. And the only way to recoup my motivation so I can refocus on work, my relationships, and most importantly myself, is watching inspirational Ted Talks.

What I want to share with you are some of the most extraordinary speakers who can instill you with great ideas about creativity, business, problem-solving, happiness, and personal development. I’m hoping by the end of this post, you’ll feel more confident and ready to take on life, once more.

Enjoy these videos. 🙂

1. “Your body language shapes who you are” by Amy Cuddy

Total views: 35,929,096
Length: 20:55 minutes

Sometimes, we can’t help but let our bodies gestures define who we are. If we feel insecure, we curl up and avoid eye contact, making us look weak. If we feel invincible, we puff out our chest and hold our chins high, making us look dominant, possibly arrogant. But what if we could manipulate our body gestures to control how we think and feel about ourselves? That’s what social psychologist, Amy Cuddy, talks about in this video. In her speech, she highlights how power posing for a few minutes can completely turn your life around (the way you want it to be).

2. “The art of innovation” by Guy Kawasaki

Total views: 382,041
Length: 21:15 minutes

As the chief evangelist of Canva, author of 13 books, and keynote speaker for entrepreneurs, Guy Kawasaki has all the right and competence to speak of innovation. He digs into the basics of innovation, which lie in the sole process of creating ‘something.’ And the creation passes through 11 phases: Making meaning and not money, creating a mantra, perspective, special aspects of the products, crappy first innovation, letting it blossom, annoying people, evolving the products, finding a niche market, perfecting your pitch and finally ignoring losers.

3. “The single biggest reason why startups succeed” by Bill Gross

Total views: 2,758,407
Length: 6:40 minutes

Thinking of founding a startup? If so, this TED Talk is gold. Short, but sweet, Bill Gross covers all the key factors that determine a startup’s success — timing, team, idea, business model and funding. As a founder and incubator of an impressive number of startups, Bill Gross shares his analysis of 200 new companies. It turns out the biggest success happens based on these factors, especially one of them. I’ll give you a tiny snippet before you watch the video. It starts with the letter ‘t’.

4. “Teach girls bravery, not perfection” by Reshma Saujani

Total views: 2,437,033
Length: 12:39 minutes

The first thing society teaches young girls is to be perfect. Sadly, this reality stretches to every corner of the world. But Reshma Saujani, the founder of Girls Who Code, challenges this topic by encouraging women to take risks, accept personal flaws and mistakes, and keep pushing forward towards “unlikely” dreams (this includes getting into the fields of science, math, engineering, and technology).

5. “Got a wicked problem? First, tell me how you make toast” by Tom Wujec

Total views: 2,219,432
Length: 9:01 minutes

Everyone knows how to make toast, but how many know the entire process (let alone know how to draw it)? Not many. In Tom Wujec’s talk, you’ll learn how people visualize the way they make toast, giving you a new insight on how you can solve complicated problems — by making your ideas more visual, tangible, and reachable.

6. “The happy secret to better work” by Shawn Achor

Total views: 13,927,302
Length: 12:13 minutes

If you’re looking for well-grounded advice on achieving happiness and work success, Shawn Achor’s got it covered. Funny and dynamic, this video will tell you how happiness leads to productive work and not the other way around. Be prepared to laugh like crazy and hit ‘play’.

7. “Why we all need to practice emotional first aid” by Guy Winch

Total views: 3,837,554
Length: 17:24 minutes

When was the last time you took care of yourself? I don’t mean physically, but emotionally. Not much, right? For some reason, we tend to neglect our mind’s pain. We accept feelings such as loss, guilt, gloom, betrayal or loneliness as if it were meant to be. But no, we shouldn’t treat ourselves like that. Here, Guy Winch teaches us how we can cope with pain and heal ourselves mentally. After all, our emotional state is just as important as our body.

8. “The power of introverts” by Susan Cain

Total views: 14,698,837
Length: 18:56 minutes

There’s an unwritten rule where extroverts are considered more valuable than introverts. But based on Susan Cain, introverts are surprisingly creative individuals who can bring their extraordinary skills to the table and lead very successful businesses. Sometimes, solitude and a quiet mind can drive more creative thoughts and inspiration than you’d expect.

9. “Looks aren’t everything. Believe me, I’m a model.” by Cameron Russell

Total views: 14,980,789
Length: 9:30 minutes

In seconds, you’ll instantly change opinions of people based on how they dress. Cameron Russell, a Victoria’s Secret model, demonstrates this on stage. Even though beautiful women get more freebies and get treated better in life, they’re in fact the most insecure people around (because they got to look good at all costs). Once you hear Cameron’s fearless confessions to retouched pictures, racism, insecurity and strange photoshoots, you’ll realize there’s more to a person than what’s on the surface.

Tiffany Sun
Tiffany Sun

Creator, Rabbut

Tiffany Sun is rebuilding her life by discovering who she is, learning what she's capable of after a 9-year heartbreak that left her stranded in China.

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