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5 Must-See TED Talks to Spark Inspiration

Posted by Ashley Tousignant on Jun 12, 2018 12:00:00 PM


It has been said that difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations. Sometimes motivation may be difficult to come by, so it is important to find the spark that ignites your drive. Some find it in the soft tones of music, others find it through lyrical poetry, and others through story telling.

For those who enjoy motivational speakers, TED Talks is a great resource for triggering inspiration. Coined, “Ideas Worth Spreading,” TED Talks have been around since the 1980s and have motivated and inspired millions. TED (Technology, Entertainment, and Design) covers almost all topics from science to business to global issues. Here are some of the top must-see TED Talks to spark inspiration:

1. How Great Leaders Inspire Action (Simon Sinek)


What gives the great leaders their edge? Why were Martin Luther King, Wright Brothers, & Steve Jobs successful when others have access to similar resources and conditions? The thing these leaders have in common is summarized in the ‘Golden Circle’. In Sinek’s talk, we discover the What, How, and Why.


2. The Power of Vulnerability (Brené Brown)


 The power of vulnerability. Brené Brown studies human connection — our ability to empathize, belong, and love. In a poignant, funny talk, she shares a deep insight from her research, one that sent her on a personal quest to know herself as well as to understand humanity.


 3. Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are (Amy Cuddy)


 Your body language reveals a lot about you, but can you reform it to change people’s perceptions of you and, ultimately, alter your personality? Social psychologist Amy Cuddy addresses this question by explaining the power of nonverbal behavior.


4. The Puzzle of Motivation (Dan Pink)


 Daniel Pink points out business needs new approach, based on intrinsic motivation consisting of three elements: autonomy (Pink defines it as urge to direct our life), mastery (desire to get better and better at something that matters) and purpose (yearning to do what we do for something bigger than ourselves).


5. If You’re Feeling Sorry for Yourself (Amy Purdy)


 “If my life were a book, and I were the author, how would I want this story to go?” This is the question that Amy Purdy asked herself when she lost both of her legs at the age of 19. In this moving and powerful talk, she shows us how to draw inspiration from life’s obstacles. She encourages us to take control of our lives, and our limits.


BONUS:  The Game that Can Give You 10 Extra Years of Life (Jane McGonigal)


 Here is a bonus for those who like challenges. Jane McGonigal challenges her audience to a secret mission; how will they spend their extra minutes they have been given in their lives? When game designer Jane McGonigal found herself bedridden and suicidal following a severe concussion, she had a fascinating idea for how to get better. She dove into the scientific research and created the healing game, SuperBetter. In this moving talk, McGonigal explains how a game can boost resilience -- and promises to add 7.5 minutes to your life.

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