TED: a community that promotes the spread of global ideas over an array of topics and issues from international affairs to scientific discoveries. TED talks are not only educational, but can be very inspirational as well. We have all been faced with challenges in life, and sometimes it is hard to find the will to move on. If you ever feel demotivated or uninspired, check out these 10 TED talks to fuel you out of your challenges.

My philosophy for a happy life by Sam Berns

Sam Berns has an extremely rare disease called progeria. It is a disease that he did not let him stop from pursuing his dreams such as participating in marching band at his high school and living a normal everyday life. He talks about how even though he has many obstacles in his life, he is still extremely happy. In this talk, he shares his philosophy for a happy life which includes being “okay with what you ultimately can’t do, because there is so much you CAN do.” This talk will inspire you and help you realize that you can face any challenge in life with a smile on your face. You can watch Sam’s talk here.

The secret of becoming mentally strong by Amy Morin

Psychotherapist and social worker Amy Morin gives a TED talk about how to build mental strength even though life might be hard. When we achieve mental strength, we are able to reach our highest potential. Amy hopes to inspire individuals with the strength to persevere through all of life’s challenges. You can watch Amy’s talk here.

Programming your mind for success by Carrie Green

Have you ever been overwhelmed by challenging obstacles? Do you have a lack of motivation? Have been suffocated by your problems? Don’t worry. You’re not alone. Everyone has experienced these feelings. What goes on in your head affects the decisions you make which can make you miss out on incredible opportunities because of self-limiting thoughts. Carrie Green hopes to inspire your mind to unleash your potentials to help you gain success. She shares secrets for eliminating a limited mindset and how having a positive mindset changed her life. You can listen to Carrie’s talk here.

Overcoming hopelessness by Nick Vujicic

“My parents always taught me that even though we don’t know why I was born this way, that we have a choice. Either to be angry for what we don’t have, or be thankful for what we do have.” Nick Vujicic has an inspirational life story; he is limbless. In this TED talk, he explains how he has overcome what he has been through. He discusses the spectrum of people that he’s met in his life: young and old, rich and poor, presidents, and even slaves. He explains that something we all have in common is that we all seek hope. This talk illustrates the hurting world in need of love and hope and what we as individuals can do to help achieve this. You can watch Nick’s talk here.

How to know your life purpose in 5 minutes by Adam Leipzig

Producer Adam Leipzig begins his talk with describing his experiences as his Yale college reunion. He talks about how everyone in his class was privileged to attend such a prestigious university, yet 80% of the people he talked to were unhappy. What differentiated the happy and unhappy individuals is that the happy individuals had a clear understanding of who they were, what they did, who they did it for, what those people wanted or needed, and what they got out of it. This ideology is so simple that it can help you find your life purpose in 5 minutes. Adam explains each step more in depth. By the end of the talk, you should have a clear understanding of your purpose. You can watch Adam’s talk here.

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The skill of self confidence by Dr. Ivan Joseph

Former soccer coach Dr. Ivan Joseph describes the importance of self confidence by describing experiences with his soccer career. When a soccer player loses sight or belief in themselves, they’re done for. They will not be able to benefit the team with a lack of self confidence. This goes for individuals as well. He defines self confidence as the ability or the belief to believe in yourself, to accomplish any task, no matter the odds, no matter the difficulty, no matter the adversity. This is something everyone strives for. There is no magic button to gain self confidence, but with repetition (even throughout failure) and Dr. Joseph’s tips, you can achieve it easily. You can watch Dr. Joseph’s talk here.

What really matters at the end of life by BJ Miller

“We all need a reason to wake up. For me it just took 11,000 volts.” BJ Miller has been a patient since an accident that occurred during his sophomore year of college. The word patient means one who suffers. Miller believes that we are all patients. Necessary suffering unites caregiver and care receiver. He explains that healing happens through compassion. Thankfully, unnecessary suffering is something we can control. We are caregivers to ourselves, and we need to relieve the stress stemming from unnecessary suffering. This talk will help you learn how to change your perspective of your life. You can listen to BJ’s talk here.

The psychology of self-motivation by Scott Geller

Do you feel empowered? Ask yourself these three questions: Do you believe that you can do it? Will it work? Is it worth it? If you answered yes to these questions, you feel competent in your work, and that is where your self-motivation comes from. Self motivation relies on how you communicate to others and how you communicate to yourself. “When you perceive choice, you perceive motivation.” Your self-motivation can be transformed just through the way you change your mindset. You can watch Scott’s talk here.

I got 99 problems… palsy is just one by Maysoon Zayid

Comedian Maysoon Zayid gives a lighthearted TED talk about her life. She shares that how she lives her life with cerebral palsy, a disorder that affect muscle movement and coordination. She warns that she “isn’t inspirational,” but hearing of how she’s overcome obstacles of cerebral palsy such as learning how to walk and making it into the comedic world and as an actress, there’s no doubt you’ll be inspired. Her family instilled in her that “no dream was impossible.” One look at her life, you can believe that she’s practiced this ideology. She’s done amazing things in her life. She’s tapped dance on Broadway and been an activist for the disabled. You can watch Maysoon’s talk here.

The happy secret to better work by Shawn Achor

Shawn Achor is a psychologist who gives a lighthearted and entertaining talk about the happy secret to better work. He starts off the talk by sharing a funny story about him and his sister from his youth and accuses her of being a unicorn. He goes on to explain positive psychology and that happiness promotes productivity. We as humans cannot find happiness within the external world. We are constantly pushing ourselves to be better. This talk shows how small changes ripple outward to promote a happy life which increases productivity. You can watch Shawn’s talk here.

Sara G
CONTRIBUTOR