14 Best Motivational TED Talks To Give You Strength When Life Gets You Down

Best Ted Talks Motivational Quotes
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Need help finding your way in life?

Ted Talks are motivational conversations given by thought leaders on the topics of technology, education, and discovery of ideas. Each talk is full of motivational quotes that are more than inspiring. After listening to a Ted Talk, you can't help but feel inspired to live life in search of meaning.


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Maybe you’re not sure what you want to do with your life, or maybe you are sure, but are too afraid to do it because it’s “too risky.” Maybe you thought you knew, but are having doubts now, or M\maybe you don’t even know where to begin because you never really had to think about it before.

No matter what, here you are, staring at a screen for one reason or another and looking for answers. The best and easiest place to find those awe-inspiring answers tends to be TED talks. I’m sure you’ve noticed, too. I’m sure you’ve also noticed that there are a LOT of TED talks out there.


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So, to help you out, we’ve compiled a list of our 14 favorite TED talks that hone in on how to figure out what to do with your life, and how to come to terms with not knowing and just being for the moment. So, sit back, grab a notebook and pen, and prepare to talk yourself down from this panic.


1. Before I die, I want to...

Ted Talk Speaker: Candy Chang

Get ready to be INSPIRED. What do you want to do? While living in New Orleans, artist Candy Chang decided to turn an abandoned residence into a giant chalkboard where her neighbors would respond to her fill-in-the-blank question: “Before I die I want to ___.”

Their answers would soon become a touching inspiration to the whole community.


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2. Are you human?

Ted Talk Speaker: Ze Frank

I mean, why wouldn't you want to know the answer to this? Here’s a reminder that we’re all human, and what that means.

Ze Frank brings up some pretty interesting questions that will make us think more deeply about our existence. 


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3. Why you will fail to have a great career.

Ted Talk Speaker: Larry Smith

If you're interested in business, this guy can tell you how to build a successful one. 

As a renowned story-teller, teacher, and youth leader, Larry Smith has been an inspiring mentor to those who are interested in start-up business management or need assistance with developing their career goals.


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4. Stop searching for your passion.

Ted Talk Speaker: Terri Trespicio

How far do our passions really get us? Let’s re-think passion. Terri Trespicio shares her thoughts on the relationship between our passions and having a successful career.

As it turns out, our passions may not be the secret to achieving a fortunate career path.


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5. This is why some of us don’t have a true calling.

Ted Talk Speaker: Emilie Wapnick

Some of us might just be great at EVERYTHING Maybe you don’t need one. Maybe you need more! Entrepreneur Emilie Wapnick has never been able to settle on just one passion. 

After facing the anxieties of trying to settle on a career path, she decided it would be better to start a movement for those who were also multi- potentialities so that no one felt like they had to try so hard to fit into just one box.


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6. Be an artist. Right now.

Ted Talk Speaker: Young-ha Kim

We all need to be a little more creative Take the plunge! Korean author Young-ha Kim reminds us that we should never stop creating art no matter where we are in life. 


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7. The surprising habits of original thinkers.

Ted Talk Speaker: Adam Grant

Coming up with the next great idea also means you have to do one other thing. Surprising and not so surprising, I’d say!

Ideas take time, so maybe you don’t need to rush! Psychologist Adam Grant studies the strategies of “original thinkers” — those who come up with new ideas and apply them to the real world.

We learn that the secret to great ideas is embracing failure, and being somebody who is never afraid to keep trying.


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8. Here are five ways to kill your dreams.

Ted Talk Speaker: Bel Pesce

How do you turn a dream into a reality? Maybe you’re already doing it? So many of us wish we could be a best-selling author or the CEO of a successful company.

However, how many of us actually end up being somebody like that? Brazilian entrepreneur Bel Pesce analyzes several myths that may discourage some of us from really pursuing our dreams.


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9. Here's how to make hard choices.

Ted Talk Speaker: Ruth Chang

Let's face it, we all have to make them. What if I told you that the way we make decisions has been backwards this entire time?

Trying to pick a career or deciding to get married can make for some really arduous choices.

Philosopher Ruth Chang talks about a compelling new framework for shaping us into who we really are.


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10. Here's advice on how to find work you love.

Ted Talk Speaker: Scott Dinsmore

Do what you love, love what you do.Take a step back. 80% of adults are unsatisfied with their jobs, and Scott Dinsmore wants to find out why. His mission is to help people find a career that excites them and betters their lives.

His research included people from over 158 countries. He came up with a framework that consists of three simple steps for people to find jobs that make them happy.


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11. Embrace the near win.

Ted Talk Speaker: Sarah Lewis

You were soooo close!

Think about a moment where you almost accomplished your goal. Art historian Sarah Lewis analyzes the significance of the almost-failures, and whether or not those moments are actually the ones that can help us achieve and do better. Don’t give up! Every experience has a purpose!


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12. The psychology of your future self.

Ted Talk Speaker: Dan Gilbert

Who do you think you'll be in the future? Time is a funny thing. No one knows who they’re going to be in the future. This is exactly why many of us assume that the person we are today is the person we’re going to be forever.

However. Dan Gilbert proves that this is not the case with his most recent research.


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13. Don’t regret regret.

Ted Talk Speaker: Kathryn Schulz

We all have them, but they're not so bad after all. Because really, how much has regret ever really done for you? Everyone is always telling us how we should live life with no regrets. But is that actually the way we should be living?

By using her own tattoo as a reference, Kathryn Schulz talks about why we should actually embrace our regrets and not be ashamed of them.


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14. The power of time off.

Ted Talk Speaker: Stefan Sagmeister

Use that vacation time. Do it. You deserve it, and need it. So many of us strive to be hard workers, over achievers, and leaders. Which is cool, but how often do you think those people think about taking some time off?

Every seven years, designer Stefan Sagmeister will close his New York studio for a year to take some time to think about their creative goals. He discusses the value of time off and what people can get out of it.


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