If you’re looking for a spark of inspiration, a good chuckle, and maybe even a tear or two, you’ve come to the right place!
I’ve put together some of my all-time favourite TED talks that have given me a much-needed energy boost whenever I’ve needed it.
So, sit back and let these talks brighten your day and ignite your spirit.
Feel free to use this list as your go-to source of motivation, as each talk has a running time to help you pick and choose based on your schedule.
Bookmark this page and let these wonderful talks be your uplifting companions whenever you need a dose of inspiration.
But first, let me share this hilarious gem with you: “Will Smith on Skydiving.”
I’ve been itching to share this one for a while now. It’s too funny not to, and of course, it comes with a good helping of wisdom in classic Will Smith style.
If you’re a fan of Will (and really, who isn’t?), don’t miss this one!
Will Smith on Skydiving– A Hilarious Motivational Talk (6:06)
Will Smith dishes about his skydiving experience, and it’s equal parts funny and inspiring, topped off with a fantastic message.
Amy Purdy– Living Beyond Limits with Imagination (9:37)
Amy Purdy shares the power of imagination, emphasising that our lives aren’t defined by our circumstances, but by the choices we make.
Imagination allows us to break barriers, overcome obstacles, and constantly grow.
Listening to Amy’s talk left me absolutely spellbound, and I couldn’t help but get choked up.
Her incredible story of perseverance, told with warmth and humour, truly touched my heart.
Just picture it: your feet soaring off a mountain peak without your body in tow!
Adira Svutak– What Adults can Learn from Kids’ Creativity (10:45)
Child prodigy Adora Svitak argues that the world needs more “childish” thinking, filled with bold ideas, wild creativity, and unbridled optimism.
She believes that kids’ big dreams deserve high expectations and encourages adults to learn from children just as much as they teach them.
Adora’s talk felt like a breath of fresh air, making me reflect on how I interact with my nieces and nephews.
I can’t help but wonder how many times I’ve inadvertently limited them by saying things like, “No, you can’t” or “Don’t…” in the name of love and care.
Niko Everett– Building Self-Esteem: Meet Yourself (09:31)
Niko Everett wants to introduce you to someone truly special—YOU!
As the founder of Girls for Change, Niko has helped many teens transform themselves and their communities by holding up a powerful mirror.
In her engaging talk, she demonstrates how anyone, regardless of age or gender, can take a peek into their own transformational looking glass. Inspirational and empowering!
I was captivated by Niko’s talk and found myself reflecting on all the insecure thoughts I’ve had throughout my life.
When she mentioned her friend “Julie,” I thought, “I want to be like her!”
Julie’s advice to Niko really resonated with me:
You need to meet yourself… you should be jealous of yourself… if you can meet yourself, you might really like her…
Shawn Achor– The Happy Secret to Better Work and Productivity (12:21)
We often think we need to work hard to achieve happiness, but what if that’s backward?
In this entertaining talk from TEDxBloomington, psychologist Shawn Achor suggests that happiness actually inspires productivity.
I’m a sucker for a good laugh, and this talk delivers humour alongside an important message.
Shawn debunks the myth that happiness comes after we achieve our goals, stressing the importance of cultivating positivity in the present.
He shares five ways to create lasting positive change, making this talk a must-watch.
Tim Urban– Inside the Mind of a Master Procrastinator (14:04)
Tim Urban knows procrastination doesn’t make sense, but he can’t seem to break his habit of waiting until the last minute to get things done.
In this hilarious and insightful talk, Urban takes us on a journey through YouTube binges, Wikipedia rabbit holes, and bouts of window-staring—encouraging us to think harder about what we’re really procrastinating on before time runs out.
I was enthralled by Tim’s storytelling, as he made procrastination relatable and enjoyable.
I particularly loved the Instant Gratification Monkey and Panic Monster.
It’s oddly comforting to know we’re all procrastinators, right?
Laura Vanderkam – Time Management: Gaining Control of Your Free Time (11:55)
With 168 hours in each week, how can we find time for what matters most?
Time management expert Laura Vanderkam examines how busy people spend their lives and uncovers a surprising truth: many of us overestimate our commitments and underestimate our free time.
She offers practical strategies for finding more time for our priorities, enabling us to “build the lives we want in the time we’ve got.”
Laura’s talk made me realise that when I say “I don’t have time,” I’m actually saying,
It’s not my priority.
Time to get our priorities straight, don’t you think?
Josh Kaufman– Learning Anything in Just 20 Hours (19:27)
Josh Kaufman, the author of the international bestseller ‘The Personal MBA,’ specialises in teaching people from all walks of life how to master practical knowledge and skills.
In his talk, he shares how the birth of his first child inspired him to approach learning in an entirely new way.
I found Josh’s insight amazing!
He emphasises that the major barrier to learning something new isn’t intellectual—it’s emotional.
Elizabeth Gilbert – Success, Failure and the Drive to Keep Creating (07:19)
Once an “unpublished diner waitress” crushed by rejection letters, Elizabeth Gilbert found herself identifying with her former self after the success of ‘Eat, Pray, Love.’
In her beautiful talk, Gilbert reflects on why success can be as disorienting as failure and offers a simple—but challenging—way to carry on, no matter the outcome.
Her talk truly touched me, and I loved these takeaways: “I’m going home” and “It’s all gonna be okay.”
Dr. Ivan Joseph – The Power of Self Confidence (13:21)
Dr. Joseph, Athletic Director and head coach of Ryerson University’s Varsity Soccer team, is often asked about the skills he looks for in recruits.
In his TEDx Talk, he delves into self-confidence, emphasising that it’s not just crucial in athletics but in all aspects of life.
Repetition, repetition, repetition.
Matt Walker– Sleep: The Ultimate Superpower (19:19)
Sleep scientist Matt Walker calls sleep “your life-support system and Mother Nature’s best effort yet at immortality.”
In this fascinating talk, he dives into the science of sleep, revealing the incredible benefits of a good night’s rest and the alarming consequences of sleep deprivation on both your brain and body.
He also shares helpful tips for catching more Z’s.
Stephen Duneier– Achieving Your Most Ambitious Goals (17:53)
Stephen Duneier’s identity is hard to pin down, as he’s known as an expert institutional investor, large-scale installation artist, outdoorsman, professor, decision strategist, coach, business leader, mindfulness extremist, author, speaker, daredevil, and even a Guinness world record holder.
In his talk, Stephen explains that it’s not titles that define him, but his approach to decision-making, which transformed him from someone who struggled with simple tasks into someone who continually achieves even his most ambitious dreams.
I found Stephen’s talk incredibly motivating, especially how he accomplished numerous big goals through marginal improvement.
His wide range of achievements is truly awe-inspiring and makes you believe that you, too, can achieve ambitious goals.
These funny and motivational TED talks have the power to inspire, uplift, and make you laugh out loud.
It’s incredible how much wisdom and encouragement can be packed into these short talks.
I hope you enjoy them as much as I did and that they become your go-to source for inspiration when you need it most.
Remember, you have the power to change your life and achieve your most ambitious goals.
All it takes is a little inspiration and the courage to take action.
So go ahead, bookmark this page and revisit these talks whenever you need a dose of motivation!
You Might Also Enjoy…
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- This is Why Self-Doubt is Good for You (and How to Overcome Self-Doubt)
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