Funny Touching Motivational TED Talks (and Will Smith)

TED talks are the best way to wind down and find inspiration, ideas, laughter and smart people. And nope, Will Smith isn’t a mistake.

If you need a burst of inspiration and encouragement, you’ve come to the right place!

Here’s a collection of TED talks that will inspire you and make you laugh (and possibly cry).

Every time I need a break from my work or need a little boost, I listen to TED talks.

I thought I’d create a collection of my favourite TED talks so you too can get a little boost to keep going … (wherever you’re going. ha)

Each has a running time for you to pick and choose at your convenience.

Be sure you bookmark this page and check back regularly.

I’ll continue to add the very best ones.

Let these wonderful talks be your companion and give you a dose of inspiration.

Oh, I want to first share “Will Smith on Skydiving”.

I’ve wanted to share this clip for a while.

It’s just too funny not to!

Of course, it comes with a heavy dose of wisdom in a typical Will Smith way. If you like Will Smith (who doesn’t!), be sure to check out this blog post.


Will Smith on Skydiving (6:06)

Will Smith talks about his experience skydiving. Funny and inspiring with a great message at the end!

Will Smith on Skydiving

Amy Purdy – Living Beyond Limits (9:37)

Amy Purdy talks about the power of imagination. She explains how our lives are not determined by what happens to us, but by the choices we make. Imagination allows us to break down borders, to move beyond our circumstances, to create and constantly progress.

Wow, I was in absolute awe listening to Amy Purdy’s talk.

I couldn’t help it.

My eyes welled up with tears.

An incredible story about a remarkable human spirit, delivered with warmth and humour.

Imagine your feet flying off the top of the mountain without your body!

Living beyond limits | Amy Purdy | TEDxOrangeCoast

Adira Svutak – What Adults can Learn from Kids (10:45)

Child prodigy Adora Svitak says the world needs “childish” thinking: bold ideas, wild creativity and especially optimism. Kids’ big dreams deserve high expectations, she says, starting with grownups’ willingness to learn from children as much as to teach.

A breath of fresh air.

It makes me think of the way I interact with my nephews and nieces.

In the name of love and caring, I wonder how many times I’ve said to them “No, you can’t or “don’t…” and put a restriction on them).

What adults can learn from kids | Adora Svitak

Niko Everett – Meet Yourself: A User’s Guide to Building Self-Esteem (09:31)

Niko Everett would like to introduce you to someone she thinks you should know-YOU! As the founder of Girls for Change, Niko has helped many young teens transform their communities and themselves by holding up a powerful mirror. In this engaging talk, Niko will demonstrate how anyone- from boys and girls to grown men and women can get a glimpse into their own transformational looking glass too. Inspirational and empowering.

Loved this talk.

I thought about listing all the insecure thoughts I’ve had at each stage of my life as Niko did.

When she talked about her friend, “Julie”, I said to myself:

I want to be her!

What an amazing friend Julie is.

Here’s what Julie said to Niko:

You need to meet yourself. You should be jealous of yourself…. if you can meet yourself, you might really like her….

Meet Yourself: A User's Guide to Building Self-Esteem: Niko Everett at TEDxYouth@BommerCanyon

Shawn Achor – The Happy Secret to Better Work (12:21)

We believe that we should work to be happy, but could that be backwards? In this fast-moving and entertaining talk from TEDxBloomington, psychologist Shawn Achor argues that actually happiness inspires productivity.

I’m a sucker for good humour!

This talk ticks all the boxes.

A very important message delivered with humour.

The fallacy of “we’ll be happy when we have this and that…” instead of learning to be positive and happy in the present.

Shawn Achor shares 5 ways of creating lasting positive change.

Definitely worthy of your time to listen to.

The happy secret to better work | Shawn Achor

Tim Urban – Inside the Mind of a Master Procrastinator (14:04)

Tim Urban knows that procrastination doesn’t make sense, but he’s never been able to shake 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 staring out the window — and encourages us to think harder about what we’re really procrastinating on, before we run out of time.

What an amazing storyteller.

Pleasant, fun, and engaging about procrastination.

Loved Instant Monkey Gratification and Panic Monster.

Everyone is a procrastinator.

Good to know, right?

Tim Urban: Inside the mind of a master procrastinator | TED

Laura Vanderkam – How to Gain Control of Your Free Time (11:55)

There are 168 hours in each week. How do we find time for what matters most? Time management expert Laura Vanderkam studies how busy people spend their lives, and she’s discovered that many of us drastically overestimate our commitments each week, while underestimating the time we have to ourselves. She offers a few practical strategies to help find more time for what matters to us, so we can “build the lives we want in the time we’ve got.”

Yep, now I know that whenever I say “I don’t have time”, what I’m REALLY saying is:

It’s not my priority.

Let’s get that right.

How to gain control of your free time | Laura Vanderkam

Josh Kaufman – The first 20 hours: How to Learn Anything (19:27) 

Josh Kaufman is the author of the #1 international bestseller, ‘The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business’, as well as the upcoming book ‘The First 20 Hours: Mastering the Toughest Part of Learning Anything.’ Josh specializes in teaching people from all walks of life how to master practical knowledge and skills. In his talk, he shares how having his first child inspired him to approach learning in a whole new way.


The major barrier to learning something new is not intellectual. It’s emotional.

The first 20 hours -- how to learn anything | Josh Kaufman | TEDxCSU

Elizabeth Gilbert – Success, Failure and the Drive to Keep Creating (07:19)

Elizabeth Gilbert was once an “unpublished diner waitress,” devastated by rejection letters. And yet, in the wake of the success of ‘Eat, Pray, Love,’ she found herself identifying strongly with her former self. With beautiful insight, Gilbert reflects on why success can be as disorienting as failure and offers a simple — though hard — way to carry on, regardless of outcomes.

Beautiful talk.

Two takeaways that I loved:

 I’m going home.

… that it’s all gonna be okay.

Success, failure and the drive to keep creating | Elizabeth Gilbert

Dr. Ivan Joseph – The Skill of Self Confidence (13:21)

As the Athletic Director and head coach of the Varsity Soccer team at Ryerson University, Dr. Joseph is often asked what skills he is searching for as a recruiter: is it speed? Strength? Agility? In Dr. Joseph’s TEDx Talk, he explores self confidence and how it is not just the most important skill in athletics, but in our lives.

Repetition Repetition Repetition

Enough said…

The skill of self confidence | Dr. Ivan Joseph | TEDxRyersonU

Matt Walker – Sleep is Your Superpower (19:19)

Sleep is your life-support system and Mother Nature’s best effort yet at immortality, says sleep scientist Matt Walker. In this deep dive into the science of slumber, Walker shares the wonderfully good things that happen when you get sleep — and the alarmingly bad things that happen when you don’t, for both your brain and body. Learn more about sleep’s impact on your learning, memory, immune system and even your genetic code — as well as some helpful tips for getting some shut-eye.

Sleep is your superpower | Matt Walker

Stephen Duneier – How to Achieve Your Most Ambitious Goals (17:53)

How you define Stephen Duneier depends on how you came to know him. Some define him as an expert institutional investor, while others know him as a large scale installation artist, avid outdoorsman, professor, decision strategist, coach, business leader, mindfulness extremist, author, speaker, daredevil or Guinness world record holder. In his talk, Stephen explains that what truly defines him aren’t titles, but an approach to decision making that transformed him from someone who struggled with simple tasks to a guy who is continuously achieving even his most ambitious dreams.

Super motivating to see how Stephen Duneier achieved several big goals through marginal improvement.

The variety of challenges and achievements he has accomplished are immensely impressive and make you believe that you too can achieve ambitious goals.

How to Achieve Your Most Ambitious Goals | Stephen Duneier | TEDxTucson

You Might Also Enjoy…

Leave a Reply