Need More Motivation? 5 TEDTalks to Inspire


Some days (weeks… months…) you need an extra jolt of motivation and inspiration. Whatever you’re trying to work on, whether that’s a side hustle, fitness goal, or a work project, sometimes the energy fades, and we need an extra push.

If you’re not feeling motivated, you basically have two options:

  1. Fall off the tracks and never accomplish anything
  2. Pop in your headphones and listen to one of these awesome motivational TED talks

Know what needs to be done but just can’t get yourself to do it?
How to stop screwing yourself over – Mel Robbins

Saying “you’re fine” is just an excuse to not push yourself. In this TEDTalk, Mel Robbin explains her theory on why “Getting what you want is simple… but not easy. Force yourself out of your head, past your feelings, and outside your comfort zone”. Her talk is a little bit tough love and a little bit inspiration, but definitely an engaging listen.

Need some ideas for getting outside your comfort zone? Check out this post

Is fear, loneliness, or rejection holding you back?
How to practice emotional first aid – Guy Winch

Why is it that good personal hygiene habits have become so ingrained in us, but not emotional hygiene habits? How much better do you think your life would be if you could more easily overcome fear, loneliness, and rejection? If any of these feelings are holding you back, listen to this TEDTalk to learn more about the importance of emotional first aid and why it dramatically impacts our overall quality of life. 

Just need a mood booster?
The hidden power of smiling – Ron Gutman

This short TEDTalk rounds up the best and most interesting science on smiling. You may already know that smiling is good for you, but Ron Gutman will show you all the different reasons and studies proving it. As entertaining as it is informative, Ron’s accent, demeanor, and presentation is guaranteed to make you smile just watching it. And that smile may be all you need to get in a better and more inspired mood.

Struggling to solve a complex problem?
Got a wicked problem? First, tell me how you make toast – Tom Wujec

If you’re struggling to create a process to solve a problem or reach a goal, this TEDTalk can help you learn a new technique that just might lead to a breakthrough. Tom Wujec discusses how visualizing processes in “nodes” and “systems” on notecards can help with problem solving. His process of drawing and visualizing steps can help you organize your thoughts and accomplish what you want, faster and better. Plus some of the drawings of toast being made are just hilarious.

Feeling uncreative or stuck on a project?
How frustration can make us more creative – Tim Harford

Did you know that the best selling solo piano album of all time was recorded when the pianist had to play a concert on a terrible piano (and almost backed out)? It turns out that frustration and challenges can make us more creative and better problem solvers. This TEDTalk will inspire you to shake things up and to get uncomfortable – with impressive results at the end.

What are your favorite TEDTalks? What do you do when you need some motivation? Let me know in the comments!

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