Our Favorite TED Talks: Life Edition

Last time, we spotlighted our favorite TED talks that featured some great college and career advice. Now, we’re giving you our favorite talks with the best tips and tricks for….life in general! From fascinating discussions with motivational speakers, to inspiring advice on broadening your horizons and enhancing your creativity, our top picks are sure to inspire you in every facet of your life!

1. Tony Robbins Why We Do What We Do

Context: Self-help author, life coach, and motivational speaker, Tony Robbins talks about how emotion is highly involved in the things that we do as people.

Main Point: Internal drive is fueled by emotions more than self-interest. Having a fulfilling life means finding the right balance! If you want to do anything in life, you need to understand your emotions and the emotions of others in order to make the best decisions you can.

The Takeaway: Explore where you are right now in your life and ask questions like, “why is my life the way it is?” and “how can I get onto the path that I want for my life?” Give to others as much as you can and understand the emotions of others—that is the best way to make connections.

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2. Matt Cutts Try Something New For 30 Days


Context: Software engineer and developer of some of Google’s core technologies, Matt Cutts was inspired by Morgan Spurlock (filmmaker of Supersize Me). He decided to try different things for 30 days, like taking a picture a day for a month, biking to work for a month, hiking mountains, etc.

Main Point: If you really want something badly enough, you can do anything in 30 days by making small sustainable changes.

The Takeaway: It’s simple – try something new for 30 days that you have always wanted to do. You just might find that you have discovered a passion for something you had no idea you would have liked!

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3. Simon Sinek – How Great Leaders Inspire Action

Context: Author and motivator, Simon Sinek looks back at history and all the great leaders in the world. He takes a close look at what made them so inspiring. He also unpacks the way people are inspired.

Main Point: Communication is everything! Sinek explains that knowing and expressing why you are doing something is far more important to inspire others than expressing how you are doing it or what you are doing. With regard to selling a product, Sinek says, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you are doing it.” Why is the foundation of decision making and connecting with others through communication.

The Takeaway: If you ever plan to lead something, sell something, or convince others of something—always remember to focus on telling them why. By believing in yourself and expressing your beliefs rather than just your plan of action, others will align with your beliefs and follow you – not for you personally, but for the cause that they believe in as well.

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4. Elizabeth Gilbert – Your Elusive Creative Genius

Context: Best known for her expressive memoir Eat, Pray, Love, writer Elizabeth Gilbert gave a talk about how each and every person has something unique about them that they can bring out and that they are a genius at something.

Main Point: It is illogical to make assumptions about other people and where they will go in life. Everyone has their own path and the ability to show their own creative genius to the world, regardless of recognition, fame, or fortune.

The Takeaway: Take hold of your own inner creative calling and venture to begin building your own creative process through a hobby, a routine, and most importantly, a career that is rewarding for you.

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5. Jon Jandai Life is easy. Why do we make it so hard?


Context: Farmer, builder, and expert relaxer, Jon Jandai tells his audience to step back for a second and remember that life is easy and fun.

Main Point: While people go through life striving for the things they way, it’s easy to think of life as a difficult struggle. It’s important to recognize that the struggle is just part of the journey – and part of the fun! Being aware of this makes it much easier to enjoy life.

The Take Away: We make life hard for ourselves simply by thinking about our struggles as suffering. Try stepping back for a moment, being thankful for all you have, and rethink your life experiences as part of your individual journey.

Written by Guest Blogger, Dan H. of Emerson College

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Did you miss our last installment of Top TED Talks for College Students? Check it out here!

Feeling inspired to take on the world and broaden your horizons!? Share your favorite TED talks with us on Twitter or in the Comments below!

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