5 TED Talks to Help You Discover Your Passion



Are you finding it hard to finally resolve to do something new in your career in 2016? Maybe you’re starting the year bogged down in endless work that you don’t enjoy. Or maybe you’re dealing with something more permanent, and you feel like you’ve lost an important spark in your career development.

Regardless of your situation, it’s important to take a step back and remember: everyone goes through these dips and spikes in their careers. Even more? The power is in your hands to course-correct and find the right path forward.

You need inspiration. But contrary to the popular saying, inspiration doesn’t just ‘strike.’ You need to go out and find it. Get in the right mindset for 2016 with the following TED talks.

1. Why We Do What We Do

Who: Tony Robbins (Motivational Speaker)

The first step to finding success in our lives and careers is to know what motivates us. Why do people do what they do do? World-renown motivational speaker Tony Robbins explores this profound question in the following TED talk (which almost 16M people have viewed to date). Bonus points: he high-fives Al Gore in the audience.

2. How to Live Passionately, No Matter Your Age

Who: Isabel Allende (Author)

Having trouble ‘living in the moment?’ If so, you’re not alone. When you’re feeling burned out or frustrated, it’s easy to sit back and daydream about greener pastures. The problem with this mindset, however, is that you stop living and focusing on the now—the great things that are right in front of you. Live a happy life by living passionately. It doesn’t matter how old you are, what life milestones you have (or haven’t hit), or what you’re doing in life. This talk will put you on a path to living passionately, now.

3. The Paradox of Choice

Who: Barry Schwartz (Psychologist)

Decision-making is one of the toughest parts of life. When facing too many choices in life (options for jobs, places to live, etc.), people tend to get frustrated. If you’re feeling this way, you’re not alone.

Apparently, the paradox of choice is a real thing. Watch this TED talk to learn how you can overcome this pain point.

4. The Happy Secret to Better Work

Who: Shawn Achor (Entrepreneur)

In school and in our careers, we’re led to believe that hard work makes us happy. But is that really true? Maybe not.

One entrepreneur flips the idea of ‘work hard, play hard’ on its head, making the claim that “actually, happiness inspires us to be more productive.” The bottom line: you need to build your life and career development around your passions. This TED talk will teach you how.

5. A 50-Cent Microscope that Folds Like Origami

Who: Manu Prakash, (Inventor)

Ever had an idea that you felt was just too big to pursue? If only you had more money, time, smarts, or resources, right? Wrong.

You’d be surprised by how much you can accomplish with very little, and this TED talk will tell you why. Cliff notes: a physicist had an idea to create an affordable, foldable microscope, he created it with almost no resources, and is now positioned to transform healthcare as a result.

The Bottom Line

Inspiration doesn’t just happen. It’s earned. You need to set up systems and processes to achieve the results that you care about most in life. Don’t just sit back and wait. Start living: get inspired and design the career that you want, now.

Explore Classes and Workshops at GA

Disclaimer: General Assembly referred to their Bootcamps and Short Courses as “Immersive” and “Part-time” courses respectfully and you may see that reference in posts prior to 2023.