6 TED Talks When You Need A Little Inspiration

We should all be feminists | Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Image via Giphy

If you start listening to this talk and it seems familiar, that's because you are likely to have heard part of it before. A portion of this talk by Adichie was used in Beyonce’s song “***Flawless”, so if it is good enough to inspire Beyonce, it's good enough to inspire you as well. She touches on the complexities of identifying as a feminist in the modern world, and the sexist microaggressions women tend to deal with on a daily. Adichie focuses on the role both genders play in addressing what she recognizes as a systematic issue and leaves you with this understanding that makes you feel as though you have the key to solve the problem. This talk shows her gift of speaking, but she is also a writer and I highly recommend her other speeches, as well as her books, if you would like more of her work.

Don't strive to be famous, strive to be talented | Maisie Williams

Image via TED

Williams delivers that lovely self-deprecating gen z humor in her talk, which will leave you feeling hopeful whichever direction you are heading in life. You are left feeling that endless possibilities are at your fingertips as each event in your life can lead you to greatness. Telling her story by focusing on several “opportunities or challenges,” she goes into how these unexpected events in our life can lead us to amazing opportunities. The main thing you are able to control is how you present yourself and what you focus on. Surrounding yourself with people who help cultivate your true self and passion can help lead you to these opportunities. You have such a vast life ahead of you, and by following this advice of being authentic to yourself and doing what you are passionate about, the world can lead you to amazing “opportunities or challenges”. 

Your elusive creative genius | Elizabeth Gilbert

Image via Business Chicks

In a very STEM-focused world, Gilbert’s talk about creativity and the process of harnessing your creative genius is a breath of fresh air. She proposes something big as she calls for changing the entire culture of how we look at creative endeavors. She takes away the burden of perfection that comes with this label of genius by removing the assumption that everything you make must be the best and must be successful. This is especially applicable when you have already done something good, and are then comparing yourself to that previous work. The message Gilbert delivers through her amazing storytelling is that your task is doing your work, and that is your part. If creative geniuses shows up, so be it, but your job is to just show up and do it. 

Girl up: The secrets to an extraordinary life | Courtney Ferrell

Image via TED

I would classify this as one of the must-watch Ted Talks for all women. Ferrell makes the discussion personal as she directs her talk to one specific woman that she pulls from the crowd. Structuring the talk as a conversation makes you feel as though she is speaking directly to you. Listening to it makes you feel that with just some self-confidence and love, you can be be enough and accomplish what you need to. Her talk calls for you to be raw and authentically you, and to listen to your gut. This call to be unpolished and real is one that I feel we do not hear a lot, and Ferrell’s point of how a lot of times girls do not receive the help they need because they seem so put together really stuck with me. She leaves you with this sense of inspiration that you can be self-confident and build a personal community of women supporting other women.

Get comfortable with being uncomfortable | Luvvie Ajayi

Image via Nashville Public Radio 

Ajayi points out an important concept in her talk–the idea that people who speak out and say what needs to be said are not special, courageous people. The people who do such things do so because they feel as though if they do not do it, then who will? This is such an important concept because it does not limit the ability to speak up to certain people, but is accessible to all. Everyone has a voice they can use; they just need to relieve themselves of the worrisome feelings that everyone has. She recognizes that this is hard and takes time, but while it is no easy task, it is still one that must be done.

How to tie your shoes | Terry Moore

Image via TED

Now you may be thinking this is some kind of joke. “How am I to draw inspiration from a three-minute clip telling me how to tie my shoe?” But it's about the symbolism of tying your shoe correctly, not the act necessarily. This video has a couple of messages to keep in mind. One of those messages is the one clearly stated in the video that just a small change can have a large effect. Another is asking for help or reaching out to those around you to help address your problems. Moore would have never been able to even give his Ted Talk had he not had the discussion with the store clerk about the problems he was having with his shoes. The video and messages are short, but very much worth a watch.