Some days, inspiration is hard to come by. You wake up on the wrong side of the bed and no amount of coffee will remedy the lack of motivation you have to get through the day. Or maybe you stayed up too late the night before watching How I Met Your Mother reruns with a bottle of merlot at your side. Or, perhaps, you’re too appalled by the fact that tomorrow is April and your New Year’s resolution checklist remains devoid of checkmarks. It’s fine. We’re all in the same boat. Promise.
Whatever the reason may be for your lack of inspiration, we get it – inspiration is fleeting, and sometimes it takes a little more than twelve cups of coffee and a Pinterest board to put some momentum back in our creativity wheelhouse.
To help, we compiled a list of some of our favorite TED Talks that are guaranteed to inspire, inform, and brighten up your day.
1. The power of vulnerability, by Brene Brown
Golden nugget: “We associate vulnerability with emotions we want to avoid such as fear, shame, and uncertainty. Yet we too often lose sight of the fact that vulnerability is also the birthplace of joy, belonging, creativity, authenticity, and love. Vulnerability is, in truth, our most accurate measure of courage.”
2. A rich life with less stuff, by Joshua Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus
Golden nugget: “Take a look at what eats up the majority of your time. It is checking email or Facebook? Or watching TV? Is it shopping online or at retail stores? It is working hard for a paycheck to buy stuff you don’t need? Things like that won’t make you happy. Now it’s not that we think that there’s anything inherently wrong with material possessions or working a 9-5. There’s not… We all need some stuff. We all have to pay the bills, right? It’s just that when we put those things first we tend to lose sight of our real priorities. We lose sight of life’s purpose. So maybe getting some of the excess stuff out of the way, clearing the clutter from our lives can help us all focus on everything that remains.”
3. How great leaders inspire action, by Simon Sinek
Golden nugget: “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. If you talk about what you believe, you will attract those who believe what you believe.”
4. Teach girls bravery, not perfection, by Reshma Saujani
Golden nugget: “For the American economy, for any economy to grow, to truly innovate, we cannot leave behind half our population. We have to socialize our girls to be comfortable with imperfection, and we’ve got to do it now.”
5. Teach every child about food, by Jamie Oliver
Golden nugget: “Under the circumstances, it’s profoundly important that every single American child leaves school knowing how to cook 10 recipes that will save their life.” *** Warning – this one’s a real eye-opener, and might be a little unsettling to hear. But it’s necessary. It’s a critical fact to consider that we’re killing our children with the food we’re feeding them.
6. My stroke of insight, by Jill Bolte Taylor
Golden nugget: “I believe that the more time we spend choosing to run the deep inner-peace circuitry of our right hemispheres, the more peace we will project into the world, and the more peaceful our planet will be. And I thought that was an idea worth spreading.”
7. The best gift I ever survived, by Stacey Kramer
Golden nugget: “The next time you’re faced with something that’s unexpected, unwanted and uncertain, consider that it just may be a gift.”
8. How to find work you love, by Scott Dinsmore
Golden nugget: “The things that we have in our head that we think are impossible are often just milestones waiting to be accomplished if we can push those limits a bit… you realize that confidence compounds and can be transferred into the rest of your world.”
9. Do schools kill creativity? by Sir Ken Robinson
Golden nugget: “Our only hope for the future is to adopt a new conception of human ecology, one in which we start to reconstitute our conception of the richness of human capacity. Our education system has mined our minds in the way that we strip-mine the earth: for a particular commodity. And for the future, it won’t serve us. We have to rethink the fundamental principles on which we’re educating our children.”
10. Learning from dirty jobs, by Mike Rowe
Golden nugget: “The infrastructure is a huge deal. This war on work, that I suppose exists, has casualties like any other war. The infrastructure’s the first one; declining trade-school enrollments are the second one. Every single year: fewer electricians, fewer carpenters, fewer plumbers, fewer welders, fewer pipefitters, fewer steamfitters. The infrastructure jobs that everybody is talking about creating are those guys — the ones that have been in decline, over and over.”