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7 Powerful TED Talks to Inspire and Move You

{Image Credit: iStock}

We’ve all hit rock-bottom at some point or another, with life tearing apart even the strongest people. Sometimes before we even start on something, we give up and leave a project out of fear or insecurity. But it’s important to know that everything takes time — after all, even Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Whether you’re looking for inspiration to spark your passions or are in the mood for a little enlightenment, we share eight of our favorite TED talks to warm your soul like chicken soup on a cold day that will inspire and motivate you to keep going.

Matthieu Ricard: How to Let Altruism Be Your Guide

Touted as the “happiest man in the world,” Buddhist monk and author, Matthieu Ricard outlines altruism as an influential way to make choices that will benefit everyone. Acknowledging the existence of true goodness, Ricard shares how we need to start using it more often if we want to change our world with the use of meditation to become compassionate, loving, and kind.

Dan Gilbert: The Surprising Science of Happiness

If you believe happiness stems from possessions or accomplishments, think again! Harvard psychologist, Dan Gilbert dispels the happiness quest and speaks of how it’s more of a “synthetization” inside ourselves than a path to tread. In this inspiring witty talk, Gilbert challenges the idea that we’ll be unhappy if we don’t get what we want, and how our “psychological immune system” guides us to being truly happy even when things go awry.

Diana Nyad: Never, Ever Give Up

Need a pep talk that will resonate with the stresses of your daily life? Record-setting long-distance swimmer, Diana Nyad speaks fervently on motivation, stressing the need to NEVER give up no matter how old you are because no matter hard life tries to hit you, if you find a way—you will make it through.

Andrew Solomon: How the Worst Moments in Our Life Make Us Who We Really Are

Grab a tissue box, because this emotional TED talk care of writer, Andrew Solomon explores the impact of hardships that often debilitate identity and infuse regret. With a discussion that’s both insightful and moving, Solomon shares what it really means to own your challenges without remorse by gaining strength from them.

Kelly McGonigal: How to Make Stress Your Friend

Stress doesn’t have to be a scary thing—at least how psychologist, Kelly McGonigal puts it! Through extensive research, McGonigal turns the concept of stress on its head by urging us to view it more of a positive with consideration to its roots stemming from personal perception. Only when we see stress as a negative and an obstacle can it really be damaging to our wellbeing.

Amy Cuddy: Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are

With a whopping 22 million views, social psychologist, Amy Cuddy’s TED talk is one of the most popular among viewers. Exploring the role of human behavior and self-perception through body language, Cuddy explores the influence our mannerisms, along with posture have on our confidence and stress levels, pointing to the adage, “Fake it, ‘til you make it.”

Brené Brown: The Power of Vulnerability

We’ve all felt vulnerable and insecure at one point or another, but are these traits necessary for our own personal growth? Totally. In her humorous eye-opening TED talk, University of Houston professor, Brené Brown discusses the importance of embracing the weaknesses that hold so many of us back, in addition to cultivating  connections with others through compassion and authenticity.

What are some of your favorite TED Talks on the subject of inspiration and motivation? Let us know in the comments below.

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