Skip to main content
Skip to search
Ideas worth spreading
Browse the library of TED talks and speakers
Get TED Talks picked just for you
100+ collections of TED Talks, for curious minds
Go deeper into fascinating topics with original video series from TED
Watch, share and create lessons with TED-Ed
Talks from independently organized local events
Explore TED offerings by topic
Explore the TED Audio Collective
Our daily coverage of the world of ideas
Inspiration delivered straight to your inbox
Take part in our events: TED, TEDGlobal and more
Find and attend local, independently organized events
TED on Screen
Experience TED from home
Recommend speakers, TED Prize recipients, Fellows and more
Organize a local TEDx Event
Rules and resources to help you plan a local TEDx event
Bring TED to the non-English speaking world
Join or support innovators from around the globe
Our mission, history, team, and more
TED Conferences, past, present, and future
Programs & Initiatives
Details about TED's world-changing initiatives
Partner with TED
Learn how you can partner with us
Updates from TED and highlights from our global community
Type to search
How passion becomes purpose
Be inspired to find the work you love to do with these TED Talks full of passion and zeal.
Add to list
Angela Lee Duckworth
Grit: The power of passion and perseverance
5 minutes 59 seconds
Leaving a high-flying job in consulting, Angela Lee Duckworth took a job teaching math to seventh graders in a New York public school. She quickly realized that IQ wasn't the only thing separating the successful students from those who struggled. Here, she explains her theory of "grit" as a predictor of success.
Flow, the secret to happiness
18 minutes 41 seconds
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi asks, "What makes a life worth living?" Noting that money cannot make us happy, he looks to those who find pleasure and lasting satisfaction in activities that bring about a state of "flow."
Success, failure and the drive to keep creating
7 minutes 4 seconds
Elizabeth Gilbert was once an "unpublished diner waitress," devastated by rejection letters. And yet, in the wake of the success of 'Eat, Pray, Love,' she found herself identifying strongly with her former self. With beautiful insight, Gilbert reflects on why success can be as disorienting as failure and offers a simple -- though hard -- way to carry on, regardless of outcomes.
2 questions to uncover your passion -- and turn it into a career
10 minutes 56 seconds
What's your passion? Social entrepreneur Noeline Kirabo reflects on her work helping out-of-school young people in Uganda turn their passions into profitable businesses -- and shares the two questions you can ask yourself to begin doing the same.
We are the stories we tell ourselves
20 minutes 57 seconds
Where does creative inspiration spring from? At TEDIndia, Hollywood/Bollywood director Shekhar Kapur ("Elizabeth," "Mr. India") pinpoints his source of creativity: sheer, utter panic. He shares a powerful way to unleash your inner storyteller.
Why you will fail to have a great career
14 minutes 58 seconds
In this funny and blunt talk, Larry Smith pulls no punches when he calls out the absurd excuses people invent when they fail to pursue their passions.
How to manage for collective creativity
17 minutes 7 seconds
What's the secret to unlocking the creativity hidden inside your daily work, and giving every great idea a chance? Harvard professor Linda Hill, co-author of "Collective Genius," has studied some of the world's most creative companies to come up with a set of tools and tactics to keep great ideas flowing -- from everyone in the company, not just the designated "creatives."
My journey to yo-yo mastery
10 minutes 14 seconds
Remember the days you struggled just to make a yo-yo spin, and if you were really fancy, to “walk the dog”? You ain’t seen nothin’ yet. Japanese yo-yo world champion BLACK tells the inspiring story of finding his life's passion, and gives an awesome performance that will make you want to pull your yo-yo back out of the closet.
Embrace the shake
9 minutes 47 seconds
In art school, Phil Hansen developed an unruly tremor in his hand that kept him from creating the pointillist drawings he loved. Hansen was devastated, floating without a sense of purpose. Until a neurologist made a simple suggestion: embrace this limitation ... and transcend it.
Be an artist, right now!
16 minutes 40 seconds
Why do we ever stop playing and creating? With charm and humor, celebrated Korean author Young-ha Kim invokes the world's greatest artists to urge you to unleash your inner child -- the artist who wanted to play forever.
Why some of us don't have one true calling
12 minutes 16 seconds
What do you want to be when you grow up? Well, if you're not sure you want to do just one thing for the rest of your life, you're not alone. In this illuminating talk, writer and artist Emilie Wapnick describes the kind of people she calls "multipotentialites" -- who have a range of interests and jobs over one lifetime. Are you one?