playlist

How to survive following your passions

So, you've decided to pursue your dreams. Go you! It'll be hard work, but well worth the effort. Throughout your quest, let these TED Talks reinvigorate your sense of purpose when times get tough.

  1. 7:18
    Elizabeth Gilbert Success, failure and the drive to keep creating

    Elizabeth Gilbert was once an "unpublished diner waitress," devastated by rejection letters.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. 17:47
    Scott Dinsmore How to find work you love

    Scott Dinsmore quit a job that made him miserable, and spent the next four years wondering how to find work that was joyful and meaningful. He shares what he learned in this deceptively simple talk about finding out what matters to you — and then getting started doing it.

  3. 11:41
    Sarah Lewis Embrace the near win

    At her first museum job, art historian Sarah Lewis noticed something important about an artist she was studying: Not every artwork was a total masterpiece. She asks us to consider the role of the almost-failure, the near win, in our own lives. In our pursuit of success and mastery, is it actually our near wins that push us forward?

  4. 12:26
    Emilie Wapnick Why some of us don't have one true calling

    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?

  5. 17:03
    Casey Gerald Embrace your raw, strange magic

    The way we're taught to live has got to change, says author Casey Gerald. Too often, we hide parts of ourselves in order to fit in, win praise, be accepted. But at what cost? In this inspiring talk, Gerald shares the personal sacrifices he made to attain success in the upper echelons of American society — and shows why it's time for us to have the courage to live in the raw, strange magic of ourselves.

  6. 12:38
    Stacey Abrams 3 questions to ask yourself about everything you do

    How you respond after setbacks is what defines your character. Stacey Abrams was the first black woman in the history of the United States to be nominated by a major party for governor — she lost that hotly contested race, but as she says: the only choice is to move forward. In an electrifying talk, she shares the lessons she learned from her campaign for governor of Georgia, some advice on how to change the world — and a few hints at her next steps. "Be aggressive about your ambition," Abrams says.

  7. 11:22
    Eduardo Briceño How to get better at the things you care about

    Working hard but not improving? You're not alone. Eduardo Briceño reveals a simple way to think about getting better at the things you do, whether that's work, parenting or creative hobbies. And he shares some useful techniques so you can keep learning and always feel like you're moving forward.

  8. 6:12
    Angela Lee Duckworth Grit: The power of passion and perseverance

    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.

  9. 18:55
    Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Flow, the secret to happiness

    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."

  10. 17:24
    Guy Winch Why we all need to practice emotional first aid

    We'll go to the doctor when we feel flu-ish or a nagging pain. So why don’t we see a health professional when we feel emotional pain: guilt, loss, loneliness? Too many of us deal with common psychological-health issues on our own, says Guy Winch. But we don’t have to. He makes a compelling case to practice emotional hygiene — taking care of our emotions, our minds, with the same diligence we take care of our bodies.

  11. 16:51
    Alain de Botton A kinder, gentler philosophy of success

    Alain de Botton examines our ideas of success and failure — and questions the assumptions underlying these two judgments. Is success always earned? Is failure? He makes an eloquent, witty case to move beyond snobbery to find true pleasure in our work.

  12. 15:31
    Jia Jiang What I learned from 100 days of rejection

    Jia Jiang adventures boldly into a territory so many of us fear: rejection. By seeking out rejection for 100 days — from asking a stranger to borrow $100 to requesting a "burger refill" at a restaurant — Jiang desensitized himself to the pain and shame that rejection often brings and, in the process, discovered that simply asking for what you want can open up possibilities where you expect to find dead ends.

  13. 11:39
    Tina Seelig The little risks you can take to increase your luck

    Luck is rarely a lightning strike, isolated and dramatic — it's much more like the wind, blowing constantly. Catching more of it is easy but not obvious. In this insightful talk, Stanford engineering school professor Tina Seelig shares three unexpected ways to increase your luck — and your ability to see and seize opportunities.

  14. 15:15
    Larry Smith Why you will fail to have a great career

    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.