7 TED Talks That Will Inspire Your Career

I love a good TED Talk.  In fact, I often find myself recalling different messages I have heard in my everyday work.  Here are some of my favorites that hopefully inspire you as well:

The Power of Introverts by Susan Cain

In a culture where being social and outgoing are prized above all else, it can be difficult, even shameful, to be an introvert. But, as Susan Cain argues in this passionate talk, introverts bring extraordinary talents and abilities to the world, and should be encouraged and celebrated.

Key takeaway:  There’s zero correlation between being the best talker and having the best ideas.


Refusing to Settle: The Quarter-Life Crisis by Adam "Smiley" Poswolsky

What is a quarter-life crisis, and how do you break through it? In this engaging and funny talk, the author of an Amazon bestseller on finding meaningful work shares the takeaways from his and other young people confronting the quarter-life crisis head-on. Adam Smiley Poswolsky is the author of The Quarter-Life Breakthrough, an Amazon bestseller.

Key takeaway: Life isn't about finding your one purpose or one calling.  But if you find believers now, stop comparing yourself to others now, and hustle to find what is meaningful to you now, you will change your life and the lives of others.


The Power of Vulnerability by Brené Brown

Brene Brown studies human connection -- our ability to empathize, belong, love. In a poignant, funny talk at TEDxHouston, she shares a deep insight from her research, one that sent her on a personal quest to know herself as well as to understand humanity. 

Key takeaway: You can’t numb hard feelings without numbing the other affects.  When we numb vulnerability, we numb joy, gratitude, and happiness.


Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are by Amy Cuddy

Body language affects how others see us, but it may also change how we see ourselves. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy shows how "power posing" -- standing in a posture of confidence, even when we don't feel confident -- can affect testosterone and cortisol levels in the brain, and might even have an impact on our chances for success.

Key takeaway: Don't fake it till you make it.  Fake it till you become it.  Do it enough until you actually become it and internalize it.


30 is not the new 20 by Meg Jay

Clinical psychologist Meg Jay has a bold message for twentysomethings: Contrary to popular belief, your 20s are not a throwaway decade. In this provocative talk, Jay says that just because marriage, work and kids are happening later in life, doesn't mean you can't start planning now.

Key takeaway: There's such a thing as adult development, and our 20s are that critical period of adult development.


The Key to Success? Grit by Angela Lee Duckworth

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.

Key takeaway: To build grit, we must have a "growth mindset" which is the belief that the ability to learn is not fixed but that it can change with your effort.


How to Make Tough Choices by Ruth Chang

Here's a talk that could literally change your life. Which career should I pursue? Should I break up - or get married?! Where should I live? Big decisions like these can be agonizingly difficult. But that's because we think about them the wrong way, says philosopher Ruth Chang.

Key takeaway: In the space of hard choices we have the power to create reasons for ourselves to become the distinctive people that we are.