5 Inspirational TED Talks for Anyone Having a Rough Day

Check out our 5 favorite TED Talks for the next time things are not going your way.

1. If You’re Feeling Sorry for Yourself: Living Beyond Limits 

Amy Purdy talks about the power of imagination. She explains how our lives are not determined by what happens to us, but by the choices we make. Imagination allows us to break down borders, to move beyond our circumstances, to create and constantly progress.

2. If You’re Feeling Drained: Your Elusive Creative Genius

“Eat, Pray, Love” author Elizabeth Gilbert muses on the impossible things we expect from artists and geniuses — and shares the radical idea that, instead of the rare person “being” a genius, all of us “have” a genius. It’s a funny, personal and surprisingly moving talk.

3. If You’re Feeling Sad: The Three A’s of Awesome

Neil Pasricha’s blog 1000 Awesome Things savors life’s simple pleasures, from free refills to clean sheets. In this heartfelt talk from TEDxToronto, he reveals the 3 secrets (all starting with A) to leading a life that’s truly awesome.

4. If You’re Feeling Negative: The Surprising Science of Happiness

Dan Gilbert, the author of “Stumbling on Happiness,” challenges the idea that we’ll be miserable if we don’t get what we want. Our “psychological immune system” lets us feel truly happy even when things don’t go as planned.

5. If You’re Feeling Stressed: How to Make Stress Your Friend 

Stress. It makes your heart pound, your breathing quicken, and your forehead sweat. But while stress has been made into a public health enemy, new research suggests that stress may only be bad for you if you believe that to be the case. Psychologist Kelly McGonigal urges us to see stress as a positive and introduces us to an unsung mechanism for stress reduction: reaching out to others.

We hope that at least one of these video can get you through your bad day. Our award-winning coaches at the Ignite Your Potential Centers offer a complimentary 25-minute phone session to help you find cope with tough days. We are the #1 career coaches in San Francisco and Los Angeles, let us show you how we earned that praise.

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Broken Resolution? Try Something New for 30 Days

When Matt Cutts, the head of the web spam team at Google, realized he was in a rut, he decided to try an experiment to mix his life up a bit. He began trying something new for 30 days at a time. Then he began doing this every 30 days. He’s written about these fun challenges on his blog. And inspires with this TED talk:


Helping Us Realize Untapped Possibility

Watching and being with Benjamin Zander in his Ted talk is nothing short of a delight. He is simply someone who immediately engages his audience. He has this to say about being a visionary leader: “It is one of the characteristics of a leader that he not doubt for one moment the capacity of the people he’s leading to realizing whatever he is dreaming. [In contrast, can you] imagine if Martin Luther King said, “I have a dream…but I’m not sure they’ll be up for it…?”

“My job is to awaken possibility in other people. And I know that I’m doing it when people’s eyes begin shining. Now if people’s eyes are not shining I ask myself, ‘Who am I being, that their eyes are not shining?” Who are we being, to cause the results all around us?

He goes on to stress the importance of how and what we communicate, through a pointed story of someone he knew who survived Auschwitz. She was 15, when on the train to Auschwitz with her younger brother, she noticed he had lost his shoes and harshly chided him, as an older sister is want to do. That was the last time she saw him. Later when she was set free, having lost her whole family, she said, “I walked out of Auschwitz into life and I made a vow. My vow was that I will never say something that couldn’t stand as the last thing I’d ever say.”

Zander would be an inspiring presenter regardless of topic…but here, he is inviting us to engage and experience something that has the power to move us through the nuances of our emotional terrain. Here, he is presenting in a fresh, playful way, an artistic medium that is sometimes considered inaccessible: classical music.


I am grateful that Benjamin Zander is with us contributing to our world. On his website he shares how his father summed up his work, which captures an overarching aspect of Zander’s mission: “The best review I ever got was not from a music critic, but from my father. He was 94 years old at the time and completely blind. He attended a Master Class I gave in London and sat there in his wheelchair for about three hours. When it was over, I went to speak with him. He lifted up his finger in his characteristic way and said, “I see that you are actually a member of the healing profession.” It seemed to me the highest accolade.”

If you’re interested in more from this exemplar, Benjamin and his wife Rosamund (a coach and counselor specializing in leadership and relationships) have written a book called The Art of Possibility which helps people learn, through a set of breakthrough practices, how to live lives that reveal inspiration, creativity, and possibility.