TED Talks for Motivation

By Joanna Smykowski|Updated July 8, 2022
CheckedMedically Reviewed By Whitney White, MS. CMHC, NCC., LPC

If you're struggling to find motivation, then it's essential to look for ways to help yourself feel more encouraged and ready to take on the world. Okay, so you don't need to take on the world, but you want to be able to push yourself toward success. Motivation is what drives you, and though it's different for everyone, it's something that you want to find for yourself. Discovering what motivates you and cultivating motivation is an important step in finding success for your goals. Everyone loves a good TED Talk and this list is full of helpful talks on motivation. In these talks you can find out what has worked for others, what the science says about motivation, and draw inspiration from the talks listed here.

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Top Motivating TED Talks

Why We Do What We Do - Tony Robbins

This is one of the most viewed TED talks of all time with over 21 million views, and it's considered a great option for those who need inspiration or a little bit of persuasion to get them going where they want to be. In only 20 minutes it's a top option because it helps you figure out what is motivating you, even if you don't even realize that you're being motivated in the first place.

The Puzzle Of Motivation - Dan Pink

Dan Pink's talk at TEDGlobal in 2009 went viral quickly. It's all about the way that scientists have discovered motivation and what it means and takes to motivate people. Not only that but it talks about personal stories of those who have managed to succeed more with motivation. It even discusses traditional rewards systems and why they might not be the right key to success.

The Happy Secret To Better Work - Shawn Achor

This speech is all about how being happy can be the inspiration that you need to be successful and productive. It approaches the idea of working hard to be happy as a backward ideal and seeks to explain just why we should be making ourselves happy first and putting the hard work second. It's written by psychologist and positive psychology pioneer Shawn Achor, who interweaves humor and science to inform and educate on what makes us move forward.

A Simple Way To Break A Bad Habit - Judson Brewer

Bad habits can hold any one of us back, but this talk is all about how you can work your way through your bad habits and even addictions in ways that you may never have even thought possible. It helps you understand how habits are created and developed within the body, making it easier to understand how to change them.

Every Kid Needs A Champion - Rita Pierson

For anyone working in the education world, this is a great talk to find motivation for what you do and why you do it. Helping kids is a great and noble cause, and this talk is all about just how you can make the most out of it and be more successful in your goal.

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Getting Some Help

Finding out what motivates you is only going to be the first step. Once you manage to do that, you're going to need to put those motivating factors into action. You can use the things that motivate you to help you accomplish your goals.

TED Talks are helpful and frequently motivating, but one video may not be enough to change your life. If change in particular areas of your life is a goal you have, working with a licensed therapist is a solid way of working toward that achievement. With online therapy you can even take a short quiz, be matched to your ideal therapists and choose the one you like best and begin working with them toward creating goals and drafting plans to reach them - with the therapist's emotional support and insight, all from the comfort of your home or office.

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The information on this page is not intended to be a substitution for diagnosis, treatment, or informed professional advice. You should not take any action or avoid taking any action without consulting with a qualified mental health professional. For more information, please read our terms of use.