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10 Inspiring TED Talks for College Students

Last updated on October 8, 2019

College is a time to learn and grow. You’re learning new things in your classes. You’re meeting new people and joining new clubs. And, you’re working toward finishing a degree or certificate so you can get a great job when you finish.

These 10 TED Talks — short talks by experts about things like education, technology, design and science — can put you ahead of the curve and inspire you to be more creative, to be a leader and to enjoy your career.

1. How to Build Your Creative Confidence – David Kelley

Our world is often divided into “creative” people and “practical” people. Kelley tells stories from his design career and his life and offers ways to build the confidence to create.

2. Why We Do What We Do – Tony Robbins

Understanding why we take the actions that we take can help us relate to others and give us insight into ourselves. Robbins discusses how we become fulfilled in life.

3. Why You Will Fail to Have a Great Career – Larry Smith

A passionate speaker, Smith explains why most of us will not have a great career that we love: because we allow ourselves to make excuses about pursuing our passions. But there is a way out of that mindset.

4. How to Start a Movement – Derek Sivers

It takes more than one individual to start a movement. Sivers provides direction for creating a movement that lasts.

5. What Makes Us Feel Good About Our Work? – Dan Ariely

People aren’t motivated solely by money, though many workplaces focus their reward systems on providing bonuses and other financial incentives. Ariely, a behavioral economist, explains how motivation works through the unexpected results of two experiments he conducted.

6. Leading with Lollipops – Drew Dudley

Dudley says we have made leadership into something that requires us to change the world. He argues that the real leadership, however, exists in everyday life.

7. Your Elusive Creative Genius – Elizabeth Gilbert

Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love, chats about finding creativity. She explains that creativity is risky, but it’s necessary to take that risk.

8. Taking Imagination Seriously – Janet Echelman

Echelman, an artist, discovered her internal creativity when she was suddenly without her preferred artistic medium, paints. Without imagination, passion and a spark of creativity, she may never have become a modern sculptor of works in cities all over the world.

9. Never, Ever Give Up – Diana Nyad

Nyad achieved her life goal of swimming 100 miles from Cuba to Florida at age 64, after being stung by jellyfish, choking on salt water and even hallucinating. She met that goal by working hard, preparing, having a team behind her and never giving up. Hers is a journey we can all learn from.

10. How to Make Stress Your Friend – Kelly McGonigal

Stress has been made into a public health enemy, but new research suggests that may not be the case. McGonigal, a health psychologist, says stress may be more positive than we once thought.

Published inWhy Dallas College?