Every now and again, a speaker comes along and delivers a speech that you remember your whole life. Today, we have TED Talks, where there are more than just one great speaker, there are tons! Their talks are inspirational, informational, and insightful – to say the least. When I’m feeling like I need some motivation, I turn to a couple of TED Talks to give me the boost I need.

Ted Talks for the Boost – Top Five

If you are needing some motivation in the workplace or in life, here is a list of the top five TED Talks that will kick your productivity into overdrive.

1. Got a Wicked Problem? First, Tell Me How You Make Toast – Tom Wujec

Tom Wuject is a professional speaker and a fellow at Autodesk. He uses imaging and visualization to help organizations and teams solve some of their most difficult problems. In this TED Talk, Tom talks about how first learning to draw toast will help you solve your most complex problems.

2. The Happy Secret to Better Work – Shawn Achor

Shawn Achor is a professional psychologist and a fantastic writer! Shawn’s book, The Happiness Advantage, is one of my favorite books, and I’ve read it several times through. That book has stemmed from a TED Talk that Shawn gave on finding happiness in the workplace. If you want to learn to be happy and find success, watch this talk and then read the book!

3. Inside the Mind of a Master Procrastinator – Tim Urban

If you put off reading this section until tomorrow, I get it, you’re a procrastinator, and so am I. In fact, I would say that I am a chief procrastinator. Tim Urban covers his struggles with procrastination in this talk and how he overcame it. What I love about this talk is that the speaker is totally honest about how he is a procrastinator, but he gives the listener insight into what you can do to conquer it. Don’t put this one off, watch it now!

4. The 3 A’s of Awesome – Neil Pasricha

If there is one talk on this list that will make you stop and think about life, it’s this one. It’s an 18 minute talk that will really change the way you see things in your life. We all suffer bad things and we all get to experience good things – that’s inherent in being human. Neil focuses on the 3 A’s of Awesome… Attitude, Awareness, and Authenticity. I won’t give it away – what a fantastic talk. Enjoy this one.

5. The Puzzle of Motivation – Dan Pink

Last but definitely not least, Dan Pink’s talk about motivation. What motivates you? For some, monetary reward is motivating, while for others, appreciation and accolades are motivating. But why? Where does motivation stem from for different people. This is the puzzle that Dan talks about in his TED Talk and if you watch it, you can learn why you are motivated and what motivates you. Learning what motivates you can be monumental to achieving real success in the workplace and life as well.

The Value of the TED Talk

We’re all short on time, so TED talks pack a lot of content into a short period of time. Make time for your favorite shows, but sneak these inspirational and motivational talks into your schedule this month to see how you can finish 2020 strong. Sometimes, a quick talk can be a game changer as you head into a new year.


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Greg Stuart is the owner and editor of vDestination.com. He's been a VMware vExpert every year since 2011. Greg enjoys spending time with his wife and 3 kids. He has 20 years of IT experience and currently works as an IT Consultant both in the private and public sector. Greg holds a BS in Information Technology and an MBA degree. He currently resides in Southeast Idaho. You can follow him on Twitter @vDestination, read his blog (vDestination.com) and listen to his podcast (vDestination.com/feed/podcast).