5 TED Talks That Will Inspire And Empower You

TED Talks are the greatest thing to happen since Oprah. 20 – 30 minute video talks by professionals, leaders, anyone who wants to challenge the status quo and talk about it; in turn inspiring and motivating others to do the same. The good thing about these talks is that they are not boring at all. You don’t lose interest while watching, in fact you find yourself taking notes as the speakers pace up and down the stage telling you their story. In my few years in the real world after college I have listened to a bunch but these particular ones below really spoke to me. They had a significant impact in my life and I hope once you watch them, they will inspire and empower you as well.

1. Trust Your Struggle – Zain Asher

CNN National Business & Financial news correspondent, Zain Asher talks about her start in the writing industry and her struggle to getting her dream job as a correspondent on CNN. What I liked about her talk was how in every challenge that came her way, she never said no. She never gave up and she did not let the notion of competing distract her from helping others achieve the same thing.

“I don’t believe in competing for what I want, I believe in creating what I want”


2. How Great Leaders Inspire Action – Simon Sinek

Simon Sinek is a leadership expert who has formulated a simple yet powerful model for inspirational leadership. All he asks is the question WHY. Why should I buy this?  Why should I use that? This talk was particularly impactful in teaching me how to really sell a product, idea, method… It just needs to be something that someone can believe in.

“People don’t buy what you can do, they buy why you do it”


3. The Danger of a Single Story – Chimamanda Adichie

Chimamanda is a familiar name on this blog (I may be a groupie) but as one of my favourite authors, her talks are always like a writing workshop for me. This talk is about using a single story to depict things. A single story alone cannot depict a culture.

“The single story creates stereotypes… It makes one story become the only story”


4. Don’t ask where I’m from, ask where I’m a local – Taiye Selasi

Taiye Selasi is fairly new in the literature world, her debut novel, Ghana Must Go, becoming an overnight success in 2013. Selasi discusses identity a lot in her writings and this talk is basically about not restricting a person to only identify with where they were born but that also experiences from living in countries other than your birth place can be where are from as well because of being a local to those areas.

“My experience is where I am from”


5. We should all be Feminists – Chimamanda Adichie

Miss Chimamanda makes the list yet again. This talk is all about equality and the reasons why feminism should be a part of all of us, not just women.

“The problem with gender is that it prescribes how we should be rather than recognizing how we are”

TED Talk listening Tip: Listen to one talk a day, you can listen to them when you’re at the gym, on your commute to/from work/school, while on a break or whenever you feel you need some positivity in your day. One a day will go a long long way.


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