Inspirational Ted Talks for aspiring professionals

Next time you’re cooking dinner or tidying your room, pull up some Ted Talks to get the perfect dose of information and inspiration. Learn about the importance of grit, why you’ll fail to have a great career, the power of body language and dreaming the impossible dream, with what we consider to be four of the most inspirational Ted Talks.


1) Grit: The power of passion and perseverance – Angela Lee Duckworth

Talent, brains and charisma all come second to grit, when it comes to indicators of success. Grit is the stamina that gets us to achieve long-term goals. It’s also essential to help us find success in life. School teacher and psychologist Angela Lee Duckworth considers power of grit when it comes to achieving your goals and stresses the importance of understanding and achieving grit.

“In all those very different contexts, one characteristic emerged as a significant predictor of success. And it wasn’t social intelligence. It wasn’t good looks, physical health, and it wasn’t IQ. It was grit.”


most inspirational Ted Talks


2) Why you will fail to have a great career – Larry Smith

Utilizing dark humor and honesty, economics professor Larry Smith calls out all of the reasons that people come up with to avoid pursuing their passions. This biting and comedic talk will motivate you to follow your passions.

“You’re going to fail, because — because you’re not going to do it, because you will have invented a new excuse, any excuse to fail to take action, and this excuse, I’ve heard so many times: “Yes, I would pursue a great career, but, I value human relationships — more than accomplishment. I want to be a great friend. I want to be a great spouse. I want to be a great parent, and I will not sacrifice them on the altar of great accomplishment.”


3) Your body language shapes who you are – Amy Cuddy

Social psychologist Amy Cuddy breaks down the immense power of non-verbal communication and how it affects our lives. In her studies on gender power dynamics through body language, she found humans and animals tend to open up their bodies, to become bigger and taller. Cuddy found that taking on a power stance is not only something that powerful people do, but it’s something that anybody can do to feel more powerful.

“There’s some evidence that they do. For example, we smile when we feel happy, but also, when we’re forced to smile by holding a pen in our teeth like this, it makes us feel happy. So it goes both ways. When it comes to power, it also goes both ways. So when you feel powerful, you’re more likely to do this, but it’s also possible that when you pretend to be powerful, you are more likely to actually feel powerful.”


most inspirational Ted Talks


4) The dream we haven’t dared to dream – Dan Pallotta

In this inspirational speech about dreaming boldly, author and speaker Dan Pallotta explains the dimensions of achieving unbelievable feats – like a harmonious society. While milestone technological and scientific advancements fly by, advancements in our humanity remain stagnant.

“I’m talking about what Jonas Salk called an Epoch B, a new epoch in which we become as excited about and curious about and scientific about the development of our humanity as we are about the development of our technology. We should not shrink from this opportunity simply because we don’t really understand it. There was a time when we didn’t understand space. Or because we’re more used to technology and activism. That is the very definition of being stuck in a comfort zone. We are now very comfortable imagining unimaginable technological achievement. In 2016, it is the dimension of our being itself that cries out for its fair share of our imagination.”


Feeling inspired by four of the most inspirational Ted Talks? Apply now to boost your career with an international internship!




1. based on TED Talk, by urban_data, CC-by-SA 2.0

2. based on Ted Talks, by Phase2, CC-by-2.0

3. based on TED Talk Jon, by Jon Gosier, CC-by-2.0


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Elizabeth Trovall

After short stints in Argentina and Belize, Elizabeth is finishing up her fourth year in Santiago, Chile. Elizabeth writes about international internships, life abroad and professional development for The Intern Group. She also reports on politics, business and culture in Latin America for public radio and print media. An Austin, Texas native, Elizabeth first left home to earn her journalism degree from the Reynolds Institute of Journalism at the University of Missouri. Besides her friends and family, she misses live music and Mexican food the most.
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