Top 10 Motivational TED Talks for Students

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TED Talks

Looking for must-watch TED talks on leadership and motivation? Created with the mission of “Ideas Worth Spreading”, TED Talks has brought a much-needed platform for inspiring leaders, innovators and great personalities around the world to convey their stories, ideas and inventions to everyone around the world! TEDx designed this platform to initiate a noble act of empowering others through insightful experiences or anecdotes. Scroll down this blog to explore the must-watch and top 10 motivational TED talks for students.

Try Something New for 30 Days by Matt Cutts 

Courtesy: TEDx

“Have you ever wanted to write a novel? Every November, tens of thousands of people try to write their own 50,000-word novel, from scratch, in 30 days. It turns out, all you have to do is write 1,667 words a day for a month.”

Do you find it difficult to accomplish the new goals you set for yourself? This inspiring TED talk by Matt Cutt motivates the viewers to pursue a new hobby or skill for 30 days. The philosophy of trying something new for 30 days was originally brought forward by the well-known American Philosopher Morgan Spurlock and following this idea, Cutts explains how he pursued many 30-day challenges and witnessed a boost in his confidence. It is one of the must-watch TED talks for students who struggle with keeping up with their future goals and just giving yourself a 30-day window can help you explore many interests and goals in shorter time!

The Power of Vulnerability by Brene Brown 

Courtesy: TEDx

“It doesn’t matter whether you talk to people who work in social justice, mental health and abuse and neglect, what we know is that connection, the ability to feel connected, is — neurobiologically that’s how we’re wired — it’s why we’re here.“ 

Another key mention in our list of must-watch TED talks, Brene Brown’s The Power of Vulnerability explores the importance of human connection and our ability to belong, love as well as empathize. This heartwarming and funny talk is derived from her own research which helped her explore the notion of humanity on a personal level. 

The Secret to Student Success by Arel Moodie

Courtesy: TEDx

“So what if I told you you’ve been lied to your whole life?
What if I told you that what you’ve been told since you were a kid about what it takes to become successful is completely wrong?”

One of the best TED talks for students, Arel Moodie’s talk on The Secret of Student Success is a gripping one as it reveals that you don’t really to be the smarted or skilled to be successful but the real secret to student success is the effort you put in. By revealing his own struggles and hardships as a student right from elementary to higher education, Arel Moodie talks about the life lessons he learnt whilst growing up in New York and delves deeper into the mantra of “whatever you’re not good at, with the right amount of effort, you become good at it”.

The Power of Introverts by Susan Cain 

Courtesy: TEDx

“Eleanor Roosevelt, Rosa Parks, Gandhi — all these people described themselves as quiet and soft-spoken and even shy. And they all took the spotlight, even though every bone in their bodies was telling them not to. 

And this turns out to have a special power all its own, because people could feel that these leaders were at the helm not because they enjoyed directing others and not out of the pleasure of being looked at; they were there because they had no choice, because they were driven to do what they thought was right.

Another fascinating TED talk for those interested in psychology, The Power of Introverts by Susan Cain debunks the myth of how introverts are constantly underestimated for their role in the world. An introvert herself, Cain emphasises that introverts are extraordinarily talented and gifted. She highlights the power of the inner self and through historical as well as personal examples she helps people in understanding how introversion has a greater value than extroversion. 

How Do You Define Yourself by Lizzie Velasquez 

Courtesy: TEDx

“I’m going to let my goals, and my success, and my accomplishments be the things that define me – Not my outer appearance, not the fact that I’m visually impaired, not the fact that I have this syndrome that nobody knows what it is.”

Born with a rare syndrome that restrained her from gaining weight, Lizzie Velasquez encountered bullying and negativity for her body image. But her coping mechanism to fight these comments was “use them as a ladder” to climb up her goals! This heartwarming TED talk is all about embracing self-love and rejecting the negative perspectives and body shaming. Velasquez’s inspiring story will surely help you find your own forte and let that define you rather than what you look like!

The Fringe Benefits of Failure by JK Rowling 

Courtesy: Harvard Magazine, Youtube

“We do not need magic to change the world, we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already: we have the power to imagine better.”

Not only students but adults also fear failure. The idea of not being able to accomplish something often leads to procrastination. The globally acclaimed author of Harry Potter series, JK Rowling, explains in this TED talks about how failures are important in one’s journey. Without having a taste of failure, success usually doesn’t appear to be that enticing. To inspire the students through the 12 rejections before publishing Harry Potter, she is considered to be one of the best TED talks speakers. 

A Well-Educated Mind vs a Well-Formed Mind by Dr Shashi Tharoor 

Courtesy: Youtube

“We (India) are potentially the people who are the youthful, productive, dynamic, young population, ready to work, and transform the world, the kinds of role that, say, China played in the last generation could be ours in the next.”

Dr Shashi Tharoor is a United Nations peacekeeper and a renowned Indian diplomat. Having authored more than 15 best-sellers, Tharoor explores the significance of education in shaping the future of the country through this insightful TED talk. According to him, education is more of a national security issue than just a social concern. Further, he talks about the 4E’s of education in India, i.e. Expansion, Equity, Excellence and Employability. A must-watch TED talk for all educators as well as students, this one will help you understand the present scenario of the Indian education system and how India is paving it own path to becoming a global success!

The Boost Students Need to Overcome Obstacles By Anindya Kundu 

Courtest: TEDx

“If schools were able to think about the agency that their students have and bring to the table when they push them, what students learn can become more relevant to their lives, and then they can tap into those internal reservoirs of grit and character.” 

Another important one to add to your list of must-watch TED talks, Sociologist Anindya Kundu essentially explores the stories of disadvantaged students that he came across during his teaching and research. Kundu starts with the story of one of his students, Mahari, who resorted to his grit to fight his feeling of isolation as a black student at the New York University. He also mentions another grittiest student he came across, i.e. Tyrique who persistently worked on completing her studies while being from a poor and dysfunctional and pursue credit courses while in prison as a 22-year old. Apart from appreciating the role of grit and stick-to-itiveness in one’s life, Kundu essentially highlights the significance of creating agency amongst students so that they can get the right push to be successful in their life and career!

Indian Girls Code by Aditi Prasad 

Courtesy: TED Talks, Youtube

The educational scenario for various localities in India is very different than what we experience in the metropolitan cities. Most important, girls belonging to underprivileged communities are deprived of educational opportunities. With the aim to empower girl education in India, Aditi Prasad founded the Indian Girls Code that aims to introduce girls to the world of technology and programming and helping them find the right jobs by getting the best education in emerging technologies. Having started this endeavour in an orphanage in Trichy, Aditi talks about making tech education available and accessible to girls in rural India to help them become future innovators and game changers!

How Education Helped Me Rewrite My Life by Ashweetha Shetty 

Courtesy: TEDx

“I leave you with this thought: Where do you feel useful to this world? Because the answer to that question is where you will find your voice and your freedom.” 

Born to a lower-middle-class Indian family, Ashweetha’s childhood went into fighting against the orthodox social norms of the society. One of the best TED talks to explore the educational quest of a girl from rural India, this talk by Asweetha Shetty is inspiring yet heartwrenching as she tells her story of facing all the odds to complete her studies and carrying the beacon of light now for other girls from rural India!

Thus, we hope that these must-watch TED talks help you find the right motivation! To assist you in making the right decisions towards your dream career path, our Leverage Edu experts are here to guide you at each and every step. Sign up for a free session with us today!

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