Creative Inspiration

5 Inspiring Ted Talks to Watch (Holiday Edition)

5 Inspiring TED Talks to Watch: Holiday Edition

Thanksgiving is so close I can practically smell the tofurky cooking. With the holidays right around the corner here, lots of people start thinking those deep thoughts, like: what makes me happy, where do I feel I belong, what am I thankful for, what is most meaningful to me, where was I around this time last year, and where do I want to be next year. We reflect on our past year, and we make promises for a better one, which is right around the corner. And it that whole jumble of ideas, we sometimes need a little help in organizing all our thoughts.

Inspiration is everywhere, but there is nothing like hearing the stories of people who have been there, done that. That’s why, from time to time, I hop on TED.com and see what sorts of amazing stories I can find. Although it was hard to narrow it down, I’ve found 5 amazing ones that will help you throughout the holidays to motivate and inspire you well into 2015. Whether you want to fine-tune your bucket list, get rid of unnecessary belongings, or overcome some personal struggles, each of these presentations has something wonderful to offer. And not to fool you, these TED Talks aren’t about the holidays. They’re about the bigger picture: fulfillment, blessings, personal exploration, adventure, and seeing the world with fresh eyes. Happy watching!

Living Beyond Limits

You should watch it if: this year has been a hard one for you.

Amy Purdy is a 100% badass. She lost both of her legs at 19 and has still managed to follow her dreams and become a pro snowboarder. It’s so easy to view our given circumstances and the events that happen to us as setbacks, but we have two choices: we can stop in our tracks or we can get creative. Instead of feeling limited by these borders, count them as blessings that can lead you to some incredible discoveries.

Less Stuff, More Happiness

You should watch it if: you’ve made a holiday wish list that’s a mile long.

Graham Hill talks about the benefits of an edited life and how owning fewer things and living in a smaller space can actually make you happier. I love the freeing feeling of owning fewer important, useful items as opposed to owning everything and still wanting more. It’s time to make room for the good stuff!

Where is Home?

You should watch it if: you’re wondering what “home for the holidays” really means for you.

“Home” can be interpreted in different ways to different people — where you grew up, what your ethnic background is, where you want to live, where you went to school, or where you spend most of your time currently. Pico Iyer has a much simpler explanation: that home is the place where you become yourself.

Walk the Earth…My 17 Year Vow of Silence

You should watch it if: you’re feeling nostalgic, looking back at past Thanksgiving/Christmas/Hanukkah/Kawanzaa/holiday breaks and evaluating who you were then, who you are now, and who you want to be in the future.

John Francis is an absolutely amazing man who made choices based on what he wanted to do deep down, and not what the people around him pressured him to do. It started when he quit riding in cars or using motorized vehicles and instead walked everywhere. He then took a one-day vow of silence, which then turned into 17 years of silence. This entire TED Talk is fascinating, but I especially love what he has to share about leaving the security of who you are to get to the place of who you are becoming.

Why Bother Leaving the House?

You should watch it if: you’re looking at your bucket list for 2015 and feeling a little bit — or a lot — intimidated.

The internet enables you to discover and learn without even having to get out of your seat. Ben Saunders, who is a literal polar explorer (srsly) answers why it’s so important to leave the comfortable, safe environments we’re used to and to get outside.

Do you have a favorite TED Talk among these? What sort of things do you turn to for inspiration during the holidays and times of change?

Photo credits:
TED Talk screenshots

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