6 TED Talks To Watch When You Don’t Know What To Do With Life

LED wall sign 'Fuel Your Passion'

No matter how old we get, there’s a question that plagues most of us from time to time. And that is: ‘What should I do with my life?’ More often than not, this contemplation makes us realize how difficult this conversation is with ourselves. So we give up thinking and comfortably resort back to living a mundane, routine life. And we accept the fact that having a surefire career plan is just not for us.
But it doesn’t have to be this way! Let inspiring TED talks come to the rescue.

So stop being ‘comfortably numb’ while hating your job. And watch 6 TED talks to find ways to answer the unavoidable – ‘What should I do with my life?’

1. Why you will fail to have a great career – Larry Smith, Professor of Economics at the University of Waterloo, Canada

Don’t let the title of this TED talk misguide you! Professor Larry Smith entices us to stop making excuses when it comes to finding a job we’re passionate about. So he says that our problem is that we think people who find their calling are special, and we’re not like them.

But there’s a solution to this problem. Get up and finally take the action required for passion to lead the way.

I’m not quite sure why you decide not to do it. You’re too lazy to do it. It’s too hard. You’re afraid if you look for your passion and don’t find it, you’ll feel like you’re an idiot. So then you make excuses about why you’re not going to look for your passion. They are excuses, ladies and gentlemen. We’re going to go through a whole long list!

Larry Smith

2. Why some of us don’t have one true calling – TED talk by Emilie Wapnick, career coach

Career coach Emilie Wapnick says it’s okay if you have multiple passions or interests you want to pursue. Even though Jack of all trades might be master of none. But at least Jack can be happy if he embraces his curiosity to pursue different things!

She celebrates the ‘multipotentialites’ in this talk. Multipotentialities are those of us with many interests, many jobs over a lifetime and many interlocking potentials. She supports her argument with examples of people who have not been celebrated as much as the masters of one skill have been in our culture.

The notion of the narrowly focused life is highly romanticized in our culture. It’s this idea of destiny or the one true calling. The idea that we each have one great thing we are meant to do during our time on this earth. And you need to figure out what that thing is and devote your life to it. But what if you’re someone who isn’t wired this way? What if there are a lot of different subjects that you’re curious about, and many different things you want to do? 

Emilie Wapnick

3. The psychology of your future self – TED talk by Dan Gilbert, Harvard Psychologist

Harvard psychologist Dan Gibert says our beliefs about the things that will make us happy are often wrong. And that’s backed up by research based evidence, of course! He says our progress and happiness is imperceivable because change is inevitable.

In conclusion, time changes, we change, and our preferences change as well. So it’s okay if you don’t know what to do with your life yet. Put your trust in the only constant – that is change!

Human beings are works in progress that mistakenly think they’re finished. The person you are right now is as transient, as fleeting and as temporary as all the people you’ve ever been. The one constant in our life is change.

Dan Gilbert

4. How to make hard choices – TED talk by Ruth Chang, Philosopher

Philosopher Ruth Chang asks us what makes hard choices so …. hard. She offers a new way to think about hard choices. Therefore, an easy way to come to a decision we can feel sure about.

It all comes down to how we perceive the hard choices, and our decisions.

This response in hard choices is a rational response, but it’s not dictated by reasons given to us. Rather, it’s supported by reasons created by us. When we create reasons for ourselves to become this kind of person rather than that, we wholeheartedly become the people that we are. You might say that we become the authors of our own lives.

Ruth Chang

5. 2 questions to uncover your passion and turn it into a career – Noeline Kirabo, social entrepreneur

Social entrepreneur Noeline Kirabo self educated her way our of Africa’s slums. And now she gives back to her community by helping Uganda’s out-of-school youth to turn their passions into a career.

In this TED talk, she shares the two important questions that we need to ask ourselves to find our passion, and then make a living doing it!

Now, when we talk about passion, one of the most common questions that people ask is, “What is passion? How do I even find it?” And in the simplest definition, passion is a collection of your life experiences that give you the deepest sense of fulfillment. And to identify your passion, you need to look inward.

Noeline Kirabo

6. How to find work you love – Scott Dinsmore, founder of the career and connection platform, Live Your Legend

Scott Dinsmore is the founder of Live Your Legend. He quit a job that made him miserable. Then he spent the next four years wondering how to find work that was joyful and meaningful. If you relate to this ambition but don’t know what to do to pursue it, this TED talk is for you! Dinsmore tells us the simplest way to find out what matters to you – and then start doing it!

The first part of this three-step passionate work framework is becoming a self-expert and understanding yourself, because if you don’t know what you’re looking for, you’re never going to find it. And the thing is that no one is going to do this for us. There’s no major in university on passion and purpose and career. I don’t know how that’s not a required double major, but don’t even get me started on that. I mean, you spend more time picking out a dorm room TV set than you do you picking your major and your area of study. But the point is, it’s on us to figure that out, and we need a framework, we need a way to navigate through this.

Scott Dinsmore

And now, assure yourself that you are all you need with Beautiful Quotes & Affirmations On Self Love.

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