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Ted Talk’s are some of my favorite mediums for inspiration and free education. I love the variety of perspectives and unexpected influence in their speakers. When it comes to figuring out who you are, what you’re doing with your life, to inspire passion, and discovering your true purpose, they are an amazing place to start your search.

Over the years I’ve bookmarked dozens of Ted Talk’s talking about just that, discovering one’s purpose in life. I also reached out to my Instagram followers to find out their favorite’s in this journey of self-discovery and I’m excited to share the compiled list of my absolute favorites!

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Living Beyond Limits | AMY PURDY

Prepare to cry for this one. Imagine losing something essential to your wellbeing and personality and then building a better world and life for yourself because of these newfound borders! Possibly one of the most life-changing ted talks I’ve ever heard. 

Defining Your Purpose | ALANA MULLER

Alana is a fantastic speaker, she draws you in a couple of minutes and PROVES why you need to follow her system before you even know what the system is. She is insanely inspiring and makes you want to get up and go before she’s even done! 

How to Find Work You Love | SCOTT DINSMORE

Perhaps not the best quality video (7 years ago!) but the message sure has held up. I think most people who have stepped into the corporate world can relate to some degree, and I have no doubt, anyone, outside of the corporate world can as well. He emphasizes the societal need to reach for certain things such as climb corporate ladders that we aren’t even interested in, only because we’re told to. He stresses a simple formula to find out what we’re passionate about and how to get there. Trust me, if you’re on edge with your job, this talk will inspire you to leave it! 

How to Know Your Life Purpose in Five Minutes | ADAM LEIPZIG

Get ready to be put on the spot at the count of five because guess what – this soft-spoken intuitive man is going to force you to choose (and consequently scream out) your life purpose in 5 minutes. Well, less than that to be honest. Stop thinking, start doing. If you feel like you’re spending most of your time thinking about your life purpose, Adam is going to make you stop that right now. 

Why Some of Us Don’t Have One True Calling | EMILIE WAPNICK

I write about this idea, of not having ONE true calling all the time, so it should come as no surprise that this Ted Talk hits a chord with me. Emilie turns the stigma of the renaissance man upside down, allows you to be okay with who you are and what to do about it. If you’ve ever been described as a jack of all trades, this is the ted talk for you to inspire passion! 

Golden Threads – Finding Purpose in Life | KATHERINE JACKSON

I love this thought-provoking talk by Katherine. Her golden threads theory is eye-opening and honestly quite accurate for both myself and my husband. If you struggle, wondering if your life has purpose or meaning, listen to this because it does and you’ve been living with or beside it as far back as you can remember. 

Why You Will Fail to Have A Great Career | LARRY SMITH

This talk may come out of left-field, Larry is both blunt and hilarious with his relatable but realistic commentary. If you prefer harsh truth (or just laughter) as your source of inspiration, this is a great video to get you out of your head, and into your truth. He brings up the source of fears, which is our relationships. Like it or hate it, most of us don’t follow our passions simply because we are afraid. Afraid of judgment, afraid of losing or failing, or rocking the boat. He confronts this fear and leaves you with a choice.

Like it or hate it, most of us don’t follow our passions simply because we are afraid. Afraid of judgment, afraid of losing or failing, or rocking the boat. Click To Tweet

Before I Die I Want To… | CANDY CHANG

A quicker talk I wanted to throw in because it’s both simple and powerful. You may have seen Candy’s installations in your city. She is the creator of the public movement; “Before I die, I Want to…” a chalkboard wall for the community to write their answers on. 

Try Something New For 30 Days | MATT CUTTS

I’m very passionate about 30-day challenges, I strongly believe everyone should try one and watch how their confidence grows! Matt lives by this, and this short segment talks about why and how they will change your life!

Stop Searching for Your Passion | TERRI TRESPICIO

This video is crazy inspiring for anyone who has ever felt the fear of not knowing what their passion is. If you’ve ever wondered if it’s possible you are the only person to not have one, watch this because it will kickstart your passion for life and inspire passion from within! I love Terri’s perspective and her honesty. Tons of great advice and words of wisdom sprinkled in an entertaining dialog! 

What Should I Do With My Life | CHARLIE PARKER

I love the scientific approach Charlie took with the question “what should I do with my life?”, he interviewed both kids and (anonymous) adults to get honest responses, then dove into the psychological patterns of why they answered the way they did for some fascinating alright not surprising results. What he shares with that information however is surprising! 


The message is simple but understated. You Matter. And if you don’t believe me for some reason, watch this short video, because you do. And your actions matter and your Monday’s matter, and YOU MATTER.

Whew! What a list. Seriously, listen to all of them because their messages are (literally) life-changing and you won’t regret it because they will all inspire passion in you! Any others you would add to this list? 

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About Ariana Dagan

Welcome! I live in Northern California with my husband, our toddler, and two dogs. I'm a writer, illustrator, and creative mentor. I'm on a mission to create a culture of happier, thriving creators! I help calm the chaos so you can reclaim your time, rediscover your identity, and reach new levels of success in your endeavors. This site is a place to find value in your voice and strength to become the best version of yourself so you can go from simply existing day-to-day to LIVING ON PURPOSE.


  1. Enjoyed every bit of your blog.Really looking forward to read more. Great.

  2. Saving these! I love TED talks and these all looks so inspiring!

  3. Great post, what a wonderful selection of ted talk. Thanks for sharing this.

    1. Thanks so much, hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

  4. Well I know what I’m doing this morning before my kids wake up…. I’m watching all these videos! (Maybe not ALL of them this morning…. 🙂 ) I love Ted Talks, and I’m really interested in watching the one about multipotentialites. I’ve always felt that I have multiple skills and things I’d like to focus on in life, so it’s good to know that it’s okay to not stay in the same job for 30+ years like my parents did!

  5. This is a wonderful roundup of inspiring ted talks! There’s so many here I haven’t heard before. I can’t wait to dive in. I’m really gravitating towards Why Some of Us Don’t Have One True Calling | EMILIE WAPNICK because this sounds like me. I always feel pulled in so many directions that its hard to make sense of where I should be focusing.

    1. Oh gosh, SAME! I literally just recently wrote a blog post on that! There is SO much pressure to find our “purpose in life” as if it has to be just one single thing – to that I say “NO THANKS!”

  6. This is the most practical post I have read in a while. Great resources here. Thank you !

  7. I am drawn to the Ted talk speaker who purports not having one true calling because recently I have been split on two passions. Thank you for bringing this into my realm. I can’t wait to check it out.

  8. I could use a little inspiration today! I will have to check these out next time I get the chance.

    1. These are definitely game changers! If you check them out, I’d love to hear which ones resonated with you!

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