Now is the best time to give yourself a little kick of motivation. It might feel, with two months left in the year, that this is a good time to slow down, to reflect, to think on how far you’ve come and the goals you’ve smashed. That’s not true. Now is a better time than ever before to lace up those trainers, to climb that promotion ladder, and to smash those goals.

Don’t slow down just because the promise of a fresh start is on the horizon, technically 2019 is just another new month, the only transformation that can be made is within you.

You need to step the game up and keep it going, don’t promise yourself that you’ll do it later. The best way to do this is to listen to the experts. These TED talks will give you that serious kick of motivation you need to smash every goal you’ve set yourself before the end of the year. Good luck!

1. How Great Leaders Inspire Action


This has to be top of our list. In one of the most motivating and thought-provoking TED talks around, Simon Sinek found out that all of the great people, brands, and companies in the world have one thing in common. They start with why. He asks the audience, “Why is Apple so innovative?” It’s true that year after year they are more innovative than their competition, but if you break it down, they’re just a company who makes technology. They started as a computer company. They have access to the same resources as their competition, but they separate themselves from it. How?

How was Martin Luther King able to lead the Civil Rights Movement? He wasn’t the only person who suffered? How were the Wright brothers able to figure out flight before people with more resources and qualifications? They all started with their purpose, they all knew their ‘why’ was greater than their ‘what’. Sound crazy? Simon explains the golden circle, the code that all successful leaders swear by. Now you just have to use it to make something amazing yourself. vc

2. Your Elusive Creative Genius


If you want to make something incredible with the last few months of the year, watch this talk and get inspired. Elizabeth Gilbert believes that all of us ‘have’ a genius inside us. She says that we all expect great things from people we know of, writers, artists, singers, the ‘geniuses’. But they’re not geniuses all the time, they only have rare flashes of genius that we get to see. We’re all capable of that, and it’s time we start realizing it and using it.

She talks about creativity and the history of it. Because the truth is, we’re all capable of it, even if you don’t think you are a particularly creative person. Perhaps you use creativity to think your way outside of a tricky problem, or perhaps you do use creativity every day as a graphic designer. These things, you consider to be mundane uses of your creativity, could actually lead on to your little sparks of creative genius that you need to nurture, embrace, and nourish.

3. How to make stress your friend


It’s almost the end of the year, and for a lot of people, it is a stressful time. There may be exams, holiday budgets, family gatherings, sales targets, all kinds of things that add up to a stressful period. But don’t worry, this talk by psychologist Kelly McGonigal will teach you how to make stress your friend. Kelly argues that you can’t beat stress, you have to turn it into a friend, not an enemy. She argues that, according to studies, people are likely to experience health deterioration, not because of stress, but because they believe stress is bad for them. Those who do experience stress but believe it to be normal and healthy, don’t experience any ill health typically thought to be related to stress.

Kelly will explain how stressors start and how to use them to motivate and encourage yourself rather than to demotivate yourself. Take stress as a sign that your body is energized, and listen to Kelly’s radical view on how to embrace stress as an old friend.

4. Grit: The Power Of Passion & Perseverance


Angela Duckworth left her high-flying job to teach seventh graders math. She has given one of the best talks of all time on what she learned from her time teaching about the test scores and what separated students who did well, from those who didn’t. She learned that IQ was not the only difference between her best and worst students. This talk is really interesting if you’ve always wondered why you’ve performed a certain way. If you’ve believed in the traditional systems and never really challenged how you might learn something better by tailoring it to your actual needs.

Angela says that you don’t need to be the smartest to perform the best, you need grit. The determination for long-term goals. The stamina to keep going until you get it right. This will motivate you to get up, show up, and kick ass. It’ll teach you not to listen to excuses that your mind invents, but to be passionate about completing it. Listen to Angela’s stories about her time teaching, and you’ll know, grit is the one thing you need to succeed.

5. The Puzzle Of Motivation


Struggling to motivate yourself to end the year on a high and smash your goals? Dan Pink is a career analyst who examines motivation in this TED talk. We always think that rewarding ourselves is the right way to motivate ourselves, but Dan challenges this. He presents the candle problem, and a psychological experiment involving it as proof that

rewards do not work as motivators. Instead of traditional rewards, Dan says the solution is not to entice people with a sweeter carrot or threaten them with a sharper stick, it’s actually to give people a purpose, and let them know what they’re working towards. This is a seriously interesting talk that will teach you not only how to motivate yourself but how you can motivate others.


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Photo: @garypeppergirl