4 TED Talks on Finding Meaning in Your Work


As we ease into 2016, many of us have ambitious plans for things we hope to accomplish in this new year. Goals for work. Dreams for life. Visions for self-improvement. If we’ve taken these aspirations seriously, hopefully we’ve thought about them carefully and made a plan for bringing them to fruition. But planning is only half the battle. Now, we’ve got to do the work. As we’re faced with the arduous, exciting, fulfilling task of actually getting things done to meet our goals — here are four inspiring TED talks that offer empowering insights into what motivates us — as well as actionable tips for being more productive and finding more meaning in our work all year long.

Dan Ariely on what gives work meaning.

Behavioral Economist, Ariely, uses two eye-opening experiments to reveal the secret to what motivates people to work harder and to take pleasure in their efforts.

Sarah Lewis on mastery of craft.

Lewis’ eye-opening talk explains the “commitment to a constant pursuit” that is at the heart of mastery. What’s more is that failures, or “near-wins”, don’t waylay mastery — in fact they are the very thing that propel the devoted to pursue excellence, find meaning, and reach goals with tenacity.

Scott Dinsmore on doing the impossible.

Four years before giving this talk, Scott Dinsmore quit the job he hated and embarked on a journey of discovery about work and self. He found that by reflecting on our unique strengths, values, and experiences we can redefine success, create meaning, and do extraordinary things.

Kare Anderson on being an opportunity maker.

Anderson’s short but powerful talk is a call-to-arms for difference-makers to build diverse coalitions to get things done: coalitions that are “startling, compelling, and credible” help us accomplish more together than we can apart and allow us to seize opportunities while solving problems better and faster for maximum impact.

Have you watched a game-changing talk that transformed the way you find meaning in work? Share in the comments or tweet @DougConant with your must-watch videos on work and goals. 

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