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Inspiration is always somewhere around us. It could come from that ant trying to climb the wall or that spider who is trying hard to build his web after failing repeatedly. But the best way to be inspired is to listen to inspirational talks, which may leave an indelible mark on your memory.

These 5 people have delivered some of the most inspirational talks that have had a great impact on a lot of lives. They will positively change your perspective on life!

Inspirational Talks You Must Watch

1) J. K. Rowling’s Commencement Speech at Harvard, 2008

Topics at hand – “Fringe benefits of failure” and “Importance of imagination”. The speech begins on a humorous note and ends with a serious message. A large part focuses on the abyss of poverty that her parents endured, and she had been through in the first decade of her adult life. In the first part, she provides a purely realistic view of the hardships that lay ahead and how failure is inevitable. She says adversity and failure are important because they reveal personal strengths, which success or comfort might never reveal. She adds that failure was no fun and there were moments when one could not see anything but darkness at the end of the tunnel. Moving onto the second part, the writer describes imagination and its most beautiful flowering, empathy. Empathy, she says, can help you get into the shoes of the less fortunate ones who don’t have a voice of their own.


2) Alberto Cairo’s Ted Talk: There are No Scraps of Men

A heart-wrenching story of the struggle of a cripple, who had lost both legs and an arm, in war-ridden Afghanistan. He tries to overcome the life of poverty, earn his dignity and see his son go to school despite the ongoing war. This is also about how grit and determination led to a Red Cross Center in Afghanistan, thus positively helping cripples and handicaps get employed at the said center. Their hard work at the Red Cross Center inspired many more crippled during war times to get a prosthesis, improve their lives and live independently.


3) Steve Jobs’ Commencement Speech at Stanford (2005)

Steve Jobs delivered one of the most inspirational talks of the 20th century at Stanford in 2005. In this talk, he describes three incidents of his life, which, in a way, are great lessons for everyone. The first is the story of him dropping out of school as he felt it was a waste of his parents hard-earned life savings. He encourages us to follow our instincts and believes that the dots will all somehow connect in life. He says you can only see the dots joining by looking backwards. This approach has never let him down and did wonders for his career.
The second story is about him getting fired from Apple after a fallout with the board of directors. It was devastating for him because “Apple” had been his creation, the focus of his entire adult life until then. After not doing anything for a few months, one day he realized that his love for the profession was still alive and the unfortunate turn of events hadn’t changed that. Apple had rejected him, but he still loved the work he did with computers. This prompted him to start afresh. Through his speech, he asks us to find out what we love. As work fills a large part of our life, the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what one believes is great work. Life sometimes hits us with a brick, but we mustn’t lose faith because what keeps us going is our love for what we do and the people around us that we love.
His third story is about how he narrowly escaped death. He believes that no one else could describe and understand death the way he has. He concludes the speech with the quote “Stay hungry, stay foolish.”


4) Sir Ken Robinson on How Schools are Killing Our Creativity

Sir Ken Robinson discusses how children’s creativity develops in school. In his view, there needs to be an education system that nurtures (rather than undermines) creativity. He believes that we currently don’t give as much importance to creativity as we give to literacy. The qualities that kids posses, like taking a chance when you don’t know and not being afraid of being wrong are seldom found in adults. He thinks that although being wrong isn’t creative, but if one isn’t prepared to be wrong one can never do something original.
He, at length, criticizes education systems worldwide that have math and languages at the top followed by humanities and art. There surely might be a few schools according to him that will be teaching fine arts and dance but certainly none that have dance or dramatics as a professional addition to the curriculum. He further discusses the three important and useful facets of intelligence in human beings.


5) Kiran Sethi Video: Kids, take charge

Kiran Sethi set up Riverside School in Ahmedabad, and she, along with her students, began a movement for social change in India with the help of kids throughout the country. The message she conveys is: the biggest changes can come from the smallest of beginnings. This movement started by one school and then spread to over 32,000 schools countrywide, which is a humongous achievement. She calls it infecting the country with the bug of ‘I can’ and ‘we can.’ What is contagious is the efforts little kids put in changing the face of our society, the understanding that it brings about in this new upcoming generation about social maladies plaguing this country. Her efforts ensure that her students educate illiterate people to prevent child marriages in Rajasthan and discourage the use of plastic bags in Hyderabad.


We hope reading about these inspirational talks got you motivated. Hope you stay inspired, always. 🙂

You can also take a look at some must-watch inspirational movies and some great inspirational quotes by great men.

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