There are times in life when we face challenges and difficult periods. That is part of life and the way in which we live. This can include difficulties in the workplace, failing to get that dream job or you receive news that sets you back. Whatever it might be, there is no doubt that it can leave you feeling deflated. However, picking yourself back up is not always as easy as it sounds. Taking some time out and listening to inspiring positivity talks might just be the boost you need.
Sometimes, trying to ride out the bad times is not an option. Of course, it can work but there are instances where we need that little nudge in the right direction. If we leave ourselves feeling uninspired, it can lead to us feeling demotivated and at the worst impact our state of mind and even our mental health.
In our search for a meaningful life and towards a more positive attitude inspiring positivity talks can make a difference4. They can lift your spirits, inspire you and leave you feeling as though you can achieve something more. These talks should be seen as a tool. A tool that can bring you happiness, help you be more mindful of the present, and provide you with the ability to stay focused on the positive aspects of life6.
The following talks are designed to inspire positivity. As positivity can come from many different aspects of life, it is always worth finding something that works for you.
Just one short talk can offer you that bite-sized glimpse of inspiration that can set wheels in motion. When we seek inspiration, trying to go it alone is not always the answer. Sometimes, listening to others can provide us with the boost that we need.
Thankfully in today's internet age, there’s a great deal of really good positivity talks out there that you can listen to for free. Have a browse around, make a hot drink, find somewhere quiet, and have a listen to our picks below:
This talk from Elizabeth Gilbert is simple yet effective. Its aim is to help those who struggle with creativity9. Therefore, it discusses how people should not look at creativity as a trait but as something else. And therefore seeking that elusive creative genius and inspiring you to get into a creative mindset.
Sometimes it is difficult to explain where inspiration comes from. However, Elizabeth Gilbert talks about how to show this in a creative way. This way of thinking alone can lead to a wider level of creativity.
Gilbert is also the author of Eat, Pray, Love (Amazon). This book provides examples of how people view their own creative processes. Some see it as something that they have to catch before it passes them by. They view it as something they have to chase and capture. If they miss it, then their ideas and creativity were lost. It explores a unique and different way of thinking, in turn, it can inspire positivity & people to think creatively.
We all find ourselves surrounded by negativity at times in our lives2. Whether this is in our personal lives or our careers, it is something everyone has to face. We can sometimes tend to focus on negativity but this talk shows how that can lead to dissatisfaction.
Here, Shawn Achor focuses on highlighting how a negative attitude can have a detrimental impact on many situations we face in life.
He bases his talk on a specific study whereby it was found that positivity underpins professional success. It discusses the way in which those who focus on positivity are more likely to achieve their goals.
The benefits of positive thinking are clear to see5 and as they say, “Positivity breeds positivity”. Therefore, if you are someone who can find negative thoughts bring you down have a listen to equip yourself with the knowledge and tools, such as a growth mindset, to turn them into more positive outcomes. This will enable you to inspire yourself and achieve your goals.
Happiness undoubtedly plays a role in success, regardless of what you are trying to be successful in3. Bad times come to us all, but the ability to remain positive and upbeat can have a direct influence on the success you achieve in many areas of your life.
Neil Pasricha discusses his own experiences candidly in this talk. He explains how the things that happened to him would have negatively impacted others. So, instead of suffering, he began documenting 1,000 things that he thought would come under the category of awesome.
As such, to inspire positivity he shows how he was able to change his attitude and focus on small victories. These victories could be small things such as finding a parking space in a car park or getting the last remaining item on the shelf. The talk can inspire you to change your attitude and awareness promoting a more positive outlook.
Neil Pasricha's Books About Awesome (on Amazon) include You Are Awesome: How to Navigate Change, Wrestle with Failure, and Live an Intentional Life & The Happiness Equation: Want Nothing + Do Anything=Have Everything
Too often, we look in the wrong places for inspiration when we have the ability to inspire ourselves. Matt Cutts talks about a simple, yet effective idea which involves trying something new for 30 days. In doing so, you can try new things and enhance your confidence7. What’s more, you could even change your life, Or help you explore your entrepreneurial mindset towards a new business or project idea,
The talk aims to inspire people to try something different. It could be as simple as cycling more or even writing a book. What it shows is that you can overcome challenges and self-doubt. You can give yourself the courage to try it and commit to it. Eventually, it shows you that you can do something better than you thought was possible.
Susan David bases her talk on emotional agility. She shows how we are not our emotions and that quite simply put, our emotions are a source of data. Therefore, if we can take all of our emotions, both negative and positive, we can become more flexible. This can give us resilience and courage to face up to life1.
The goal is for people to identify emotions for what they are instead of classing them as good and bad. Inspiration can be taken from the fact that all emotions are valuable in some form.
Our body language can say a lot about who we are. When we meet people, whether it is for the first time or not, our body language can have an impact on the way in which people perceive us. Body language can result in people making judgements and that can result in a range of outcomes. This can range from being successful in job interviews to the way in which we perceive ourselves8.
Amy Cuddy is a Social Psychologist and her research on body language has shown how we can change the way in which people see us. We can achieve this by simply altering our body positions and this talk calls this “Power Posing”.
This is about committing to a posture that displays confidence, even if we are lacking in confidence. This has been found to have an impact on the levels of cortisone and testosterone in the brain. Therefore, she speaks about doing this for two minutes at a time and how it can alter that that we feel which has an impact on success.
|The Value of Positive Emotions: The emerging science of positive psychology is coming to understand why it's good to feel good. Barbara L. Fredrickson. American Scientist|
|Seta, J. J., Seta, C. E., & Wang, M. A. (1991). Feelings of Negativity and Stress: An Averaging-Summation Analysis of Impressions of Negative Life Experiences. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 17(4), 376–384. https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167291174004|
|The Benefits of Frequent Positive Affect: Does Happiness Lead to Success? Lyubomirsky, Sonja,King, Laura,Diener, Ed Lyubomirsky, S., King, L., & Diener, E. (2005). The Benefits of Frequent Positive Affect: Does Happiness Lead to Success? Psychological Bulletin, 131(6), 803–855. https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-2909.131.6.803|
|Prioritizing positivity: An effective approach to pursuing happiness? By Catalino, Lahnna I.,Algoe, Sara B.,Fredrickson, Barbara L. Emotion, Vol 14(6), Dec 2014, 1155-1161|
|Scheier, M. F., & Carver, C. S. (1993). On the Power of Positive Thinking: The Benefits of Being Optimistic. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 2(1), 26–30. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-8721.ep10770572|
|Hart, T. (1998). Inspiration: Exploring the Experience and its Meaning. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 38(3), 7–35. https://doi.org/10.1177/00221678980383002|
|Patel, T.R. (2019). Confidence and Its Impact on Your Aspiring Career. In A Guide to the Scientific Career (eds M. Shoja, A. Arynchyna, M. Loukas, A.V. D'Antoni, S.M. Buerger, M. Karl and R.S. Tubbs). doi:10.1002/9781118907283.ch5|
|Rane, D. B., Effective Body Language for Organizational Success (February 11, 2011). The IUP Journal of Soft Skills, Vol. IV, No. 4, pp. 17-26, December 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1759718|
|CREATIVITY: METHOD OR MAGIC? Author: Stevan Harnad. Subject(s): Psychology, Philosophy of Mind|
Jen’s a passionate environmentalist and sustainability expert. With a science degree from Babcock University Jen loves applying her research skills to craft editorial that connects with our global changemaker and readership audiences centered around topics including zero waste, sustainability, climate change, and biodiversity.
Elsewhere Jen’s interests include the role that future technology and data have in helping us solve some of the planet’s biggest challenges.