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Advice / Succeeding at Work / Getting Ahead

7 TED Talks That'll Shut Down All Those Excuses You Make for Not Reaching Your Goals

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As the year starts to wind down—scary, I know—it’s too easy to just give up on those last minute goals and say, I’ll wait for 2017 to accomplish this. If there’s no deadline and no one holding you accountable, why wouldn’t you put it aside for a while?

But, there’s no time like the present, so I challenge you to keep at it. No successful individual made it to where he or she is now by waiting until “next year.”

Don’t believe me? Here are seven excuses you’ve probably made while delaying your dreams—and seven TED Talks that will prove you completely wrong (and hopefully inspire you to face your doubts).

1. “It Won’t Matter in Five Years, Anyways:” How to Build a Business That Lasts 100 Years by Martin Reeves

Nowadays, a company has about a one in three chance of dying or getting bought out in five years. In this talk, Reeves, an industry strategist, will combine the knowledge of business and biology (yes, biology) to answer the ultimate question: Is it possible to build a business (or, a career) that’s resilient enough to last a lifetime? Yes, you can.

2. “I’ll Never Be as Good as Someone Else:” The Jobs We’ll Lose to Machines—and the Ones We Won’t by Anthony Goldbloom

Sure, you may never be the next Olympic gold medalist or Pulitzer Prize winner, and maybe machines will out-smart us all in 2030. But we as humans, machine expert Goldbloom points out, will always have the potential to solve new and foreign problems—and that is what will make us survive and thrive in the workplace even 20, 30, 40 years from now.

3. “It’s Too Hard:” The Untapped Genius That Could Change Science for the Better by Jedidah Isler

Astrophysicist Jedidah Isler explains the importance of intersections in life, science, and growth. She’s someone who found herself in the “in-between” of race, gender, and the reality of the working world and beat the odds against her. Her speech, and her incredible work, inspires just about anyone to chase after his or her dream no matter what boundaries stand in your way.

4. “I’m Too Ingrained in My Routine:”A Simple Way to Break a Bad Habit by Judson Brewer

Any habit can be broken, as long as you break the cycle. What cycle, you ask? Brewer, an addiction expert, will break down the process of how bad habits form—and the crazy easy switch to get rid of them. (Hint: It’s all about your mindset.)

5. “I’m Afraid of Failing:”Two Reasons Companies Fail—and How to Avoid Them by Knut Haanaes

You know the saying, “There’s such a thing as too much of a good thing?” Well, business strategist Knut Haanaes will walk you through why businesses fail—and how you can avoid failure too, with a healthy balance between “exploration” and “exploitation.”

6. “I’m Only One Person:” How to Make a Profit While Making a Difference by Audrey Choi

If you think large corporations run the world, you’re wrong. We do. Each and every one of us, as consumers, investors, stockholders, and members of society. And, we have the amazing potential to create and invest in social and environmental change, proves Choi, a sustainability investment expert. So yes, you can make an impact all by yourself.

7. “I Don’t Know Where to Start:”Five Ways to Kill Your Dreams by Bel Pesce

Bel Pesce, an entrepreneur, is fascinated by how people achieve—and fail—at following their dreams. So, if you don’t know where to even go when chasing after your own, consider watching her talk on what not to do, and how you can avoid standing in your own way (Hint: Stop making excuses).