Watching These 5 TED Talks Is Far More Valuable Than Trying to Find Your Calling
These five experts will explain the challenges in finding your “life’s purpose,” and how you can start heading in the right direction today—even if it’s not the one you expected.
1. Why Some of Us Don't Have One True Calling
If you’re someone who still gets freaked out by the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” you’re probably a multipotentialite. Career coach Emilie Wapnick coined the term for people with many interests and skill sets, and her talk will show you that it’s actually a good thing—even a “super power,” as she’d say—to have many ambitions.
2. Why Knowing What Makes Us Feel Good About Our Work Matters
If you’re continually assigned low-effort projects with minimal steps, you’ll be happier at your job, right? Well, what Dan Ariely, a behavioral economist, noticed is that it can actually work the opposite way. People like to put in more effort than they have to sometimes because it gives them a sense of purpose. In his talk, he’ll explain the series of studies he did on giving your daily tasks “meaning.”
3. Why the Way We Think About Work Is Broken
Psychologist Barry Schwartz discusses why we care about our careers in the first place. By using the Industrial Revolution as an example, he explains how humans define their own nature, and how we can play a role in shaping and creating rewarding work for ourselves.
4. Why the Best Person for the Job Might Not Have the Perfect Resume
Regina Hartley, a human resources manager at UPS, will prove to you that struggling in life can end up being your best resume boost. Through her discussion, she talks about how overcoming obstacles and embracing trauma better prepares an individual for success later on.
5. Why It’s Time to Forget the Pecking Order at Work
At the end of the day, your purpose is no more important than another person’s—and sometimes, you just can’t do it alone. Margaret Heffernan, the former CEO of five businesses, talks about how without collaboration and social support, nothing is possible. She believes that work has more momentum—and is more meaningful—when employees collaborate to solve problems.
Photo of man on couch courtesy of Shutterstock.
About The Author
As an Associate Editor for The Muse, Alyse is proud to prove that yes, English majors can change the world. She calls many places home, including Illinois where she grew up and the small town of Hamilton where she attended Colgate University, but she was always born to be a New Yorker. In addition to being an avid writer, Alyse loves to dance, both professionally and while waiting for the subway.