Even great people have terrible days. What separates those people from the majority, is all in their mindset: when something bad happens, you can either see it as a hurdle or use the mess to your advantage and flip the script.
We believe that when life gives lemons, they should be chopped up and used to make a fabulous G&T. If you’re looking for some inspiration about how others have overcome adversity and personal struggles, then this list is sure to not only inspire gratitude but makes you realise how lucky we all are. Get ready for three of the best Ted Talks to stream now!
Diana Nyad was the first 64-year-old woman to swim from Cuba to Florida. Just reading that line in of itself makes your jaw drop in disbelief, doesn’t it? This was Nyad’s lifetime goal and she stopped at nothing to achieve it. Even swimming 160 kilometres in pitch black night, being stung by jellyfish and hallucinating. This is an absolutely unbelievable and inspiring tale of one woman’s perseverance, against all odds, to go on this epic journey and realise her dream. Her one mantra? “Never, ever give up.”
While this amazing achievement resulted in amazing opportunities like sitting with Oprah and being invited into President Obama’s Oval Office, nothing compares to the pride she feels in herself. “All of that’s great, and I don’t denigrate it,” she told the crowd. “I’m proud of it all, but the truth is, I’m walking around tall because I am that bold, fearless person, and I will be, every day, until it’s time for these days to be done.”
The Takeaway: You can do anything you put your mind to.
Your life can be moving along perfectly fine until one day a moment that’s completely out of your control changes it forever. This talk is a reminder that while we can’t control our experiences, we can change how we see them. At just 19, during the prime years of his youth, Joshua Prager became a hemiplegic after a terrible bus accident in Israel. But he didn’t let that stop him. Prager walked with his cane, ankle brace, and a backpack on trips in six continents. But for a long time, he was angry, especially after reading the bus driver’s testimony that he gave the morning after the crash. So he went on a mission to find the driver and confront him, face to face.
He returned to Israel to write about the crash, and complete his book, Half-Life. But rather than an altercation or confrontation, the two of them shared a conversation that changed his perspective, and thus his life. “If you are mindful of what you do not have, you may be truly mindful of what you do have, and if the gods are kind, you may truly enjoy what you have,” he told from the TED stage. “That is the one singular gift you may receive if you suffer in any existential way. You know death, and so may wake each morning pulsing with ready life.”
The Takeaway: Embrace life and rise above bad fortune.
If there’s one inherent fear many of us have, it’s being in a plane when it goes down. Ric Elias was on the Flight 1549 that crash-landed in the Hudson River in New York of January 2009. While panic rushed through his veins as he braced for impact on the way down, there was a moment of clarity as he reflected on his life, not knowing he would still be alive at the end or not.
In this inspiring TED Talk, Elias reveals three things he learned that day. Lesson 1: It all changes in an instant. “We have this bucket list, we have these things we want to do in life, and I thought about all the people I wanted to reach out to that I didn’t, all the fences I wanted to mend, all the experiences I wanted to have and I never did,” he told the crowd. “As I thought about that later on, I came up with a saying, which is, ‘I collect bad wines.’ Because if the wine is ready and the person is there, I’m opening it. I no longer want to postpone anything in life. And that urgency, that purpose, has really changed my life.” You’ll have to watch the talk to hear the other two, but we seriously recommend that you do, stat.
The Takeaway: Don’t wait. Do it today.