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5 TED Talks every online student should watch


Studying online is exciting and rewarding but there’s no denying it requires a lot of hard work and dedication. Are you an online student who’s feeling a little overwhelmed or demotivated? Then let these inspiring TED Talks remind you why you should never, ever give up…


1. 8 secrets of success

By Richard St. John (3:30)

Analyst Richard St. John condenses 7 years and 500 interviews into a 3-minute slideshow that answers the simple question “What leads to success?”

Key quote for online students: “Push yourself. Physically, mentally, you’ve got to push, push, push. You’ve got to push through shyness and self-doubt.”


2. How to live passionately—no matter your age

By Isabel Allende (8:16)

71-year old Isabel discusses how age has changed her, society’s expectations, the negative changes and also the incredibly positive transformations that growing older can bring.

Key quote for online students: “What have I gained? Freedom: I don’t have to prove anything anymore. I’m not stuck in the idea of who I was, who I want to be, or what other people expect me to be. I don’t have to please men anymore, only animals. I keep telling my superego to back off and let me enjoy what I still have. My body may be falling apart, but my brain is not, yet. I love my brain. I feel lighter.”


3. A passionate, personal case for education

By Michelle Obama (12:29)

Speaking to an audience of students back in 2009, US First Lady Michelle Obama describes her upbringing, her own attitude to education and the changes that can be achieved as a result of standing up and conquering challenges.

Key quote for online students: “If you want to know the reason why I’m standing here, it’s because of education. I never cut class. Sorry, I don’t know if anybody is cutting class. I never did it. I loved getting A’s. I liked being smart. I liked being on time. I liked getting my work done. I thought being smart was cooler than anything in the world. And you too, with these same values, can control your own destiny.


4. Grit: The power of passion and perseverance

By Angela Lee Duckworth (6:12)

Maths teacher Angela Lee Duckworth left her job to become a psychologist to further understand why some students achieve better grades despite having lower IQ scores. The answer? Grit.

Key quote for online students: “Grit is passion and perseverance for very long-term goals. Grit is having stamina. Grit is sticking with your future, day in, day out, not just for the week, not just for the month, but for years, and working really hard to make that future a reality. Grit is living life like it’s a marathon, not a sprint.


5. The life-long learner

By Ben Dunlap (19:08)

Wofford College president Ben Dunlap tells the story of Sandor Teszler and Dr. Robicsek, two Hungarian mentors who taught him about passionate living and lifelong learning.

Key quote for online students: “This is what I’m passionate about. It is precisely this. It is this inextinguishable, undaunted appetite for learning and experience, no matter how risible, no matter how esoteric, no matter how seditious it might seem.”


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