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5 Videos + Talks Guaranteed to Inspire You

by Grace Bonney

Everyone finds motivation in different places. Some people prefer it in the form of one-on-one conversations, some enjoy books and others like to see something that combines the power of in-person talks with the ease of a play-on-demand video. I’m working on my own speech for this year’s Weapons of Mass Creation Fest in Ohio, so I decided to round up 5 of the talks (available to watch instantly in video form) that have inspired me the most. From talks on creativity and motivation to opening your mind to new solutions, these people had not only the great ideas and advice to share with all of us, they had the guts to do it on a BIG stage. Thank you to all of these incredible artists, makers and creatives for sharing these inspiring talks, speeches and moments with us online. I will be watching a few of these over and over for years to come. You never know when you’ll need a little pick-me-up or pep talk. xo, grace

“Don’t allow yourself to be tricked into thinking that the way things are is the way the world must work.”Charlie Kaufman

Click through for all 5 talks after the jump!

“What I Have to Offer” by Charlie Kaufman: Julia showed me this video and it blew my mind. Writer and producer Charlie Kaufman delivered this speech at BAFTA’s 2011 Screenwriters’ Lecture Series. It’s about the creativity, vision and incredible ideas we all have deep inside of us. He stresses how scary and difficult it can be to get that vision out into the world, but why it is worth every effort to put it out there. “Don’t allow yourself to be tricked into thinking that the way things are is the way the world must work.”

“Steal Like An Artist” by Austin Kleon: Austin exploded onto the design scene with his incredible book, Steal like an Artist, and this talk is a wonderful summary of what that book is all about. The crux of the discussion is how all creativity inherently stems from another person’s creativity and most ideas are “stolen” or inspired by other ideas. What is so special about this talk is how Austin manages to PROVE how valuable collaboration, inspiration and “stealing” ideas from people you admire is. This really changed the way I looked at overlaps in content and style and reminded me of what it means to take someone else’s words, ideas or images and take them to an entirely different place and product by putting your own spin on things.

“The Power of Vulnerability” by Brene Brown: I find that the biggest obstacle to my own creativity is fear. Fear of failure, fear of risk and fear of letting down the people I care about and admire so much. This talk by Brene Brown breaks down exactly WHY it’s so important to be vulnerable and why it’s a necessary and normal part of the creative process. This is a must, must watch.

“How We Learned to Stop Worrying and Enjoy The Ride” by Jen and Omar of These are Things: I love how real, relatable and reassuring this talk is. It makes me feel connected to everyone and reminded me how everyone feels nervous and anxious sometimes. I loved seeing their journey plotted on a graph – it’s proof that every successful business has a long story behind (and before) their “overnight” success.

“The Best Decisions Rarely Make Sense on Paper” by Troy DeShano: This talk is funny, which is rare for conference talks, but it’s also helpful. Every now and then I need to be forcefully reminded that it’s worth taking risks and doing things that make you excited and curious. Not all of the best projects seem rational at first – sometimes the things you need the most are the ones that seem the craziest. This is a great video to watch when you’re struggling with your business or getting started – it’s a “we’re all in this together” and “let’s remind each other to take leaps of faith” moment.

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