REM Runner’s Top Five Empowering TED Talks

Screen shot 2013-11-27 at 12.38.06 PMI dream of giving a TED Talk someday. TED conferences brings together fascinating thinkers and doers to give inspiring talks – “ideas worth spreading”.  In working toward my dream, I’ve watched many many TED Talks.  Here are five empowering TED Talks that may change your thinking on illness and disability. 

#1.  Phil Hansen – Embrace the shake

“We need to first be limited in order to become limitless.” 

#2. Sue Austin – Deep sea diving… in a wheelchair

“They are seeing the value of difference, the joy it brings when instead of focusing on loss or limitations, we seek and discover the power and joy of seeing the world from a powerful different perspective.”

#3. Aimee Mullins – My 12 pairs of legs 

“People who society once considered to be disabled can now become the architects of their own identities.”

“If we want to discover the full potential of our humanity, we need to celebrate those heartbreaking strengths and glorious disabilities that we all have.”

#4. Ruby Wax: What’s so funny about mental illness?

“How come when people have mental damage, it’s always an active imagination? How come every other organ in the body can get sick and you get sympathy except the brain?”

#5. Caroline Casey – Looking past limits

“Being absolutely true to yourself is freedom.”


Jill Bolte Taylor – My stroke of insight

Brené Brown: The power of vulnerability

Ken Robinson: How schools kill creativity

Evelyn Glennie: How to truly listen

Andrew Solomon: Love, No Matter What

What are your favorite TED Talks? Please share in the comments below!


  1. Katie Callison on November 27, 2013 at 6:16 pm

    The first quote already hit me in the gut (in a good way). Thanks for sharing!

    • julie on November 27, 2013 at 8:18 pm

      Thanks Katie! I think you’ll enjoy these a lot.

  2. Gail Pean on November 28, 2013 at 3:39 pm

    Malcom Gladwell’s latest book David and Goliath explores the idea of disabilities giving one an advantage and courage if they do not break you. Read it and discuss it with friends. Happy Thanksgiving Julie and Alex! Follow your dreams and enjoy LA .

    • julie on December 1, 2013 at 8:13 pm

      Oh, that sounds like a fantastic book! Thanks for the recommendation, Gail! <3

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