As a journalist – and, furthermore, as a journalist who would rather report on DIY trends and celebrity outfits rather than hard-hitting headlines – I’m fascinated by BuzzFeed. As a 20-something who needs something to do while Netflixing, I’m drawn in by the quizzes, click-bait titles and endless posts on relevant topics…but on a larger level, I just love what the site offers: real news stories (Only one of my journalism students says she keeps up with what’s happening in the world regularly, and she does this through BuzzFeed.)…entertainment galore (Anyone from anywhere at any age can find something they’ll enjoy here!)…and the added bonuses (Through movie quizzes, I’m introduced to new things to add to my must-watch list. Through lists of products, I come up with amazing Christmas gift ideas. And through posts like the following, I’m inspired…:)
Who: Jim Carrey
What: Commencement speech at Maharishi University of Management
Why this speech was so inspirational: “And when I say, ‘Life doesn’t happen to you, it happens for you’, I really don’t know if that’s true. I’m just making a conscious choice to perceive challenges as something beneficial so that I can deal with them in the most productive way.”
How to apply this to life: The funny man is right; we don’t know the meaning of life or the purpose of living, but we’re in control of our thoughts and actions and lives, so actively view things positively, always strive to overcome, and remember that everyone is fighting a battle, & how we handle these challenges speaks volumes.
Who: David Foster Wallace
Why this speech was so inspirational: A speech, book and YouTube video help listeners/readers/viewers understand that the ability of an old, wise fish to be aware of the water in which he swims is a metaphor for the conscious, self-aware, mindful existence Wallace is trying to encourage.
How to apply this to life: I’ve been obsessed with this for years, after stumbling upon the video, because awareness is key. Even if you don’t consider yourself “mindful”, and even if you don’t have a husband who made you read Nietzsche, you should always be thinking about who you are, where you are, what you should be doing, how you are doing and so on. These random check-ins will change your life (and I have a pretty little presentation I just made for my students on this, if you want me to send you a copy:).
Who: Tavi Gevinson
What: TED Talk – “A Teen Just Trying to Figure It Out”
Why this talk was so inspirational: The talk is about what it means to be a feminist, a teenage girl, and the complex struggle of being both at the same time.
How to apply this to life: Again, even if you’re not a feminist or a teen or a female OR a Fleetwood Mac fan…Go research the chick, rent a hippie van, try on some fringe, and just go with it for a bit ;p
Who: Marina Abramović
What: TED Talk – “An Art Made of Trust, Vulnerability and Connection”
Why this talk was so inspirational: This artist speaks a lot about her work and the public’s perception of her after experiencing it. This is just one stand-out quote that everyone needs to hear: “It’s okay that we’re not perfect. It’s okay that we all have problems. It’s okay to cry, to show emotions”.
How to apply this to life: Cry! Love yourself! Fully, 100 percent accept that no one is perfect. How boring would it be if we were all picture-perfect little robots?! It’s good to want a healthy dose of perfection and goodness, but be gentle with yourself, okay?
What: The Bell Jar
Why this book was so inspirational: We know this read is a bit dark, but…“I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart; I am, I am, I am.”
How to apply this to life: As mentioned, be you. Check in on you. Love you. Listen to you. Breathe. Smile. BE. LIVE.
What: “The Real You”
Why this quote was so inspirational: He was a philosopher for a reason, with his inspiration to stop feeling sorry for yourself and make some kind of change.
How to apply this to life: …Stop feeling sorry for yourself and make some kind of change!
What: a low-key rant on Conan
Why this rant was so inspirational: If you really listen to it, it should give you a different perspective on a few things, including your desire to whine about long flights.
How to apply this to life: Life. Is. Amazing. Yes, bad things happen. Sure, there will be days when everything goes wrong. And – unfortunately – there will be moments when you’d rather sit in traffic for eternity rather than deal with loss, sadness and pain. It’s all about balance and perspective, though. Will the sun still come out tomorrow? Do you still have all your memories and talents and goals? Are you blooming where you are planted?