Inspiring resources to help you take a first step


Created in 2008, Creative Mornings celebrates a city’s creative talent by gathering for coffee, breakfast and a short talk one Friday a month in 130 cities around the globe. These get-togethers are free and open to anyone. Can’t attend? Access the extensive archives of themed talks via streaming media or podcast.

For inspiration, check out Aisha Fukushima’s talk from Creative Mornings Oakland about ”Love Work,” or as she describes it: “work that gives you purpose,” and pair that with Casey Gerald’s “Purpose is the New Bottom Line” from Creative Mornings New York. The story about how Creative Mornings was born will make you laugh and teach you something about designing experiences, whether you’re organizing a business meeting or a child’s playdate.


You know TED, and if you don’t, you’ve probably at least heard of “him.” But did you know that TED talks are available even if you don’t pay the thousands of dollars to attend one of the conferences?

Launched as a forum to share ideas on tech, education, and design (the T, E, and D in “TED”), the conference is now regarded as the place where life and ideas cross-pollinate. Want to do something that scares you? Check out Cindy Whitehead’s TedxYouth talk about living boldly and without limitations. She should know: she skateboarded down a closed 405 freeway in Los Angeles.

Need a push to do something? Google engineer Matt Hutts may convince you to try that thing you have always wanted to do, for 30 days. Feeling stuck? Then, “Eat, Pray, Love” author Elizabeth Gilbert talks about how success can be as disorienting as failure and how to push past it and keep going.


Have you ever had an idea but no clue what to do next? Enter 99U by Behance. This Webby-award-winning site doesn’t want to give you more ideas, but help you make good on the ones you’ve got. Its mission is to help you get through the process of acting, experimenting, failing, adapting and learning on a daily basis to help transform your ideas from thought to reality.

The site offers up a large archive of videos that addresses subjects from career development to iteration to well-being and includes a workbook with daily insights on productivity and creativity. 99U even offers an award, The Alva, to serial inventors who not only have ideas, but who can also get them off the ground. Then, that person offers their insights at the group’s annual conference.


There’s a saying that everyone is fighting a battle that you cannot see. Humans of New York (HONY) exposes those struggles and you’ll meet people like you, people who are having a harder time, and those who know how to persevere through adversity great and small.

You can read about a wife who’s spent 34 years making her husband more presentable; a little boy who wanted to (and did) interview the head of NASA; a Turkish woman who is looking to resettle in America; and a caregiver. These are just some of the thousands of tales about the residents of New York that Brandon Stanton tells on his blog, followed by millions of people.


Started by MIT Futures of Entertainment Fellow Maria Popova, “Brain Pickings” is her way of helping to cultivate a richer pool of resources for the benefit of humanity. Popova writes that “in order for us to truly create and contribute to the world, we have to be able to connect countless dots, to cross-pollinate ideas from a wealth of disciplines, to combine and recombine these pieces and build new ideas.”

Besides reading lists of the best children’s, science, and art books, Popova looks at pop-culture figures and their contributions to our views. (See this one on Bruce Lee, self-actualization, and the difference between pride and self-esteem.) And if you’re unsure about how differing viewpoints may affect you, check out Popova’s seven lessons she learned during her seven years of running the site.