Everyone loves an underdog, right? These TED talks are a testament to that. So many people have incredible stories, and TED allows those stories to surface. Here are some amazing stories about underdogs who achieved success.
Emmanuel Jal – “The Music of a War Child”
Emmanuel Jal is a touring hip-hop artist who had a uniquely horrific childhood. He was a child soldier in the Sudan who faced struggles that are hard to hear. We rarely have the opportunity to learn about the horrors some children experience overseas, but Jal brings those experiences to life for us. Music has been his therapy through the hardships he faced, and he has come a long way from where he stared.
Malcolm Gladwell – “The Unheard Story of David and Goliath”
David and Goliath is the quintessential underdog story, but you’ve never heard it like this. Malcolm Gladwell, author and powerful speaker, digs through this classic tale in a way that might change your perspective. Was David really the underdog in the fight? Gladwell mainly discusses the sling David used against Goliath and why we tell the story the way we do.
Jo Baker – “Every Underdog Needs a Pack”
Joanne Baker founded a charity called Righteous Pups Australia. The charity describes themselves as “a community of ordinary people who have come together with one purpose in mind.” They help those with disabilities to find a purpose in life. In this TED talk, Jo discusses her childhood experience with domestic abuse and how she overcame a variety of troubles in her life to find success and happiness.
Jordan Stephens – “Everyone Loves an Underdog”
In this talk, Jordan, a British writer and performer, discusses how achieving fame at a young age affected his approach to growing up. He learned (and failed to learn) many lessons growing up, but he is committed to growing and learning. Jordan has achieved a lot in his 24 years of life. Much more than many thought he would. He is a testament to what you can achieve with hard work and dedication.
Chantal Vallee – “From Underdog to Top Dog”
Chantal Vallee used her TED talk to speak about her time as head coach for the University of Windsor’s women’s basketball team in Canada. At the time, Windsor’s team had a horrible reputation. They only had 4 winning seasons in 50 years. Within 5 years, Vallee coached the team to success and they won a national championship. The university took a chance on Vallee, Vallee took a chance on the team and it paid off for everyone.
I hope these stories of underdogs help motivate you to keep pursuing your dreams. With hard work and the right attitude, anything can happen.