The Five Best Motivational Talks: Helping You Add Inspiration To Your Life

This past summer I learned the importance of finding daily inspiration on both the days when you need it and on the days when you don't. Especially while off at school, I have found it vital to find inspiration when those I love the most aren't nearby to offer encouragement themselves. While “finding inspiration for your life” may sound daunting, I have found that the simplest method to starting each day off right is to listen to a talk that inspires you, a talk that you want to embody, and that describes the life you hope to live. Here are my top five talks that I have learned to incorporate into my daily life, and maybe you will find one that resonates with you and continues to inspire you for years to come.


5. My Philosophy For a Happy Life: Sam Berns

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A 17-year-old born with Progeria, a disease causing him to only weigh 50 pounds well past puberty, describes his three-step process of living the happiest life possible. Sam describes how “nothing was going to stop [him]” from living his dreams of playing snare drum in the marching band, despite the fact that a snare drum typically weighs 40 pounds, 80% of his full weight. His triumphant story of accomplishing this goal extends into the mentality he utilizes in his daily life. While to the outside eye, Progeria may rule Sam's life, he points out that he, like anyone else, has the ability to find happiness if happiness is his end result. Not only does Sam’s story show us that he overcame adversity in order to find happiness, it shows us that you don’t need adversity in order to find happiness. Finding happiness may not be as easy as one-two-three, but Sam does share three tips that anyone, regardless of their situation, can implement into their lives in the hopes of living a more happy lifestyle overall:

1. ”Be OK with what you ultimately can't do, because there is so much you CAN do”

2. ”Surround yourself with people you want to be around”

3. ”Keep moving forward”  

4. Overcoming Hopelessness: Nick Vujicic

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Nick Vujicic, born without arms and legs, proves that being limbless does not stop you from being limitless. Nick acknowledges his disadvantage in life, but never uses it as a crutch. Instead, he decides to serve as an inspiration for others. Nick knows he must follow this path because “when you don't get a miracle, you can still be a miracle for someone else.” He realizes that his purpose on earth is far bigger than himself and he makes it his mission to help others find inspiration even when they feel there is none. Nick teaches us that if you want to find hope in your life, you must learn to “[change] your obstacles into opportunities.” We all face adversity, some more than others, but we are all only able to find hope if we are willing to face that adversity head on. 

3. The Rocky Story: Tony Robbins

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We all know Rocky as a story we love, but what few of us know is the struggle of Sylvester Stallone before his glory days. Tony Robbins recounts Stallone’s story as he had once shared it with him. A story of poverty, failure, and resilience not only makes us admire Stallone’s perseverance and eventual triumph, but also helps us realize our own potential if we fully commit to our goals. Two key pieces of advice Stallone shares inspire us to be resilient and to know our end goals:

1.  “There’s always a way if you’re committed, just gotta keep changing your approach”

2.  “I knew my outcome, so I decided to take massive action”

No matter how dire your circumstances, you will be able to achieve great things if you never stop working towards your desired, known outcome. The success of Rocky is astounding, but it is even more inspiring when we look at Stallone's rocky journey. So don't think of your obstacles as making your dreams impossible; look at them as making your future success even more inspiring and impressive.

2. Welcome To The Grind: Jerry Dobson

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I never expected to fall in love with an inspirational talk intended for athletes, seeing as I’ve never been much of a "sportster" myself. That is until I discovered that we can all find the grind in life, well beyond the confines of sports. The grind certainly isn't easy, but anything worth doing is never easy. So what does the grind mean to coach Jerry Dobson? My four favorite quotes from the talk below should shed some insight:

1.  “For what is each day but a series of conflicts between the right way and the easy way”

2.  “When you decide to turn your back on what’s comfortable and what’s safe and what someone calls common sense, well that’s day one”

3.  “Your fears, your doubts, your insecurities all lined up like a firing squad ready to shoot you out of the sky… while they are not easily defeated, they are far from invincible”

4.  “Drown out the sound of uncertainty with your own heartbeat, burn away your self-doubt with the fire beneath you”

1. Stay Hungry: Tony Robbins

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The father of all inspirational speakers, Tony Robbins once again proves to be the man I can always turn to when I feel a lack of inspiration in my own life. Tony describes the question that piqued his curiosity for years: “What makes the difference in the quality of people’s lives?” After years of observation, he realized that it all boiled down to one factor: hunger. Hunger is that drive that runs so deep that it takes over your being. I've realized that in order to have a purpose, I need to stay hungry: hungry for knowledge, hungry for growth, hungry for adventure, and hungry for happiness. Without this burning drive within us, we will never reach our full potential. But we are not born with this hunger, we each have to choose to find it every single day. 

My biggest piece of advice to anyone, regardless of whether it is their happiest or gloomiest of days, is to take the time to find inspiration from others. I hope you all find this inspiration from those you choose to surround yourselves with, but if that is not yet the case then I highly suggest these talks as a starting place. Find your favorite, plug in your headphones, and get inspired.