What could we possibly achieve by listening to motivational speeches? Isn’t that a waste of time? It’s not. A great motivational speech can be a trigger to action. It inspires you to do something. Powerful speeches make you realize you’re not just a useless individual in this world. Everyone matters. You matter, too.
Have you been feeling that inner drive to seek a higher purpose for a long time? If so, you need to take action. First, you need a trigger that will get you to that action. Try to think of an influential person. Let’s take an example: Jim Morrison. He was one of the most charismatic individuals of his time.
“Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free.” That’s only one of the many pieces of wisdom he gave to humanity. These are not only words. They shrink deep inside you. They make you think. They make you act.
Jim Morrison said that during an interview. Back then, motivational speeches were not a big thing. Now, great individuals are trying to make a difference through that specific method. Are you ready to start exploring the best motivational speeches that will make you act?
Here’s a list of 5 of the best motivational speeches of all time:
1. Steve Jobs’ 2005 Stanford Commencement Address
This is one of the most emotional and inspiring speeches you’ll ever listen to. Although Jobs presented it way before TED talks became popular, you’ll notice it has a similar flow to an inspiring TED talk. It is relatively short, it has a theme, and it proves a point through a story.
Through this speech, Jobs tells us how we can find triumph through struggle. Jobs gave this speech one year after he was diagnosed with cancer. He had surgery and he was fine at that point. That’s the most important part of this speech: understanding our time here is limited. What are we going to do with it? That’s what matters.
2. Al Pacino’s Inch by Inch
Have you seen the movie Any Given Sunday? It’s a great one. The moment when Al Pacino gives one of the greatest speeches seen on the big screen is priceless. It’s not just a speech about football. It’s about winning. It’s about overcoming obstacles. It’s about becoming stronger. It’s about life in general!
“… In either game life or football the margin for error is so small. I mean one-half step too late or too early you don’t quite make it. One-half second too slow or too fast and you don’t quite catch it. The inches we need are everywhere around us. They are in every break of the game, every minute, every second.” That’s only a part of this great speech. Funny enough, it starts with “I don’t know what to say, really.”
3. J.K. Rowling’s Harvard Commencement Speech
This one will make you laugh at first. J.K Rowling has a rare talent to make the listeners laugh and think at the same time. At one point, the writer gets serious and gives out the main point of this speech: sharing things she wishes she had known at her own graduation, and the important lessons she has learned between that day and the day of the speech.
There’s one aspect of this speech that makes it different from most others on our list: the talk about poverty. The writer tells the truth about it. There’s no romanticizing of poverty. As she says, only fools do that. This situation entails fear, stress, and depression… “it means a thousand petty humiliations and hardships.” However, what she feared most for herself when she was young wasn’t poverty. It was a failure.
4. Bill Gates’ Harvard Commencement Address 2007
“I’ve been waiting more than 30 years to say this: ‘Dad, I always told you I’d come back and get my degree.’” That’s one of the funniest parts of this speech. Gates didn’t graduate. He is Harvard’s most successful dropout. He makes a big point, though: the fact that he dropped out doesn’t make academic life less of an important experience. Gates used to sit in on classes he hadn’t even signed up for.
As he says in his speech, one of his most precious memories of Harvard is being in the midst of so much energy and intelligence. Education is important, and it is a privilege. However, getting to know the wider world is also important, even though it’s shocking for the most part.
5. Jim Carrey’s Commencement Address at the 2014 MUM Graduation
You would expect a funny speech from one of the funniest men on Earth, wouldn’t you? Well, here is a surprise: Jim Carrey is deep. This speech is enlightening, to say the least. The main message is to choose love over fear.
And yes, the speech is funny. It’s Jim Carrey, after all. However, it’s also very, very serious. “I am here to plant a seed that will inspire you to move forward in life with enthusiastic hearts and a clear sense of wholeness.”
Even if you take the safe route through, life, you might fail. If you follow your dreams, you might fail, too. But, you might achieve them – and that’s what makes the difference. In the speech, Jim shares an example: his father. He could have been a great comedian, but he made a safe choice: accounting. When Kim was 12 years old, his father lost that job that was supposed to be safe. That was the point when the actor learned the most important lesson in life: “… You can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.”
If you’re in the middle of a crossroad and you’re wondering what road to choose, listen to this speech. It inspires you to choose the right thing. It inspires you to choose love over fear.
How do you pick yourself up from bad moments in the day? Share your thoughts in the comments.
How to Stay Motivated to Achieve Your Goals
Time is the raw material of our lives. How we choose to spend it, shapes our life accordingly. So having the motivation to spend it on achieving goals is crucial to creating a life we want.
What is Motivation?
The Oxford dictionary defines motivation as the desire or willingness to do something – our drive to take action.
Scientifically, motivation has its roots in the dopamine pathways of our brains. When we do something that feels good, that’s dopamine kicking in. Our actions are driven by the desire for that reward (the good feeling).
Author Steven Pressfield describes motivation more practically. He says we hit a point where the pain of not doing something becomes greater than the pain of doing it. He sees motivation as crossing the threshold where it’s easier to take action than it is to be idle. Like choosing to feel awkward while making sales calls over feeling disappointed about a diminishing bank account.
However you choose to think about it, we all want to harness motivation to achieve our goals.
How to Get Motivated
James Clear, the author of Atomic Habits, says that most people misunderstand motivation. They think that motivation is what gets us to take action. In reality, motivation is often the result of action, not the cause of it. Once we start a task, it’s easier to continue making progress. Like Isaac Newton’s first law: objects in motion stay in motion.
This means most of the resistance when working on your goals comes right before we start. Since motivation naturally occurs after we start, we need to focus on making starting easier.
4 Ways to Make Starting Easier
1. Schedule it
One reason people can’t get started on things is that they haven’t planned when to do it.
When things aren’t scheduled it’s easier for them to fall by the wayside. You’ll end up hoping motivation falls in your lap or hoping that you’ll muster enough willpower to get it done.
An article in the Guardian said, “If you waste resources trying to decide when or where to work, you’ll impede your capacity to do the work.”
2. Measure something
It’s easy to feel uninspired when you don’t know if you’re making progress or what you’re even working towards. That’s why you need to make your success measurable in some way. Starting is easy when you know exactly how much closer your current actions will bring you to achieving your goal.
3. Extrinsic motivation
This type of motivation is from external factors. It can be either positive or negative. Positive motivation consists of incentives like money, prizes, and grades. Negative motivation consists of deterrents like being fired, having a fight, or being fined. Extrinsic motivation doesn’t work effectively long-term, but it can work well in the short term to get you started on something.
4. Make it public
Keep yourself accountable by telling friends and family your goals, or even sharing them on social media. This makes it easier to start something because you’re pressured to not let others down.
How to Stay Motivated Long Term
When we say we want to feel motivated to do something, we don’t want to be pushed or guilted into doing a task. We want to be so attracted and drawn to the idea that we can’t resist not taking action. That’s why it’s important to build a foundation that will set you up for consistency.
These are 5 techniques that will help you do just that:
1. Stay in your goldilocks zone
The goldilocks zone is when a task is the perfect level of difficulty—not too hard and not too easy. In this zone, we reach peak motivation and focus.
For example, let’s say you’re playing a serious tennis match against a 4-year-old. On this level of difficulty, you’ll quickly become bored and not want to play. Now let’s say you’re playing a serious tennis match against Serena Williams. On this level of difficulty, you’ll quickly become demotivated because the match is too challenging.
The Goldilocks zone is in the middle of that spectrum. You want to face someone with equal skill as you. That way you have a chance to win, but you have to focus and try for it. Adjusting your workload and goals over time to stay within your Goldilocks zone keeps you engaged and motivated long-term.
2. Pursue intrinsically motivated goals
Being intrinsically motivated to achieve a goal is when you want to achieve it for what it is. There are no external factors like a reward or the risk of being fired. The drive behind your actions is coming from within.
For most intrinsic goals we pursue them because they will enrich our lives or bring us closer to fulfillment. That makes these goals extremely sustainable long-term because they directly affect our quality of life and the things we care about.
3. Use “chunking”
Chunking is the technique of breaking down a goal into smaller short-term targets. By doing this you achieve multiple successes in your pursuit of the main goal. This triggers the brain’s reward system and drives you to keep going.
Traditionally, you may set a goal that you expect to achieve in one year. That’s a long time to commit without seeing any results along the way. By chunking your goals into monthly or quarterly targets, you get the consistent positive reinforcement you need to stay motivated long-term.
For example, instead of trying to lose 50 pounds in one year, try to lose 4 pounds every month for 12 months.
4. Be flexible
We’re all victims of circumstance. Things happen along our journey that we can either adjust to or quit because of. That’s why it’s important to have leeway and flexibility when you’re pursuing a goal. If you expect everything to go perfectly, the inevitable failure can make you disengaged and desireless. When you plan for things to go wrong, you make sure you can keep up for the long haul.
5. Pursue your goals in a sustainable fashion
Don’t lose hope when you’re not an overnight success. Overnight successes are the 1%—for the most part, they don’t exist. What we see as an “overnight success” is actually countless hours of work behind the scenes finally hitting a tipping point. Pursuing goals is a story of patience, persistence, and unseen effort.
Don’t compare yourself to others. Comparison is a recipe for a drop in self-confidence and satisfaction. It also cultivates a mindset where you think you haven’t done enough. As a result, you may raise your expectations and put more pressure on yourself.
This is pointless because things worth achieving take time. So we obviously won’t compare to the things around us when starting.
Mastering motivation is a superpower. With that ability at your fingertips, you can accomplish your goals and shape a life you want to live in.
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