Motivation is an important part of life because it allows you to accomplish goals that you normally wouldn’t be able to accomplish. It inspires you to push yourself when you feel like quitting and just as importantly, it helps keep you from succumbing to laziness and procrastination. In order to become motivated, it’s crucial that you listen to inspirational speeches by great people who have already achieved their goals. Here are the top 10 motivational speeches everyone should listen to at least once in their lifetime.
Considered to be one of the best motivational speeches of all time, this is the motivational speech Will Smith delivered in the 2006 film, Pursuit of Happyness.
When the clip starts, Smith’s son is seen playing with a basketball and shouts, I’m going pro!
Upon hearing this, Smith begins to tell his son to tone down his expectations of becoming an amazing basketball player just like him, because Smith’s only mediocre.
His son, visibly displeased by this comment, notices that Smith did, too.
You should never let somebody tell you that you can’t do something, says Smith, not even me.
you have to make your dreams happen, take a risk and try your best to do so. It’s the only way to see your vision become a reality.
Will and Jaden Smith aren’t only in this film, but also father and son, so it’s not too difficult to understand their strong familial bond in this particular scene.
It’s a short speech but, in our opinion, it’s one of the best speeches ever.
Steven Jobs, a figure instrumental in the success of the major tech company Apple, is up next on our list of the best motivational speeches of all time.
In his 2005 Stanford commencement speech, the former Apple CEO goes into detail about his own journey as an entrepreneur, including some of the challenges he’s faced along the way and how he overcame them.
At this popular motivational speech, Jobs talks about how he himself was a college dropout and that this was one of the most influential moments of his life.
In response to his interviewer’s question about why he decided to drop out of college, he indicated that he enrolled in courses that he cared about more, rather than taking courses he found uninteresting.
When he first left the University, he started taking classes to learn about calligraphy. In time, he came to value handwriting for its precision.
To many, this might seem an unusual choice, but he draws on the experience he gained from that class in relation to the font choices he has made for Apple computers.
If Jobs had never taken that calligraphy class, he might not have cared so much about seemingly minor details, like fonts, but Apple was the first company to add different typefaces to their operating systems.
It is impossible to connect the dots by looking forward in the future; they only align by looking back at the past. As such, you need to keep moving forward in hope that your paths may cross at some point.
The takeaway message from this well-known motivational speech is that we’re always growing, always changing and gaining new knowledge. What we choose to do with that information defines us more than anything else.
As Jobs says, don’t waste your time living somebody else’s life.
We take time to remember an inspirational motivational speech given by Sheryl Sandberg, American entrepreneur, tech executive, author, and current COO of Facebook, at the Harvard Business School in 2012.
Sandberg also points out a truth we should all keep in mind–an idea that’s applicable to all entrepreneurs.
motivation derives from working on things that are close to our heart.
Starting a business of one’s own is indeed what drives success, because people working with subjects that hold their interest are more likely to do well.
So Sandberg said, in her book, it’s so important that we continue to work, because that’s the most important thing.
In conclusion, this is one of the best motivational speeches for students that we’ve come across.
Next up on our list is a speech from the football drama, Any Given Sunday, which starred Al Pacino.
There are not many speeches that make you feel invigorated, but this famous one certainly will – perfect for watching before you tackle a long day.
A motivational speech focuses on the importance of inches, in spite of how small we may feel like they are.
His team can even win when it is behind in the score and no matter how big the deficit may be, they just need to win by a hair.
When he boasts about adding up all those inches, it becomes clear how he goes about deciding between success and failure.
The advice given here is good advice for life, too. Typically, it’s those who go the extra mile who tend to find success more often than not.
Sometimes, you might not realize it right away, but Pacino was right; victory really is made up of lots of small parts.
Lectures like this one often come at times when they are most needed.
Schwarzenegger, the Austrian-American actor, entrepreneur, politician, and former Mr. Olympia, is the next most famous motivational speech on our list for entrepreneurs.
He kicks off his motivational speech with a thought-provoking statement.
work your backside off.
Schwarzenegger points out how crucial goal-setting was to his success in a variety of areas.
In other words, of those people, only one-quarter are really satisfied with what they do for a living.
Schwarzenegger advocates the idea that we should always be working towards our goals and that it is our responsibility to utilize every hour of our day in doing so.
Think about if you spent just an hour each day on your business. Wouldn’t you be so much further along by now?
This may be the most important message from this speech. What we all want to get behind is making the most of our limited time on earth. This is why we believe this is one of the best motivational speeches of all time.
In other words, Rocky Balboa, played by Sylvester Stallone, is a famous protagonist famous for his courage, hard work, and determination.
In Rocky Balboa, the sixth film in the Rocky franchise, Stallone delivers one of the most brutally effective motivational speeches in cinematic history.
As if the sun isn’t shining on a part of the world, Stallone tells the graduates, The world isn’t all sunshine and rainbows.
Continuing to detail his views on work and drive, he says, It’s not about how hard you hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.
As an entrepreneur, this motivational speech really strikes a chord with me. There will be struggles along the way to success, but as Stallone says, it’s all about how much you can take and keep moving forward, that’s how winning is done.
Keep this in mind when things are getting tough – winners never give up!
It’s one of the most iconic motivational speeches out there, often appearing in motivational speeches mashups on YouTube or in inspirational songs on Spotify.
We’ll listen to another great motivational speech. This time, Matthew McConaughey’s commencement speech to the University of Houston.
The Oscar-winning actor delivers many valuable points during his speech, but the one that stuck out for me was when he discussed how he approaches joy in his life as a constant goal.
McConaughey added: Joy is always a work in progress. It’s always being developed.
Speaking of which, he talked about the measures of success he once sought, like how many academy awards he won, or how much money his films made.
Nevertheless, it was only when he focussed on the complete process of creating a film, and reveled in all the stages of production, that he had a substantial measure of success in the business.
It turns out, when he took the time to slow down and enjoy his craft, he realized that things naturally started to come together.
the power to define your own success is at your fingertips.
Pursue what you want and enjoy the process. Don’t just celebrate when things are going well; allow yourself to enjoy your mistakes and failures too.
Matthew McConaughey gave one of the best motivational speeches in recent years.
Moving on, we have one of the most infamous TED talks ever by Richard St. John – one of the shortest motivational speeches you will ever see but it packs a punch.
This talk is a shortened version of seven years of research which also includes data from more than five hundred interviews with successful professionals.
Among the most notable points, St. John points out that in order to succeed, you must sink your teeth into something and hone your skill until you are good at it.
But, the most persuasive part of St. John’s speech for us was when he talked about passion.
He asserted, if you do something you love, then money will come later.
Here’s an important thing to keep in mind, whether you’re building a business or are part of a brand that you believe in – to truly find success, make a commitment to it and become passionate about the cause.
It’s hard to find success if you don’t love what you do.
Known for his inspirational speeches, Eric Thomas does an excellent job in this moving, energetic speech of persuading us that even in our worst moments, we can conquer adversity.
Thomas constantly repeats this line throughout the speech: I can do this. I will get through this. I have to get through this.
Cleverly, he utilizes family and friends as an inspiration for this motivating speech.
To challenge participants, he asks us to take time to identify three people we love most, and also encourages us to examine our own motives and desires.
We have to consider the other person’s feelings every day.
You will have some days when you wish you had a ‘snooze button’ and that you could go back to sleep. But think about those days the next time you are struggling to get out of bed.
Lately, instead of taking the easy way out and becoming lazy and apathetic, we need to think about our loved ones and consider what they would think if we spent our entire lives procrastinating.
Trust me, there is nothing wrong with pampering yourself. However, the peace of mind you gain knowing that you’ve made your loved ones proud, is ten times better. This is one of the main messages from this motivational speech.
And that’s why this is one of the best motivational speeches of all time. It takes the onus away from working for yourself and instead focuses on putting in the work for people you couldn’t bear to let down.
Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk is an inspiration to countless people around the world. Known for his forward-thinking approach and futuristic innovations, Musk inspires us to imagine what is possible if we put our minds to it.
Immediately in the USC Commencement speech, Elon breaks away from the norms of public speaking. He was advised to limit himself to three things, but he went to four.
Elon tells his listeners that they need to work hard to the same extent that they want to achieve success. If you want to start a company, you need to work super hard.
His speech here is compelling because it’s authentic. He doesn’t boast about his luck or offer false reassurances. Musk reminds us that greatness and amazing things result from lots of hard work.
Acknowledging the power of great people, Elon is quoted as saying that a company is nothing but a group of people who are willing to put in the work, and so if you want a great company, you need a great team.
His third point is to focus on signal over noise and pay attention to details that make the product better instead of simply following what other companies are doing.
The final piece of advice from Elon’s speech? “Take risks.” Jump into new opportunities and pursue different things.