Category Archives: Motivation

You’re not supposed to be here

You’re not supposed to be here, but you are. This new Nike Basketball commercial featuring Lebron to kick off the 2016-2017 NBA season is really well done.  Dare I say, it even left me sentimental, and almost with a tear in my eye, as I reminisced over my own high school basketball career (career is a loose term) and a time I came out of nowhere to block a shot, pinning it against the glass in a summer league game.  The stakes weren’t quite as high, but this took me back there. Great commercial.

Make the most of every day. Life is a gift.  Be in the moment. Stay hungry. Stay humble. Keep working.  Believe.

Solid Jim Carrey Commencement Address

The range and brilliance of Jim Carrey is displayed in this commencement address at the Maharishi University of Management 2014 graduation.  I had never heard of the Maharishi University of Management (or, MUM, for short–duh), so I had to Google it. Wikipedia gave me some answers, but it’s too late to read up on it right now.  (If I find anything conflicting with my own personal beliefs, I’ll let you know.)  But from the tone of this commencement speech, I can garner nothing but positivity.

By the way, where is the Maharishi University of Management located? Iowa. Duh.

Michael Phelps watched ‘Hoosiers’ for motivation

Just heard an awesome story on the NBC Olympic coverage.  Michael Phelps alternated between watching Olympic coverage and the movie Hoosiers for motivation last night, prior to his record-extending 23rd Olympic medal, and 19th gold medal in the 4x100m freestyle relay at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro tonight.

Hoosiers has always been one of my favorite movies.  And growing up a Midwestern basketball player, in the heart of Illinois, with an entire family of Hoosiers and Indiana connections, it’s always been my favorite sports movie. Hands down.  I grew up as a kid with a framed Hoosiers movie poster on my wall. (My mom was a cheerleader for the 1975–76 Indiana Hoosiers basketball team, led by Bobby Knight, who went 32-0 and won the National Championship.)  My entire family went to IU (except for me).

Hoosiers has always been an inspirational movie for me. It goes without saying that it was pretty cool to hear that Phelps used it as motivation.  If you haven’t seen the classic from David Anspaugh and Angelo Pizzo, I highly recommend it.

Go Team USA.

Denzel Washington’s incredibly motivating commencement speech

I just came across this, literally, while copying the embed code from YouTube for my last post.  This is a great college commencement speech from Denzel Washington at Dillard University (had to Google it).

Great principles to live by.  In running a Google search to determine where this speech was given, I also came across  this great breakdown of the key takeaways of this speech on Huffington Post:

  1. Put God first: “Everything that I have is by the grace of God, understand that. It’s a gift. … I didn’t always stick with Him, but He stuck with me.”

  2. Fail big: “Don’t be afraid to fail big, to dream big, but remember, dreams without goals, are just dreams. And they ultimately fuel disappointment. … I try to give myself a goal every day, sometimes it’s just not to curse somebody out.”

  3. You’ll never see a U-Haul behind a hearse: “I don’t care how much money you make, you can’t take it with you. … It’s not how much you have, it’s what you do with it.”

  4. While you’re on your knees in the morning, say thank you: “Say thank you in advance for what is already yours. … True desire in the heart for anything good is God’s proof to you sent beforehand that it’s already yours. … When you get it, reach back, pull someone else up. Each one, teach one. Don’t just aspire to make a living, aspire to make a difference.”

Here’s the speech:

I’m the one – Les Brown

Les Brown can deliver a motivational speech.  This dramatized version on YouTube is…dramatized.  But that doesn’t dilute the message.  Attitude, and the things you put into your mind can change everything, period.  If you are a little down, feeling stuck, feeling complacent, feeling stagnant, feeling unmotivated, feeling beaten, listen to this:

If you are looking for the speech itself (and you don’t miss the drama — shout out to the Cars.com commercial featuring my friend, John Ruby, who I won some Westwood Rec Center Basketball League championships with in LA, no big deal), then here is the incredible speech, without the music and editing:

People who know me may be wondering why I keep posting all of this.  Am I trying to be a motivational speaker?  Am I trying to gain fame?  Am I losing it? I’m just being true to myself, the person I know I am, and the person I’m striving to be.  This blog is a great place to build a collection of all of these great things I use to motivate myself.  I’ve come a long way.  I couldn’t have done it by myself.  I still have a long way to go, in my opinion, and I probably will never be satisfied.  But as long as I can share in some success and help just one person in this world, I will be happy.

Al Pacino’s speech in ‘Any Given Sunday’ — Now, what are you going to do?

“Either we heal now, as a team, or we will die as individuals.”

Are all the motivational posts on my site getting too cliche for ya?  Oh well. I’m doing this for your own good.

Here’s another great inspirational/motivational football movie speech by Al Pacino in “Any Given Sunday.”  It’s amazing how motivational scenes in football movies seem to embody the struggle, pain and glory of American life.  I think I could watch a new good football movie at least once a year for the rest of my life and it wouldn’t get old.  I love this country.

At any rate, here is the speech:

Persistence

As a kid, my dad gave me a card with this quote.  It always stuck with me, literally and figuratively.  I keep the card in my wallet to this day.  (I just don’t carry a wallet anymore, thanks to this nice iPhone case I have.)  The point is, persistence pays off, where all else fails.

“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan Press On! has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”
― Calvin Coolidge

Watch this when you want to quit

You ever have a rough day?  Feel like you just can’t get it right?  Things aren’t going your way?  What’s the point?  Life is tough.  Not matter how hard things may get, you just can’t quit. This scene from “Facing the Giants,” (which is a movie I’ve honestly never seen), is something I came across on YouTube.  Sometimes, you need a little push to persevere.

Mark 8:36

Work hard. As Americans, it’s just what we do.  We are hard workers.  We are driven.  We are ambitious.  Capitalism and the freedoms we are afforded in this country reward us for this.  A lot of the world doesn’t like this.  That’s not our problem.  But as you are working hard and kicking ass (figuratively) in school, business, life, remember to have balance.  Never lose yourself.  Don’t compromise your soul.  At the end of the day, and at the end of your life, money isn’t that important.  It’s necessary, like air, sure.  But remember that your integrity is more important that your net worth.

36 For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?

Mark 8:36King James Version (KJV)

Inspiration through Rocky Balboa

By now, this speech from the 2006 installment of the Rocky film franchise, “Rocky Balboa,” has circulated the Internet and made it’s rounds as a solid motivational/inspirational clip.  This version of the scene, posted on YouTube, has 1.4 million views alone.  But I figured I’d post it as well.  I seem to watch this speech, at minimum, once every 6 months to check myself.  It’s been watched in some dark times.  It’s been watched in some lighter times.  But it has definitely cemented it’s place in the foundation of motivational/inspirational material I use on a frequent basis.

Rocky’s motivational speeches could be called simple, but there is no way to argue with the wisdom and important messages they deliver to us as human’s, working to do our best to succeed at this thing called life.