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When it comes to “motivational speaking”, I’m bit of a skeptic. So, imagine my surprise when I discovered that regularly watching motivational videos had a significant impact on my life.

There’s nothing scientific about this experiment. It’s the definition of anecdotal. It’s my own singular experience, placed within the context of an extremely busy lifestyle. I can’t guarantee that the impact of the videos that I describe to you below will have the same effect on your life. I can only testify to how my own life has changed after adopting this one daily habit.

Watching 3 Motivational Videos a Day

Here’s how the “experiment” was planned.

Every morning, on my drive into work, I would launch random motivational video #1 and listen to it during my forty-minute drive. The motivational videos 10 Motivational TED Talks To Help You Chip Away At Your Mental Blocks 10 Motivational TED Talks To Help You Chip Away At Your Mental Blocks The valuable lesson from the lives of achievers is that they chip away at their mental blocks more consistently than others. Ten TED Talks underscore one simple thing – it’s all in the mind. Read More were typically 5 to 7 minutes each.

Next, during lunchtime, I would slip on some headphones and listen to another random 5-minute motivational video #2.

Finally, on my drive back home at the end of the day, I would randomly select 5-minute motivational video #3.

At the beginning, I found the schedule difficult to keep. I’m normally a very busy and driven person as it is, so remembering to listen or watch another video 8 Inspirational Videos That Will Instantly Pump Up Your Motivation 8 Inspirational Videos That Will Instantly Pump Up Your Motivation How do you feel about motivational videos? You may think that they’re nothing more than glorified, digital pep rallies where overly optimistic people preach empty words of success, victory, and ultimately happiness. And to some... Read More wasn’t always easy. However, within just the first few days, I started noticing some very interesting, almost unnerving, changes in myself.

How Motivational Videos Changed Me

The thing that I never would have expected about this experience was not the fact that the motivational videos Get Things Done: 10 Inspiring Videos To Boost Your Productivity Get Things Done: 10 Inspiring Videos To Boost Your Productivity Instead of you going through each video channel on YouTube, we thought we'd ease the burden and recommend a few choice clips that will tell you how to boost your productivity. Read More seemed to give me more energy and more drive each day — that’s predictable. What wasn’t predictable was that doing this experiment would change the entire focus of my life.

As I paid attention to each of the speakers in these videos, I started looking around at my life a little more — at the things I took for granted; at the habits I’d formed for comfort rather than my dreams; and at the choices I had made for all the wrong reasons.

It was during a long hike one day (with a motivational video playing in my headset) when the realization finally hit me.

motivation1

Up until that day, I’d been making choices based on what everyone else may think of me. I chose engineering rather than writing, because my family convinced me that focusing on money first would allow me to focus on my dreams later. I chose a long term goal of management at my job, rather than a long term goal that would make me truly happy.

Then the next questions to ponder came along, during these sessions of listening to motivational videos:

What does truly make me happy?

What do I want to be remembered for?

This is when I sat down at the top of a mountain and listed off the things that I want to be remembered for:

What things do you want to be remembered for? If you knew you weren’t going to be here tomorrow, would you be making choices and going to a job you hate just because you’re afraid of what might happen later if you pursue your dreams today?

motivation2

I’d been working my entire life — working more hours a day than most people — simply to survive; to get out of debt, to keep my head above mounting medical bills, to give my family a better life, and to hopefully leave something to my children when I’m gone.

But, how is this greatness?

There is one motivational quote Daily Motivator: Displays a Positive Motivational Quote When You Start Firefox Daily Motivator: Displays a Positive Motivational Quote When You Start Firefox Read More from Les Brown that struck me like a ton of bricks — it’s something that I’ll never forget:

“The graveyard is the richest place on earth, because it is here that you will find all the hopes and dreams that were never fulfilled, the books that were never written, the songs that were never sung, the inventions that were never shared, the cures that were never discovered, all because someone was too afraid to take that first step, keep with the problem, or determined to carry out their dream.”

So, that was the moment of realization. But did it materialize into anything real? You bet it did.

Making Changes

Believe it or not, it was only on Week Two of this experiment that I started noticing actual, physical differences in my life. I’m not sure if it was the higher energy level that the videos gave me every morning, but for some strange reason, I had dropped 10 pounds in the first two weeks of this experiment.

motivation3

My first thought when I saw that was, “Well, that’s weird.”  I hadn’t even increased my weekly workouts at all. In fact, I hadn’t worked out since the experiment started.

Somewhere in that second week, once I had laid out those key life dreams, I sat down and took a closer look at my to-do list and my long-term plans. My previous list had things like starting 4-5 businesses that I figured would make lots of money. My new list looked entirely different — and instead of starting off focusing on money, I focused on whether or not I imagined myself being happy in 10-20 years if these new dreams were successful.

motivation4

What I realized was rather shocking — I ended up deleting most of my past so-called “dreams”. Why was I so focused on making more money, after learning throughout my life that earning more money was never enough — that I always needed more?

Instead of surviving, my new focus — and my new daily goals and to-do lists — would be focused not on surviving, but on thriving; being happy today, because we’re not guaranteed to have tomorrow. No one is guaranteed tomorrow. Today is all you really have — right now, this moment, is what you have to work with. So, every moment has to be your best; not lived in fear of a future with not enough, but lived with the belief that if you do what you love today, tomorrow your life will be greater than you ever imagined possible.

On Week Three, I had reworked my long term goals, and completely reworked my daily to-do list. Now each week, I was doing things that I should have been doing more for years — spending more time with my wife, my kids, and with my life’s passion.

In this third week:

  • I would help my daughter pursue her dream to become a filmmaker, by creating investigative journalism videos with her.
  • I would help my younger daughter pursue her dream to become a professional taekwondo competitor by converting our garage into a training “dojo”, and train with her.
  • My wife loves running 5k races, so I decided to start running so that I could run them with her (and achieve my life dream of peak fitness).
  • I decided to start writing a book about our family’s experience dealing with the corrupt health insurance system in the United States.

These weren’t just feelings — I literally changed my entire daily structure to focus on these new goals. I’m not sure there’s any other more dramatic way you could change your life, than doing this.  When I think about the fact that this was all inspired from this silly little motivational video 5 Uplifting & Inspiring TED Talks You Should Listen To 5 Uplifting & Inspiring TED Talks You Should Listen To Everyone needs inspiration, when times are tough and spirits are low. With speeches ranging from privacy to psychology, and from politics to triumphs of the human spirit, TED gives a healthy dose. Read More experiment, it still surprises me. Maybe I’m not as skeptical as I thought I was.

The Best Motivational Videos

On Week Four (and the final week) of the experiment, I’m seeing greatness in my life that I never imagined. I’ve studied and learned how to run without causing pain in my knees and ankles — and I’ve already accomplished running further than I ever thought I could. A 5k race may feel like an easy workout to me before long — something I never imagined possible for me. I’d always claimed that I hated running.

My daughter and I have almost finished our first investigative documentary. I’ve outlined and planned out my first novel. I have a radio interview next week. Things are already happening, and there’s no turning back now.

Want to see if motivational videos may have the same kind of impact on your life? Here are a few of my favorites:

#1. Unbroken

This will help you find a way to trust your gifts, and have the confidence to follow your heart.

#2. I AM Going to Make It

I think one of the most popular motivational speakers on YouTube — whose quotes you will find embedded in many of the other motivational videos throughout YouTube — is Les Brown.  One of his most powerful speeches, and one I always highly recommend to everyone who asks me which videos had such a strong impact on me, is this one.

#3. Why Do We Fall

If you’re ever feeling like things are getting too hard and you want to give up on your dreams Programming Burnout: How to Regain Your Lost Motivation Programming Burnout: How to Regain Your Lost Motivation Writing all those lines of code can be draining physically and emotionally. All you need to get back up is the awareness that motivation can be regained. Read More , this is a really powerful video to watch. You’re sure to find your mojo again after watching this one.

#4. Reprogram Your Mind

If you have a hard time believing that your dreams could really come true, this video is truly amazing — it’ll help you to “retrain” your subconscious mind to manifest your dreams in your life. It truly works, if you put your entire life and thoughts into doing it.

#5. A Wolf Among Sheep

Your World Within has a pretty good mix of motivational videos. The message he speaks in these videos is true — these are reasons you need to understand your true worth; how being different is actually what sets you apart from the masses. It’s in being different that your greatness exists. Don’t be a sheep; be a wolf.

These are just the tip of the iceberg. On YouTube there is a seemingly limitless well of motivational videos for you to choose from. However, many of these are overlapped edits of the same quotes and speeches clipped and copied from movies or other motivational speeches.

If you find that you’re running out of new material, visit your local library and seek out motivational DVDs and books there. You’ll find another huge collection. When that library runs out, move on to the next. Look for motivational movies on Amazon Prime. Listen to motivational music on Pandora. Never let up. Keep feeding that good wolf inside yourself.

If you have a dream that you’ve been putting off — if you’re living a life that you aren’t entirely satisfied with — I leave you with one of my favorite quotes from none other than Pope John XXIII.

“Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do.”

Calling all dreamers; it’s time to stop surviving, and start thriving.

What are your dreams? Have you ever given it real thought? What are you afraid of that prevents you from getting started today? Share your dreams and ideas in the comments section below.

Image Credit: Galyna Andrushko via Shutterstock, Rawpixel.com via Shutterstock, kurhan via Shutterstock

  1. Zak
    November 8, 2016 at 7:30 am

    Amazing article. About a year ago I actually decided to pursue my dream of making an app. The app was a motivational alarm clock that plays motivational videos every morning... There's a lot of people out there who struggle even waking up at times because they hate where they are in life. I believe everyone just needs that extra push sometimes. I'm trying to find the best times to show people videos. Did you have any times where watcing a video strongly impacted your performance? i.e. before booking your radio interview or before a workout? Let me know!

    Oh, and if you want to try the first version of the app it's called EarlyVid!

  2. Squalle
    July 10, 2016 at 9:35 am

    This is something I need to do. I need to get into better shape. I have depression. Many days it's hard to just get out of bed. As Jack_North mentioned, I find it hard to watch the videos. I'm a big movie watcher, so when I see something from a movie I haven't seen, I starting thinking about that, and the audio gets pretty much tuned out.

    So what I'm going to do is eliminate the video and just stick with the audio. We'll see how that goes.

  3. McFuzz
    June 21, 2016 at 11:12 pm

    Don't let your dreams be dreams.

    You only need one motivational video. All day, every day, Shia LeBouff.

    Nothing is impossible. So just. DO IT.

    DOOOOOO IIIIIIIIIT

    • Squalle
      July 10, 2016 at 9:37 am

      "Yesterday you said tomorrow. So JUST DO IT!"

  4. Arokia
    June 21, 2016 at 3:44 pm

    Nice article very useful!!!!!

  5. wileybot
    June 19, 2016 at 2:44 pm

    Great article! well done - thank you

  6. PJ Wessels
    June 15, 2016 at 2:55 am

    How did you find videos to watch? Did you queue them up somehow?

    Did you watch ones for specific times of day or days of the week?

    • Ryan Dube
      June 15, 2016 at 3:21 am

      Hi PJ,

      I was nowhere near that organized. Most of the time I simply searched on the keywords "motivational confidence", "motivational no limits", or any other phrase that appealed to how I was feeling at that moment. I did find some playlists that kept playing one video after the other, which was really nice. I definitely also could have spent a session just searching for a bunch of them and creating my own playlists -- which is actually a smart idea. Thank you!

      -Ryan

      • PW
        June 15, 2016 at 4:15 pm

        A playlist would be awesome!

        • Jeff
          June 15, 2016 at 7:06 pm

          Agreed

        • Jack_North
          June 21, 2016 at 9:47 pm

          My problem with even entering the world of motivational vids is that they use stuff that gets me out of tune easily:
          1) Either film sequences that i know from movies - this takes me out of the message, because i start to think about the films they come from...
          2) Military fetishism like the "American Sniper"-Example above - which is cynical crap i don't want to be associated with my well-being. not. at. all.
          ...so how to find stuff that is not handicapped by this stuff?

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