LIFESTYLE | Top 5 Videos Guaranteed to Inspire you

by Grace Gordon March 28, 2017




Everyone finds motivation in different places. Some from the people closest to them, some from reading books and some from films and documentaries written to inform and inspire. In recent years the internet has enabled me to be in the presence of some truly great people so I thought today I'd show you a few.

I’ve rounded up the top five talks and speeches available online which have inspired me the most. Some came at pivotal moments in my own career and some I go back to time and time again to provide a little pick-me-up.

Many contain at their heart the important lesson that to be your best you, you need to be completely accepting of who and what you are. So thank you to these people for being so honest, and brave enough to take the stage.

“When all is said and done, have you done or said enough?” - Charles ‘Chuck’ Bukowski

#1 - J.K. Rowling | Speaking at Harvard Commencement 20.58 min

J.K. Rowling's speech, delivered at a 2008 Harvard University Graduation ceremony, is one of the most revered pieces of public speaking in recent years. Rowling's speech centres around her evocation of the idea that to live a meaningful life you must be fearless enough to risk failure. In her words, "It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you lived so cautiously that you might has well not have lived at all."

#2 - Nora Ephron | Speaking at Wellesley College Commencement 1996 21.01min

Another commencement speech holds the second spot in my top five videos. Nora Ephron, American journalist, novelist and celebrated screenwriter, focuses largely on feminism and how important it is not to, "...underestimate how much antagonism there is toward women and how many people wish we could turn the clock back." She advocates a fearless approach to life and explains how its transience means that what frightens you today won't matter in the future because, " You can always change your mind. I know: I’ve had four careers and three husbands."


#3 - Charles Bukowski | The Laughing Heart 1.00min

 This one is a personal favourite of mine. Levi's are known for powerful and pioneering ad campaigns but post-90s had lost some of their flair for inspiring the younger generations. For their Go Forth campaign launched in 2009 Levi's partnered with acclaimed American poet and writer Charles Bukowski. Bukowski recites his poem, The Laughing Heart, over this short video and combined with provocative graphics offers us an empowering depiction of a life well lived. 

#4 - Brené Brown | The Power of Vulnerability 20.12min

 The fourth on my list is a TED talk from Brené Brown, an American scholar, author, and public speaker. At first glance this has all the trappings of a softly spoken, politically correct, self-help seminar but bear with me. Brown, a straight talking Texan, just isn't the type. She endured a breakdown caused mostly by the need to be perfect, by judging herself against others and being intolerant of any weaknesses. Having tipped over the edge of 'being crazy' she sought help from a therapist who helped her to understand that, 'It’s about being all in, saying, “I’m here and I’m going to love you fully and if you cheat on me you’re going to devastate me and break my heart, but I’m not holding back because this is short.”’ - The Telegraph

#5 - Steve Jobs | How to Live before You Die 15.04min

If you haven’t already seen this, it’s an absolute must watch. At the time of the talk Steve Jobs had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Through retelling a series of personal stories and experiences in his life Jobs reflects on how to live your life to the fullest. You've probably heard his most famous quote from this speech before, ‘Stay hungry. Stay foolish.’

Grace Gordon
Grace Gordon


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