5 Inspiring Speeches to Help You Tackle Anything

80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by February. The odds are against us, but the stats make sense. This time of year, you’re probably more worried about when the snow will melt than keeping up with the gym or finishing that book. Sometimes, it just takes a little boost to fuel the fire to follow through. If you need some motivation, here are 5 inspiring speeches to ramp up your resolutions and reignite your drive:

J.K. Rowling – “The Fringe Benefits of Failure, and the Importance of Imagination” – Harvard Commencement

There’s something incredibly inspiring about viewing failure as necessary to success and knowing that you’re not alone in failing. J.K. Rowling’s Harvard commencement speech takes a humorous and poignant look at how her failures in life ultimately led her to write what’s arguably one of the most influential book series in history. You don’t have to be a book nerd to appreciate this honest look at struggle and perseverance.

Will Smith – The Pursuit of Happyness – “Protect Your Dream”

We’re bringing it back to the movies for this next piece of inspiration. The Pursuit of Happyness in its entirety is a good movie for anyone who needs a little motivation, but this excerpt of Will Smith’s character talking to his son captures the essence of perseverance in one short clip. Our favorite quote? “People who can’t do something themselves, they want to tell you that you can’t do it.” Watch this clip and get back to crushing goals!

Al Pacino – Any Given Sunday – “Inch by Inch”

Ironically, Al Pacino begins his speech with “I don’t know what to say really,” but launches into language inspiring enough to give you chills. If your resolutions seem daunting, take his advice and pursue them “inch by inch, play by play… because that’s what living is.” Strive for the small wins and tiny increments towards your goal. When you feel the urge to quit, take one more step forward. Read one more chapter, swim one more lap or finish one more project before you leave work. Although they may seem small, every inch counts.

Steve Jobs – “How to Live Before you Die” – Stanford Commencement

Feeling your passion start to fizzle? At his Stanford University commencement speech, Steve Jobs points out the importance of loving what you do, pursuing your passion and overcoming life’s obstacles- even in the face of death. He urges us to have the courage to listen to our hearts because our time is limited. Listen to his speech to help you stay hungry and hit your goals.

Kurt Russell – Miracle – “This is Your Time”

You don’t have to be a hockey fan to appreciate this passionate pep talk from Kurt Russell’s character (based on real life USA Men’s hockey team coach). This speech is for all the underdogs out there and for anyone that needs a boost. If it helped the U.S. Olympic hockey team win what is considered one of the biggest upsets of all time, it can certainly help ignite a spark in you, too.


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