25 Famous Inspirational Speeches to Jumpstart your Motivation

25 Famous Inspirational Speeches to Jumpstart your Motivation

Being an Entrepreneur is tough. Working on a Side Hustle to escape a 9-5 is tough. Doing anything that doesn't conform to the corporate 9-5 structure is tough. 

We all have days we don't want to get out of bed. Days when we stupidly do 2 hours of work without saving before losing it all to a computer crash (Yes, I speak from experience. As I re-write this blog post). Days when the last thing we want to do after a long day of work is come home and work on a side hustle that has yet to earn us a dollar. 

Days like that call for something extra to help us overcome. Some tough times require an extra boost to work through. 

With any luck, at least one of these speeches are that extra. They can act as the boost you need. 

I have a plaque on my wall from "Citizenship in a Republic" and I have watched the speeches from Jimmy Valvano, Steve Jobs, and Gary Vaynerchuck more times than I can count. 

Most of these speeches are between 5 minutes and half hour. If you are stuck in a rut or feeling a little "blah", take a half hour to watch one or two of these... I would be shocked if they don't help. 

Using the Quick Navigation below you can quickly get to the video you want or browse through all of them... I've included some of my favorite quotes along with the videos. 

1. Theodore Roosevelt - "Citizenship in a Republic" - 1910

"The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena;" - Theodore Roosevelt

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2. John F. Kennedy - Inaugural Address - 1961 

"My fellow citizens of the world, ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man." - JFK

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3. Martin Luther King - "I have a Dream" -1963

"I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of it's creed." - Martin Luther King

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4. Vince Lombardi "What it takes to be #1" - 1970

"Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing." - Vince Lombardi

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5. Jim Valvano - 1993 ESPN ESPY Awards 

"If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that's a full day. That's a heck of a day." - Jimmy Valvano

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6. Baz Luhrmann "Everybody's Free (To wear Sunscreen)" 1999

"Don't be reckless with other people's hearts, don't put up with people who are reckless with yours." - Baz Luhrmann

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7. Barack Obama "The Audacity of Hope" -2004

“Someone once said that every man is trying to live up to his father's expectations or make up for their father's mistakes” Obama 

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8. David Foster -  Kenyon College Commencement Speech - 2005

"... that we have to keep reminding ourselves, over and over: "This is water, this is water." David Foster

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9. Steve Jobs - Stanford Commencement Address - 2005

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life." - Steve Jobs

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10. Randy Pausch - "Achieving Your Childhood Dreams" 2007​

It's very important to know when you're in a pissing match. And it's very important to get out of it as quickly as possible. -Randy Pausch

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11. Bill Gates Harvard Commencement - 2007

"Don't let complexity stop you. Be activists. Take on the big inequities." -Bill Gates

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12. JK Rowling Harvard Commencement Speech - 2008

"As is a tale, so is life: not how long it is, but how good it is, is what matters." JK Rowling

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13. Oprah Winfrey - Stanford Commencement Address 2008

"You want to max out your humanity by using your energy to lift yourself up, your family, and the people around you" -Oprah

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14. Gary Vaynerchuk - Building Personal Brand Within the Social Media Landscape - 2008

"There are way too many people in this room right now doing stuff they hate. Please, stop doing that!" - Gary Vaynerchuk

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15. Elizabeth Gilbert - Your Elusive Creative Genius TED Talk - 2009

"If your job is to dance, do your dance." Elizabeth Gilbert

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16. Stephen Colbert - Northwestern University Commencement 2011

"So whatever your dream is right now, if you don’t achieve it, you haven’t failed and you’re not some loser.” -Stephen Colbert

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17. Leonard Nimoy - College of Fine Arts - 2012

"I have three words for you. Persistance, persistance.... persistance." -Leonard Nimoy

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18. Larry Smith - Why you will Fail TED Talk - 2012

"You want to work really, really, really hard? You know what? You’ll succeed." - Larry Smith

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19. Neil Gaiman - University of the Arts 2012

"The one thing that you have that nobody elese has is YOU. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision." - Neil Gaiman

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20. Robin Roberts - Authur Ashe Acceptance Speech 2013

"And now, I ask you to save someone else, give strength to someone else" - Robin Roberts

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21. Admiral William H. McRaven - "Make Your Beds" - 2014

"If you can't do the little things right, you will never do the big things right." -William H. McRaven

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22. Jim Carrey - Maharishi University Commencement Speech - 2014

"Risk being seen in all of your glory." - Jim Carrey

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23. Stuart Scott - 2014 Jimmy V. Preserverence Award

"You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and in the manner in which you live." - Stuart Scott

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24. Matthew McConaughey - 2014 Oscar's Speech

“Every day, every week, every month and every year of my life, my hero is always 10 years away." - Matthew McConaughey

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25. Tim Cook - George Washington Commencement - 2015

“Your values matter. They are your North Star. Otherwise it's just a job - and life is too short for that." - Tim Cook

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Do you have a speech that you think should be added to this list? Please let me know! I'm always looking for great motivational content and would love to make this list as complete as possible... leave me a comment below with your suggestion! 

2 thoughts on “25 Famous Inspirational Speeches to Jumpstart your Motivation

  1. I know that readers of blogs are often more likely to skim than to read in-depth. But I challenge you, gentlemen, to attempt a program of study in which you read the entirety of one of these great speeches each and every day. I found the process of compiling and reading these speeches to be enormously inspiring and edifying, and I feel confident that you will find them equally so. Winston Churchill, one of the greatest orators of the h century, was interestingly enough, like Demosthenes and other great orators before him, born with a speech impediment which he worked on until it no longer hindered him. One would never guess this from hearing Churchill s strong and reassuring voice, a voice that would buoy up Britain during some of her darkest hours.

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