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# inspiring ideas
7 incredible speeches that will inspire you to better things
In need of a little motivation? Look no further.

IT’S EASY, AFTER all the good intentions of the New Year fade into Spring, to get stuck in a bit of a rut.

If you need a bit of a boot up the backside, motivation-wise, then look no further. Here are some inspirational nuggets to get you back into your best self.

1. This Is Water by David Foster Wallace

To give it its full title: “Some Thoughts, Delivered on a Significant Occasion, about Living a Compassionate Life”. This speech was given by the late author at a commencement ceremony at Kenyon College in 2005. He talks about the importance of modifying the way you think about the world. It’s a brilliant, eye-opening speech.

Here’s the speech in text form.

Jamie Sullivan / YouTube

2. Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen) by Baz Luhrman

“Wear Sunscreen” is the name of a speech written by Mary Schmich and published in a June 1997 Chicago Tribune column. Baz Luhrman, the acclaimed director, turned it into an extremely successful spoken word song in 1998.

steffyweffy777 / YouTube

3. Stanford’s 2005 commencement by Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs gave an inspiring speech, based on three pivotal points in his life, telling the students how to deal and learn from life’s setbacks. Even more poignant in the wake of his untimely death in 2011. “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.”

StanfordUniversity / YouTube

4. The Fringe Benefits of Failure, and the Importance of Imagination by JK Rowling

Here, the Harry Potter author discusses the benefits of failure at a Harvard commencement in 2008. And she even manages to get in a Gryffindor gag, despite her initial nerves.

Harvard Magazine / YouTube

5. I Have A Dream by Martin Luther King

A classic, rightfully well-known and oft-quoted speech – but one perhaps that many people only know soundbites from, as opposed to having listened to it in full. Well worth a revisit. Dates from 1963 and given in Washington, DC to an audience of 250,000 civil rights supporters. / YouTube

6. I Am A Champion by Coach Flowers

Facing a big show-down in life? Then this rousing, shouty motivational speech is the thing for you. It was originally given by Coach Flowers, an American football coach in Leland High School, as a pre-game encouragement. Altogether now: “I AM A CHAMPION!”

Paweł Jędrzejak / YouTube

7. The Story of Spanx by Sara Blakely

A speech about business success, graft and starting from the bottom up. That also happens to include the words “spanx”, “crotch” and “G-string”. Oo er. Sara Blakeley started out as a door-to-door fax machine salesperson and chipmunk at Disneyland to becoming a hugely successful inventor and business person.

SpanxInc / YouTube

Read: 9 facts that will definitely cheer you up>

Read: The Oscar nomination letter that shows you should never worry about failure>

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