Steve Jobs, J.K Rowling, Ashton Kutcher and other overachievers talk about failure, illness, courage, creativity, coming out and the ability to be "sexy".
Here is my personal selection of 7 of the most inspiring speeches of all time.
1) Steve Jobs' 2005 Stanford Commencement Address
Steve Jobs ... Probably one of the biggest a********** ever. But also one of the biggest geniuses. No matter if you like him or dislike him, this speech is a must-watch!
For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: 'If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?' And whenever the answer has been 'No' for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.
You can't connect the dots looking forward. You can only connect them looking backwards...You have to trust in something - your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever - because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well-worn path.
2) J.K. Rowling Speaks at Harvard Commencement
The author of Harry Potter. You will love her. And you will love her. And you won't be able avoid loving her. So personal, so natural. This woman has touched my heart and many others'. She was the first billionaire to fall off Forbes billionaire list because of charitable giving.
In this speech, she describes her way out of deep poverty and shows you why failure is one of the best things that can ever happen to us.
You might never fail on the scale I did, but some failure in life is inevitable. It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.
Failure taught me things about myself that I could have learned no other way. I discovered that I had a strong will, and more discipline than I had suspected; I also found out that I had friends whose value was truly above the price of rubies.
3) Sir Ken Robinson: Do schools kill creativity?
18 million views don't lie. An absolute must for anyone who has the slightest doubt about our education system. And not only does Sir Ken Robinson tell fundamental truths, but he is also extremely funny!
What these things have in common is that kids will take a chance. If they don’t know, they’ll have a go. Am I right? They’re not frightened of being wrong.
Creativity is as important now in education as literacy and we should treat it with the same status.
4) Ash Beckham: Coming out of your closet
ACHTUNG - ATTENTION (!!!): This is not about the "coming out" in the traditional sense, but about a coming out, which affects all of us. You. Me. Every single one of us.
Coming out in the sense of: Telling other people something that is difficult for us, for example: Tell someone you love that you have cancer... Tell someone that you love them ... Tell someone say that you are pregnant ...
I think we all have closets, your closet may be telling someone you love her for the first time. Or telling someone you're pregnant. Or telling someone you have cancer. Or any of the other hard conversations we have throughout our lives. All the closet is, is a hard conversation. And although our topics may vary tremendously, the experience of being in and coming out of the closet is universal. It is scary, and we hate it, and it needs to be done.
Be Direct... If you know you are gay, just say it. If you tell your parents you might be gay, they will hold that hope that this will change. Do not give them that sense of false hope.
5) Arnold Schwarzenegger - 5 Rules for Success
Austrian-American actor, filmmaker, businessman, author, professional bodybuilder and politician... The list is long. Here he talks about his 5 rules for Success.
Discover your vision and the rest will follow.
Everything the naysayers said was a liability became an asset. Ignore the naysayers.
Work your ass off. You never want to fail because you didn't work hard enough.
6) Rita Pierson: Every kid needs a champion
"Every kid needs a champion" - how true! Unfortunately, this is too often forgotten in our society. Rita Pierson talks about the importance of good student-teacher relationships and the fact that every child needs an adult hero in their life who motivates them to become the best version of themselves.
Teaching and learning should bring joy. How powerful would our world be if we had kids who were not afraid to take risks, who were not afraid to think, and who had a champion? Every child deserves a champion, an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection, and insists that they become the best that they can possibly be.
James Comer says that no significant learning can occur without a significant relationship. George Washington Carver says all learning is understanding relationships.
7) Ashton Kutcher Speech - Teen Choice Awards (HQ)
Did you expect that? An inspiring speech by Ashton Kutcher? What many people don't know: Ashton Kutcher is also a very successful (and smart!) investor. Some of his most successful start-up investments include Skype, Foursquare and AirBNB.
The sexiest thing in the entire world is being really smart. And being thoughtful. And being generous.
I was always just lucky to have a job. And every job that I had was a stepping stone to my next job and I never quit my job until I had my next job. And so opportunities look a lot like work.