Motivation is the driving force behind why you do what you do.
And motivation ultimately ends up shaping the action or inaction that causes peace, destruction, harmony, and conflict.
To find true, lasting motivation, we must search inside of ourselves to find the values that drive every action we take.
Instead of hyped-up anecdotes with dramatic music in the background that only energize you for a couple hours, here are the top 5 motivational videos that show depth, creativity, and research that will help you live a full and energetic life.
1. What Makes A Good Life? Lessons From The Longest Study On Happiness - Robert Waldinger (12:46)
How do you imagine a happy life? With money and fame? This video inspires by showing exactly how futile chasing after happiness is. Happiness is something created by the relationships we foster. Robert Waldinger walks through the fascinating, 75-year study into happiness and motivation. The study, which continues to this day, reveals something most of us already know: relationships are the ultimate creator of joy. But, this study highlights the scientific support behind how relationships carry and health and wellness through every event in our lives. Life isn’t about wealth, or fame, or working hard. Life satisfaction and joy is simply about the relationships we develop that bring satisfaction and fulfillment. This study proved that scientists could predict the health and vitality of someone later in life by looking at how satisfied they were in relationships in middle age by saying, “the people who were the most satisfied in their relationships at age 50, were the healthiest at age 80”.
“The clearest message we get from this 75 year study is this: good relationships keep up happier and healthier, period… loneliness kills”
2. If You Want To Achieve Your Goals, Don’t Focus On Them - Reggie Rivers (10:40)
Focus on your behaviors, rather than your goal. Reggie Rivers walks through how to focused intently on the things you can control. How often have you set up a goal for yourself and begin immediately checking to see if you're on your way to accomplishing it? Reggie argues that when we focus on completely goals, we'll never accomplish them because we'll lose sight of the process. To find motivation and drive, we must set a goal and then only focus on the behaviors that will drive us to accomplish that goal. If your goal is to write a book, focus on writing 500 words per day. If your goal is to lose 30 pounds, focus on going to the gym 3 times per week.
“Goals require you to have the participation of other people, therefore, they are outside of your control. If you spend too much time focusing on your goals, you'll never achieve them. Behaviors, by contrast, are things that you alone can do.” - Reggie Rivers
3. The Secret To Self-Motivation - Mel Robbins (22:10)
Mel's fascinating talk outlines the root problem of our lack of motivation: hesitation. Mel Robbins struggled to figure out why she could never do the little things that would dramatically improve her life. It wasn't until she discovered how small hesitations signal stress in our brain and cause us to turn away from action.
“Motivation's garbage. You're only motivated to do things that are easy. Our minds are designed to stop us from doing anything that might hurt us. We all have a damaging habit of hesitating.”
4. Empathy - Brené Brown (2:53)
To be motivated and influential, you must understand the "why" behind what you do. And the "why" is always saturated with empathy for other people and what they're experiencing. Brené Brown outlines the difference between empathy and sympathy. Empathy fuels connection. Sympathy drives disconnection. Empathy says, "I've been there before". It creates a sacred, safe space where people can feel and connect together and ultimately end up thriving. Buy Brené Brown's Daring Greatly here.
“Empathy is feeling WITH people... It's a vulnerable choice because in order to connect with you, I have to connect with something inside myself that knows that feeling” - Brené Brown
5. The Puzzle Of Motivation - Daniel Pink (18:36)
Most workplaces try to incentivize or motivate employees through a direct reward system. e.g. if you make more sales, you make more money. Research shows that rewards don’t work to motivate employees. In fact, rewards actually decrease productivity. Rewards dull thinking and block productivity because they narrow the possibilities of performance. So, when you’re looking to motivate yourself or other people, don’t start with a reward system. To motivate yourself and others, you must understand the core desires that actually move people towards action. Motivation shouldn’t have to be pumped into everyone to see a world full of motivated and inspired people. Motivation is instilled in our core desires and values. The job of an influencer or leader is simply to tap into the desires that light people up and foster them. Buy Daniel Pink's book Drive here.
“There is a mismatch between what science knows and what business does. The motivators we think are a natural part of business only work in a narrow band of circumstances. If/Then rewards, often destroy creativity. The secret to high performance is the unseen intrinsic drive: autonomy, mastery, and purpose.” - Daniel Pink