The guilty pleasure of watching motivational videos

motivational videos
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I love watching motivational videos on YouTube. But for the wrong reasons: most of them do not inspire me but make me laugh. Except those by David Goggins and William Hollis. Why? Keep reading.

Time to confess, I have a guilty pleasure: I love motivational videos. One day I was watching some random video’s on YouTube and accidentally came across a motivational video. It was about a man convincing people to get up early. He got up at 02:30 and was trying to get up even earlier! The absurdity of it made me laugh. When the video was finished, YouTube started playing the next….and the next….and…well, you know what I mean. I was hooked. And I was amazed. How many of these videos are there? Are they all different? I was “motivated” (no pun intended) to find out more.

What are motivational videos?

What are motivational videos? They are basically a collection of motivational quotes set to music. Most videos start with soft music and at the end of the video the music is usually very loud and uplifting.

These are some of the things I found out:

Great titles

First of all: all motivational videos have great titles. I love the fact that they are all written in capital letters. I guess even the spelling is supposed to be motivational.

Some examples:


Or what about these?


This one doesn’t sound very motivational: “Watch THIS WHEN YOU ARE HOPELESS”

And this one even sounds dangerous: “One of the Most Motivational Videos You’ll Ever See [WARNING!!! – Belief Changer]”

The same quotes

Second: most motivational videos have the same quotes, just in a different order. I guess there are not many motivational quotes out there. Or the makers of the videos do not have the “motivation” to find them. Because when you watch ten of these videos, you will hear the same quotes over and over and over. This is one of the classics: “Both the billionaire and the beggar have the same 24 hours in a day. The difference? How they spend their time.”

Motivational sweat

Third: all motivational videos are showing random people running, sweating, lifting weights. How is that motivational? Why not show successful people sitting by the pool of their villas? Or playboys driving expensive sports-cars? I can see people sweating in the gym every day.

Celebrities in motivational videos

Fourth: many motivational videos feature celebrities. I was amazed that the actor Will Smith features in 90% of these motivational videos. I guess a lot has changed since the “Fresh Prince”. We also see and hear a lot of Tony Robbins (okay, makes sense…) and Denzel Washington. Denzel? Really?

My favorites: David Goggins and William Hollis

But my favorites are David Goggins (the world’s toughest man) and William – King – Hollis (from homeless man to motivational speaker).

David Goggins is tough. Extremely tough. In fact: he is so tough it is almost funny. This is what Wikipedia says: “David Goggins is an American ultramarathon runner, ultra-distance cyclist, triathlete and former world record holder for the most pull-ups done in 24 hours. He is a retired United States Navy SEAL and former United States Air Force Tactical Air Control Party member who took part in the War in Afghanistan and the Iraq War.”

William – King – Hollins is by far my favorite motivational speaker. I truly have respect for this man that came from the hood and is now motivating millions of people with his speeches.

Hollis is a great motivational speaker, mainly because he is speaking to himself. He was born in the projects and destined for a life of drug dealing and crime. He couldn’t read until the age of 16. His father was in jail and his mother died of a heroin overdose. He was a talented American Football player but didn’t succeed due to injuries. Because of this he became depressed and even considered ending his life. Somehow he discovered he was a talented motivational speaker. And that is basically what saved his life.

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