These are the videos I warm up with before every writing session. I’ve talked about them at length and so many people have asked me to share the list.
There are more than fifty, so I thought I’d curate and share the few which are viewed most frequently and have been the source of many of my most shared articles.
Before we begin, in order to get the benefits each of these videos will give you, you have to be able to forget the TV Shows and individuals you are about to see. It doesn’t matter who the person is or whether or not you like talent shows, singing, or sport.
I’ll make it easy for you by pointing out certain key moments in each video so you can fast-forward if you choose.
Every video highlights an important ingredient in human psychology that you can use to achieve feats you previously never thought were possible. An open mind is the gateway to the place each of these videos can take you.
These videos are incredibly powerful when watched with your judgment put aside. These videos have done the following for me:
- Allowed me to earn six-figures as a writer
- Kept me going when I lost my job
- Enabled me to reach millions of people every month through blogging
I’m giving you exactly what has produced those results. It’s your decision whether you take this gift or ignore it. Here you go.
Surprise and delight those who have supported you
Skip to 16:34 — people are surprised and shocked.
At 18:54 we see everybody forgetting their worries and the bartenders dancing.
At 20:30 we see a super fan with a Beatles tattoo overwhelmed by the whole occasion.
At 21:20 the whole pub has their hands in the air and is uniting over this incredible and unexpected experience. They chant the words of the song and you get tingles down your spine as you watch.
At 21:54 you see Paul waving to the crowd and saying thank you in his own way. It started out with less than twenty people and ended in a day to remember for everybody involved, including the Youtube audience.
At 22:29 we see another fan in tears and not sure how to process the whole experience. How does one ever say thank you to another person for inspiring them to do bigger things in life and go beyond what is seemingly possible?
There are so many people that support the work you do and you must always remember where you came from and those humble beginnings.
Don’t forget to show those who supported you, gratitude by creating these surprise and delight moments.
These moments bring people together and help us leave our problems behind for a few minutes, so that we can analyze our lives in the context of humanity, not our selfish existence.
Electrifying passion in the moment (and flow states)
This video will show you what electrifying passion looks like. There are three pivotal moments that will give you chills down the back of your spine, I promise you.
At 8:52 you will see Lady Gaga sing a breakdown to Sting’s song and the camera will focus in on Sting’s face. Watch the look on his face carefully. All his hopes and dreams and success can be summed up in his facial expressions.
He is not only grateful to be honored, but in that moment, his life’s work makes complete sense. He realized that his music is powerful because it can outlive him and that thought makes him emotional. You can see his eyes water ever so slightly.
At 15:05 you will see Bruce Springsteen cut loose on a guitar solo. He may not have the best voice but his guitar speaks just as well as he does. The look on his face can summarize how good it feels to do what you love doing.
Think about whether you could feel the way Sting does in that moment.
At 15:52 the choir joins Bruce and he barely even sings his lines. The choir surrounding him does all the heavy lifting just like the people around you do when you fall from grace or face tough times. Bruce takes the song to a new level and the camera shots of the audience show that the audience is going there with him.
You’re reminded that there are many different levels in life, just like there are in the energy and passion of a song.
At 17:46 you see Bruno Mars sing a high energy song of Stings. The sort of human energy he displays can make even the most broken person feel hope again. The energy literally gets you out of your seat.
At 18:55 we see the same electric energy that we saw from Lady Gaga earlier. It’s the ultimate illustration of flow states for someone who may not quite understand what they are or be able to describe them.
At 19:04 we see a close-up again of Sting and him pointing at a person on the stage. His initial reaction is excitement, followed by deep emotion and tears at 19:17. He realizes that the people he met through music is what made it all worthwhile. The thought of seeing his old bandmates and his loved ones on stage admiring his life’s work become far too overwhelming.
You have the same opportunity to work with people you like being around and have your work mean something.
In helping others realize their goals, we are saving ourselves
Movie trailers normally do nothing for me. This one is different. You don’t have to watch the entire movie to be inspired by this little boy.
At 0:55 you see the power of social media and a simple idea. It gives normal people like us a reason to believe that any one of us can make a difference and use the internet to amplify our message.
At 1:29 you see people uniting around a little boy and his goal to be a superhero. What seems like a stupid little kid story becomes a powerful idea that you shouldn’t ignore your dreams no matter how cliche they might be. If a little boy can make thousands of people line the streets to see him wearing a Batman costume, what could you do?
As the trailer continues, you can’t help but feel good to be alive.
“He gave everybody license to be absurd” — Hans Zimmer
The worst of times can be used to create the best of times
At 1:32 we see Michael trying to speak while holding back his emotion. His story is incredible and I’ve been lucky enough to spend time with him. Every speech he gives, he is crying and holding back tears for most of the speech.
At 3:11 Michael admits to times when he didn’t want to live. He helps us see just how dark life can get.
At 5:39 when you think it’s all over, Michael drops another bomb on the audience. Even though you can overcome unbelievable odds, there are always more surprises to come. You’re left feeling grateful and not knowing what will happen next, just like life itself.
His story is raw and incredibly inspiring. Not because of what he went through, but because of the way he looks at life and has used his many battles with cancer to share a different message — one we all need to hear.
You will not be able to watch this video with dry eyes. And it’s that emotion that you can channel into your life’s work the way I aim to channel it into everything I write.
Having the time of your life
This video is of a fifty-year-old who many would describe as washed up and not able to do anything significant. The lesson here that will help your work is to see what your work can do to people. Focus on how you can make people feel something rather than the short-term rewards.
At 2:01 we see the host of a TV show, the singer’s family, and the TV crew all dancing like they’re sixteen again to a song they probably don’t know, that came out years ago. It’s such a phenomenal reminder of how good life can be when you’re present and enjoy what you’re doing.
You can make a comeback
Tiger Woods could be described as a terrible role model, or a great one, depending on who you speak to.
He has done everything wrong and that’s not the point. The message of this video is that you can come back from anything that goes wrong, even if it takes you a decade to do so.
At 0:25 we see the crowd begin to chant his name and we know something special is taking place right in front of our eyes. At 0:36 we see Tiger hug his caddy which he never did in his previous career because of his obsession to win and his own importance. The hug symbolizes the change in him.
At 1:07 you see what motivated him to make a comeback.
It’s not how far you fall down; it’s how you rise again and what you demonstrate in the process.
Family can bring out the best in you
At 2:55 a young James Arthur, who at this point in his life is a struggling musician, announces that his mother and father who normally don’t speak are speaking for the first time at his audition.
You realize at this point that if two people who don’t speak are prepared to put their differences aside, something magical must have united them.
At 5:23 you see James explode with that same passion caused by flow states.
At 5:33 we see his family in tears and overwhelmed by emotion as though they can see a glimpse of his future and the megastar he is about to become — even though his future wasn’t written when the audition was originally shot.
At 9:20 you see his mother and father reinforce his talent and his dad of very few words finally says how he’s feeling, leaving the viewer inspired and speechless.
Enjoy the fruits of your work
Skip straight to 11:46 and watch an entire room unite together. These are the times of our lives. This is what we work for.
This is the point of life: to enjoy it and to do it in the company of others.
Rather than complain, use your story to inspire
At 1:19 a young man introduces himself through rap. You wonder how he got to be on that stage and see your younger self in his eyes.
At 1:55 your heart is touched. You may not have been homeless yourself but you can understand the pain that comes from struggle.
At 2:11 the rapper’s passion goes up a notch. You see the passion on his face. It’s the same passion you have available to you when you’re doing something you love. Remember that passion and utilize it. At 2:37 we see that passion again on the young man’s face. He is not going to be defeated despite his circumstances.
At 3:59 you see one of the judges break down crying. It’s a lot to take in even when you are watching on Youtube. There are so many parallels to humanity that comes from this man’s rap.
Each of us can take the toughest of challenges and turn it into something inspiring. Be that person.
Nerves can be overcome
At 2:22 you can see the young woman is incredibly nervous. She is in front of thousands of people. She’s thinking at this moment, “Can I do it?”
At 3:21 we see the nerves again as she takes a nervous breath.
At 4:58 we see the microphone shake. The nerves haven’t dissipated as the performance continues like you’d expect. She is still terrified yet she keeps going.
At 5:20 we see the crowd roar because one of the judges fist pumps the air. They are cheering not just because of her singing, but because she is overcoming her nerves.
At 5:23 we see the girl’s mother in the audience holding a tissue and crying with cheers of joy. She knows what her daughter is going through and she is inspired too.
At 5:41 the singer is overwhelmed by the response. It seemed impossible she could do what she ended up doing. But she overcame her nerves.
At 6:06 we can see the nerves still haven’t completely disappeared as the mic continues to shake in her hands. This is courage on show in a visual sense.
You’ve experienced nerves like this too. Maybe it was a job interview or a first date. How good does it feel to keep going and overcome your nerves? Don’t doubt yourself and keep going even when you’re nervous.
If you can change the world through your work, then do it
At 2:12 it’s clear these men mean business as the crowd roars after the first line of the song.
At 2:35 you hear perfect harmony and the power of teamwork.
At 2:47 you see a leader emerge from the group and inspire us with his incredible vocal skills. The crowd reacts accordingly.
At 3:32 you’re introduced to the idea of freedom that comes from doing work that changes the world. The imagery is perfection and so are the vocals.
At 4:07 you see what it’s like to put everything we have into our work and have the audience be inspired. It’s an overwhelming feeling that brings a grown man from a rough neighborhood to tears.
At 4:32 you hear a comment from the judges that describe the ingredients of work that changes the world. (It’s connecting with emotion, humility and humanity. Singer, Neo, then adds raw emotion to the list.)
At 5:47 you can see the effect of the judge’s comments on the singers. They realize that this moment is life-changing and they feel it on every level.
At 6:06 you hear the truth, which is we all want to give up at times. Work that changes the world requires you to keep going even when it seems difficult.
At 6:17 the agenda is revealed. They intend to change the world through their music and they’re ready. This explains why they put so much passion, energy and raw emotion into their song.
At 6:43 we see the celebration that comes from persistence and giving it everything you’ve got.
You can change the world through your work when you work as a team with those who share your passion.
Your life is the story of a hero
This video is an overview of our lives and the key events that happen. It’s the hero’s journey and you’re the hero of the story. There are high-points, low-points and surprises. It ends the same way for all of us.
The point of the story is to understand why you do what you do and to never forget the people you love in the process.
At 0:19 a beautiful background surrounded in darkness is presented.
At 1:39 you see a comedian with a look on his face of curiosity. He’s not sure what the meaning is of it all and he’s intrigued. It’s a reaction you may not expect from him.
At 2:03 you see the male performer leave behind his partner for a mission he calls “work.”
At 2:31 you witness a tragedy. He risked it all for his work and now his life is over. It’s not just sad because he is dead; it’s sad because of the people he left behind who loved him.
Fuse emotion into everything you do
Emotion creates motion in the form of action. It makes you do things you wouldn’t normally do and it causes people to react in a way they may otherwise not.
At 3:13 something appears to be a little off. You’re expecting a magic trick and we’ve all seen one of those before.
At 3:48 the screen goes black and a video begins to play. As you watch the video, you start to ask yourself what magic is. Is magic an act, or is it the creation of a human life? The unexpected reframe away from magic is glorious to watch. It puts your work and life in perspective.
At 4:27 there is a man in the shadow of his sick daughter displayed on the screen. You have no idea what is going to happen. The emotion of the images and the few select words is overwhelming.
At 4:51 a book with the word “Hope” and John Lennon’s face on the cover is shown next to the man’s daughter.
At 6:04 you see the relief on the magician’s face after he has bared his soul for everybody and shown incredible bravery in the process.
At 8:20 is the celebration that follows when you use emotion in everything you do and put yourself on the line for the benefit of others. The moment is sacred and there are tears on people’s faces all through the audience. You realize at the end of the video that the magic is your family.
There you have it. These are the videos that have inspired me to write 2000+ blog posts and put everything on the line. It’s a deeply personal collection of videos that you may laugh at or be inspired by. You’re the judge and I don’t care how it makes me look.
Delight those who support you, utilize electrifying passion in the moment combined with flow states, help others realize their goals, embrace the worst of times, have the time of your life, make a comeback when you fall down, let your family bring out the best in you, enjoy the fruits your work produces, choose to inspire rather than complain, overcome your nerves, change the world through your work, be the hero of your own story, and fuse emotion into everything you do.
That’s how you do your life’s best work and inspire people to follow in your footsteps.