What’s in your “inspiration library”?

by | March 5, 2012

It’s easy to feel inspired, positive, strong, and optimistic when life is great. When the sun of opportunity is radiating and everything turns out just right.

But what about those times when you’re exhausted from long hours and lack of sleep, bored stiff from stale routines, terrified to take action, tempted by vice, or drowning in depression?

What do you do when everything goes wrong and life is dark and uncertain?

That’s when we need an “Inspiration Library” — music, videos, movies, and books that are guaranteed, no matter what we’re dealing with, to dissolve darkness, make our heart leap from our chest, compel us to dance and sing and sigh with contentment, “You know, it’s not that bad. I can make it through this.”

Powerful media that lifts our eyes from the ground to refocus on our dreams. That sucks us out of our puddle of self-pity. A slap in the face of negativity that awakens us to see positivity.

Light-filled media that snaps us out of the dark reverie of temptation until we declare, “This is not who I am,” do an about-face, and valiantly stride away.

Here’s your challenge: Gather every video, song, movie, or book that does the trick for you into an “Inspiration Library” document you can refer to at a moment’s notice. Then latch onto them every time you need to drag yourself out of the dungeon of despair.

If it helps, here’s my inspiration library:


  • You Can Shine: I defy you to keep your emotions in check with this one. I’ve watched it dozens of times and it never fails to get me.
  • Jessica’s “Daily Affirmation”: A four-year-old girl shows you how it’s done.
  • No Arms, No Legs, No Worries: Motivational speaker Nick Vujicic demonstrates how to turn our limitations into our strengths.
  • Team Hoyt: Read the story of Rick and Dick Hoyt before watching the video. You’ll be left with no excuses.
  • The Dash Movie: Your gravestone will have a birth date and a death date. But what will you do with the dash in between them?
  • Validation: This award-winning short film illustrates how focusing on the needs of others helps us forget our own problems.
  • Famous Failures: You’ll be surprised by the supposed “failures” of these champions.
  • The Last Lecture: After professor Randy Pausch was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, he crafted his final words for his children.
  • Patrick Henry Hughes’ Inspirational Story: Born blind and crippled, Patrick says what we label as his “disabilities” he considers “abilities.”
  • Never Give Up: Derek Redmond’s true story from the 1992 Barcelona Olympics teaches what to do when you fall.



  • Handel’s “Messiah”
  • Pachelbel’s “Canon in D”
  • Beethoven’s 5th Symphony
  • Beethoven’s 9th Symphony
  • Mozart’s 41st Symphony
  • Schubert’s “Trout” Piano Quintet
  • “O Holy Night”
  • Schubert’s “Ave Maria”
  • “This is Your Life” by Switchfoot
  • “Island in the Sun” by Weezer
  • “Mint Car” by The Cure
  • “Near Wild Heaven” by R.E.M.
  • “I Was Here” by Beyoncé
  • “I Was Here” by Lady Antebellum (yes, those are two different songs)


What’s in your inspiration library?


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