Meet King Nahn, a 10-year old motivational speaker. This young man is a YouTube star turned motivational guru. And while normally I am skeptical of “Internet success” I can’t deny it’s working out in this case!

Spotting this article this morning reminds me that motivational speakers come in all shapes and sizes–and that’s a beautiful thing.

Finding Value in the Stories

One of the beautiful things about motivational speakers are the stories they bring to the table. The best motivational speakers draw upon their backgrounds to provide inspiration.

And, of course, these motivational speakers are humans. This means their backgrounds are filled with challenges, mistakes, and regrets. Things you can probably relate to.

You will find this is true of almost anyone who has accomplished big things.

The Strength is in the Response 

So what separates high-achievers from those who never get very far in life?

It’s not age, or we wouldn’t be reading about a 10-year old motivational speaker. Nor would we read about 10-year old millionaire entrepreneurs, yet those are out there too. Age really is just a number–and of course it’s perfectly fine if you’re not a millionaire by the age of 10, since this is not a competition. Some of our household names didn’t get anywhere until their fifties or sixties, and that doesn’t really matter either.

It’s not privilege–many high achievers did not come from a wealthy background at all. I certainly didn’t. It’s not natural talent, or some magical quality of luck.

It’s the way these people have taken their stories and dug through them to find the wisdom and the lessons buried within. It’s how they applied those lessons, while simultaneously making a decision that they would never, ever give up on their dreams.

Motivational Speakers Who Are Motivated by the Right Things

Of course, there are always people out there who become rich and famous simply by cheating other people in some way. You can usually tell if you’re dealing with those sorts of motivational speakers because you feel vaguely “icky” after listening to them. You start to realize they only have one formula for success: be really charismatic, hit the speaking circuit and sell some books about how to make a lot of money at being charismatic, and hitting the speaking circuit.

Those guys–the ones who rely on “rah rah pump you up” stuff–are in it for the wrong reasons.

The motivational speakers who are in it for the right reasons are standing at the podium because their experiences have given them a road map. They didn’t like being sick, broke, and tired. Those were deep, dark woods for them. But they found a way out. And, having found a way out, they wish to help other people find the way out.

They’ve found the gifts wrapped up in the ashes of their bankruptcies, divorces, and trauma. They’ve dusted them off and have decided to share them with as many people as they can.

After all, if you learn a hard lesson from someone who has walked a hard road, then you do not have to walk that road yourself. You can take the lesson and you can move on.

Some people don’t even have to follow the motivational speaker’s specific road map. It’s enough for them to know someone found a way out. If others found a way out, they can find a way out too. This is enough to get many people up and moving as never before.

The World Needs More Stories

It’s a great thing to see so many talented motivational speakers out there, not just because there will be a lot of organizations who need to hire keynote speakers this year.

It’s because audiences will get the benefit of multiple perspectives. Audience members will have a greater chance to hear voices that sound like them and to see faces that look like them. And because it will give audiences a chance to see faces and to hear voices that don’t look like them.

We are all here to learn from one another. That’s the secret.

Finding Strength in Your Own Stories 

Chances are, you won’t hear more than one or two motivational speakers this year, unless you like to collect recorded speeches and listen to them.

Sometimes, you have to provide your own motivation. Fortunately, understanding what makes successful people so successful will allow you to give yourself some motivational speeches that can drive you forward over the coming year.

It starts by recognizing where you are and where you’ve been–by defining your own story. This gives you a starting point, a sort of “you are here” in the deep, dark woods.

Of course, people do that all the time. The problem is when they do it, they are looking for sympathy which is akin to setting up real estate in the deep, dark woods. You’re doing it for a different reason.

You’re going to mine your own experience for lessons.

If you’ve made any progress at all, you’re going to take a moment to appreciate how far you’ve already come. It’ll become apparent that you’ve started building a road map of your own. You can take a moment to be proud of that.

Then, you simply want to imagine where you’re going to be next–perhaps you’ll be an individual who has one million dollars in the bank in three to seven years. After that, it’s simply a matter of understanding the way out is there, and you already have some of the tools you need to find that way out. You can then identify the tools and resources you don’t have, and set yourself to the task of acquiring them.

You’ll find you’ve done a lot, experienced a lot, survived a lot. You’ll remember the challenges that seemed insurmountable 5 years ago, which are no big deal today. You’ll find the gifts in the ashes and you’ll keep moving forward.

I know you will, because I know you’re one of those truly successful people who is motivated by all the right things.


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