Tuesday, July 23, 2013

10 YouTube Videos I Use for Inspiration

There is nothing quite as satisfying as taking a couple minutes out of a hectic work day to enjoy an uplifting clip from YouTube. Here are 10 of my favorites:

Recognize Significant Moments When They Happen

It was pretty tough choosing a video clip from my favorite movie Field of Dreams. This one with Burt Lancaster talking about the value that one can find in dreams deferred is hard to top.

“You know we just don't recognize the most significant moments of our lives while they're happening. Back then I thought, well, there'll be other days. I didn't realize that that was the only day.”

”I Know The Way Out”

Whenever someone in my family or one of my closest friends is going through a rough time, I send them a link to this video clip from The West Wing.

The Wisdom of Jon Hamm

Jon Hamm talks to Grantland’s Bill Simmons about struggling during his early days in Hollywood and laments that nothing in today’s culture can be considered “good.” Hamm might be a more compelling character than Don Draper and a more inspiring one to boot.

Brothers in Arms

This is another favorite from The West Wing. It reminds of me of my college roommates and the many times we watched the finale of Season 2 in order to convince ourselves that we could endure anything and that better days were ahead.

Super Revenge

Okay, maybe this is inspiring for the wrong reasons. But is there a better example of getting revenge on your enemies? “That’s funny, I’ve never seen garbage eat garbage before.” That’s a pretty inspiring putdown.

”Do You Know Who I Am?”

I’ve been a rabid fan of The Tony Kornheiser Show on ESPN980 for several years now. I can’t tell you how many commutes to grad school, trips back home to Connecticut, and endless subway rides this show got me through. As a loyal “little,” I’m now an expert on Washington D.C. weather and politics, James Carville’s TSA recommendations, and how Joseph A. Bank stays in business. Hearing him talk about all the odds jobs he had before starting his career gives me plenty of hope for the future.

Great Ideas Don’t Wait

“There is no weapon as powerful as that of an idea whose time has come.” One of the many terrific lines in the equally terrific movie The Contender.

”Where Have You Been Jimmy Braddock?”

Cinderella Man is one of my all-time favorite movies. I’m a sucker of a comeback story and it’s hard not to be mesmerized by boxer James Braddock’s climb back to the top. I always get chills every time Paul Giamatti’s character asks, “Where have you been Jimmy Braddock?” The scene where he kicks Max Baer’s ass is pretty great too, but this one marks the most important step in any comeback, the first one.

Gotta Fly Now

Speaking of boxing, I used to have a pair of boxing gloves as a kid, and my mother sewed silk boxing trucks for my younger brother and me to wear during our fake bouts. That was because we watched the Rocky movies as much as we watched Superman, Dick Tracy, and Indiana Jones. Which is to say, we watch all 5 movies a lot. So, I can’t leave Rocky off this list.

A Young Writer’s Dream

And finally, my 9-year-old niece Elizabeth explaining why she wants to be a writer when she grows up. It doesn’t get any better than this if you’ve ever written something for a living.