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Top 10 Inspirational YouTube Videos

VO: Emily Brayton
Script written by Diandra D'Alessio The internet is not always a deep dark black hole as we know it to be… it can sometimes be a space for inspirational content such as these YouTube videos! We’ve taken a look at the Top 10 Most inspirational videos found on YouTube, such as Jimmy Valvano’s 1993 ESPYS’ Speech, The Last Lecture: Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams, Randy Pausch & Carnegie Mellon University, 2005 Stanford Commencement Address, Steve Jobs, Never, Ever Give Up, Arthur Boorman & Diamon Dallas Page, Unsung Hero, Thai Life Insurance, Free Hugs Campaign, Juann Mann & Sick Puppies, Everybody Dies, But Not Everybody Lives, Prince Ea, and Carl Sagan - You Are Here (Pale Blue Dot) [Sagan Time].
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Top 10 Inspirational YouTube Videos


These are moving moments, one view at a time. Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Inspirational YouTube Videos.

For this list, we’re looking at inspiring, moving, and touching videos found on YouTube. However, we’re excluding music videos and those that originated on other sites, like Shia LaBeouf’s “Just Do It,” which is a shorter segment from the short video #INTRODUCTIONS on Vimeo.

#10: Jimmy Valvano’s 1993 ESPYS’ Speech
The V Foundation for Cancer Research

Jimmy V played basketball in college and coached the sport at the same level, ultimately becoming a broadcaster after retiring from the profession. While some will remember him for his celebration of his team’s unexpected 1983 NCAA win, others will never forget the speech he made a decade later at the first ESPY Awards – about a month and a half before he died from bone cancer. Along with announcing the V Foundation for Cancer Research, Valvano told people that they should laugh, think and cry every single day. After asserting that cancer couldn’t take away his mind, heart or soul, he thanked the crowd – who thanked him back with standing ovation.

#9: The Last Lecture: Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams
Randy Pausch & Carnegie Mellon University

Computer science professor Randy Pausch gave this speech at his university about a month after he was told his pancreatic cancer was terminal. Though the crowd gave him a standing ovation before he even began speaking, Pausch certainly earned it with his words of wisdom and life lessons. Not only did he speak in an entertaining and cheerful manner for over an hour; he also did push-ups, dropped pop culture references and made 500 people sing Happy Birthday to his wife. Making waves around the world, the video of his speech clearly left its mark, as it racked up over a million views in a month, while the YouTube version itself has 18 million views and counting as of mid-2017.

#8: 2005 Stanford Commencement Address
Steve Jobs

This inspirational speech by the tech innovator revolves around three key stories. Jobs first talks about how it’s important to connect the dots, even when you think they won’t. As it turns out, a calligraphy class inspired the Macintosh’s state-of-the-art typography. Next, he points out the importance of finding what you love, professionally and personally, and how failure can lead us to our true calling. Finally, he discusses facing our own mortality, an especially touching point in light of his battle with pancreatic cancer. Jobs passed away in 2011, but his closing message of “stay hungry, stay foolish” rings true even today.

#7: Never, Ever Give Up.
Arthur Boorman & Diamond Dallas Page

Gulf War vet Arthur Boorman long suffered from back and knee injuries. He eventually weighed almost 300 pounds, and got around in a wheelchair or with knee and back braces. He thought he would never walk again, until he met Diamond Dallas Page. The wrestler and yoga teacher came up with a customized workout for Arthur. Although he first struggled to keep his balance, Arthur always got back up. In only ten months, he lost 140 pounds and regained the use of his legs. What’s great about this video is that we see both Arthur’s physical and emotional transformation. We can’t help but root for him as he sheds the weight – and gains confidence.

#6: Unsung Hero
Thai Life Insurance

This commercial is one in a series of uplifting ads from Thai Life Insurance. In this 3-minute spot, an anonymous man is generous to everyone around him, whether he’s feeding a street dog or donating money to a mother and daughter. Although some people are skeptical of the man’s actions, he keeps giving, expecting nothing in return. He soon finds that his good deeds are paying off. While his wallet is thinner, his heart is full, and his joy contagious. These are feelings that money can’t buy, and as the ad reminds us, they help us to believe in the good all around us.

#5: Free Hugs Campaign
Juan Mann & Sick Puppies

Everyone appreciates a good hug. Luckily, there’s the Free Hugs Campaign. In 2004, an Australian using the name Juan Mann started holding up a “FREE HUGS” sign in public spaces, delivering what he promised. Throughout the video, we see how this random act of kindness brightens the days of complete strangers. Surprisingly, police banned the campaign in 2005; until 10,000 free hug fans signed a petition to bring it back. To this day, Free Hug Days are held around the world, proving that even the smallest of acts can make a huge difference.

#4: Everybody Dies, But Not Everybody Lives
Prince Ea

In this viral video, spoken word artist, rapper and poet Prince Ea says that ultimately, we don’t regret what we did, but what we didn’t do. We all have dreams and aspirations, but sometimes we don’t carry them out because we're afraid of failure. But as Prince Ea points out, better to try, fail, and try again than to not try at all. He concludes that we’ve been given the gift of life, and that we should share our gifts with each other and ourselves. Eloquent and beautifully shot, this video will motivate you to give it your all.

#3: ...Never Give Up!
Connie Lynne

The Olympics have their share of inspirational athletes, but none like Derek Redmond. While competing in the 400-metre semi-final in Barcelona in 1992, Redmond tore his hamstring, and fell to the ground in pain. Still, Redmond was determined to finish the race, and began limping. Suddenly, his father ran past security and onto the track, supporting his son as the pair completed a lap together. Although this meant he was disqualified, both father and son got a standing ovation from 65,000 spectators. This viral video not only shows a great moment in sports, but it also shows an amazing father-son bond.

#2: Dream
Mateusz M

This YouTube user’s earlier video Why Do We Fall used clips from Rocky Balboa, Any Given Sunday and more to motivate us, but this inspirational short about dreams really gets to us. A compilation video featuring the voices of Will Smith, Les Brown and Eric Thomas, it tells us to keep going even when times get tough. It also stresses the importance of staying true to ourselves, following our dreams even when others don’t believe in us, taking risks and moving out of our comfort zone. Using films like A Beautiful Mind and The Pursuit of Happyness, this video pushes us to turn our dreams into reality.

#1: Carl Sagan - You Are Here (Pale Blue Dot) [Sagan Time]
Carl Sagan

In this video, we’re treated to the wise words of renowned astronomer Carl Sagan, as written in his 1994 book, “Pale Blue Dot”. The book is named after a photo taken by the Voyager 1 space probe, which shows Earth 3.7 billion miles away. Sagan puts this photo in context, explaining that our entire history has happened on something so small. When all is said and done, our actions pale in comparison to the depths of space. While this may not seem so inspiring at first, Sagan turns it into a self-conscious reminder - that we must love our planet and each other. Informative and awe-inspiring, the speech and accompanying imagery offer a moving dose of perspective.
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