By: Annica Törneryd

If you like to listen to motivational speakers, you have probably heard of Les Brown, one of my personal favorites. Listening to him is simply amazing. It’s almost impossible not to have to stand up straight, with teary eyes and proclaim, “I am the one, I’ve got greatness within.”

If you haven’t already searched “motivation” on YouTube and enjoyed the endless sources of inspiration and motivation from famous actors, amateur and pro athletes, professional speakers, singers, authors, bodybuilders, business gurus and different coaches, I hope you do. You can fill your days with it! If you’re ever caught in bed a day with the flu, let’s just call that an excellent opportunity to indulge in motivational speeches, and a legitimate reason to “waste” a day on YouTube.

I recently received an invitation to a webinar with one of my greatest influencers, Mr. John Maxwell. My first thought was to not listen to it. As an Executive Director with the John Maxwell Team, I am quite familiar with his content, and our Team meets him in person twice a year during the International Maxwell Certification. I invest a substantial number of hours every week to study and learn from his material and speak to our very motivational mentors. I thought that there is probably something else I could be doing that would be a better investment of my time. Fortunately, knowing how great of a speaker John is, I simply couldn’t resist and listened to the webinar today.

I expected to get a good laugh, because this man is naturally hilarious, without trying. In all honesty, I wasn’t expecting to hear loads of new things, but rather to be reminded of some great things that are valuable. I decided to “just” listen for once and enjoy the session, instead of the usual high-speed note-taking to capture all the golden nuggets this man delivers.

And what happened? I ended up writing almost a book, or at the very least a powerful chapter, and this blog post! That’s how motivating it was.

John was teaching and talking about self-discipline, the price tag of leadership. What he shared was completely brilliant. So easy to grasp, and, at the same time, it was pure genius.

I don’t remember the last time I felt this motivated and empowered to get ahead with my projects, get in the best shape of my life and lift and lead others to also want to become their absolute best version of themselves. Yes, all of that! I had to clap my hands in excitement, and say out loud;

“John, you’re the best motivational speaker in the world.”

After the webinar, I sat in reflection for a moment, surprised and grateful for what I had just experienced. When we allow ourselves to really listen and let go of the pressure to capture every golden nugget in the universe, that’s when we can find the greatest wisdom and motivation in the world.

“When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new.” – Dalai Lama

The opportunity to be motivated by something another person says or does is ever-present. All we have to do is be open and listen so that we can truly capture it.

I encourage you to select an audio book or something on YouTube, either by searching on motivation or a topic you are passionate about, or perhaps sign up for A Minute with Maxwell and listen for a moment every day. Without the pressure of having to learn something, rather try the approach to enjoy the listening. Not only do we hear more when we listen intentionally, but it also allows us to go within and connect with our own genius. That in itself is priceless.

How do you find the best motivational speaker in the world then? Easy! You just start searching and listen. Almost every speaker has a great message for you.

Make sure you have a pen and paper when you listen. The greatest thoughts may come to you, even from within…

We all have greatness within, and sometimes one single phrase can be the ultimate motivation for us. Enjoy the next time you listen to a motivational speaker.

Annica Törneryd is the author of bestseller “The Youth Book” and founder of ACT2exceed. A certified coach, speaker and trainer with the John Maxwell Team, she is an experienced facilitator of The Leadership Game and has played it with people from over 50 different countries, helping organizations and individuals improve their leadership intelligence, effectiveness and communication.

From her vast experience of working in multi-cultural environments, Annica has acquired excellent communication skills. When working with individuals, Annica helps her clients get clarity on both purpose and direction, create an applicable action plan and overcome fears that hold us back from reaching our full potential.

She is a volunteer mentor at Dress For Success Luxembourg and mentors students in the international Young Enterprise Project. She hosted the Women’s Entrepreneurship Day in Luxembourg, celebrating women in leadership positions and women entrepreneurs, raising funds for women in poverty.


“Implementing intentional self-leadership has helped me improve my life multiple times. One of my priorities is selecting mentors with great wisdom, knowledge and expertise, who support me in being and doing my very best.”

You can learn more about Annica at http://act2exceed.com/.