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January 31, 2016

Our Month of Motivation

For many years now we've been featuring in the month of January a full month of motivation to boost you into the New Year. In case you missed any of these motivational free audio & video resources we featured, we're putting them together in this blog post. Start your 2016 with some of these great free resources:

1. The Speaking Voice

Download and listen to this classic self development book for public speaking The Speaking Voice: Principles Of Training Simplified And Condensed by Katherine Jewell Everts. This audio book "contains practical directions accompanied by simple and fundamental exercises, first for the freeing of the voice and then for developing it when free". Everts deals with speaking in terms of tone, pitch, inflection, and much more. The unabridged 5-hour audio book is read entirely by one of Librivox's best narrators, Ruth Golding.

You can also listen to this audio book on our YouTube channel:

The Speaking Voice on our YouTube channel

2. Oprah Winfrey on Career, Life, and Leadership

Start your year off with this inspiring talk from Oprah Winfrey delivered at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Oprah tells her story as she went from radio to television news to talk shows, and how she chose in the 1990s to rise above the trashy confrontational TV of her time to create a show which she would use to raise the consciousness of herself and her audience. She then talks about how she moved on to create her own television network. Throughout the talk she sprinkles in life lessons she has learned along the way from the many people she has interviewed, and she gives inspiring advice to the students at Stanford for their life and career.

3. Bill McGowan on Pitch Perfect: How to Say it Right the First Time Every Time

Bill McGowan gives lots of good advice on public speaking and public presentations in this talk at Google. He gives tips from the use of body language to the choice of our words to where to look when giving a speech. He encourages public speakers to not be apologetic, to prepare & rehearse for a speech, and suggests ways to deal with difficult audience members. And he gives such wisdom as such as don't eat yogurt before your speech or you'll be clearing your throat a lot. McGowan gives many, many helpful suggestions for the public speaker in all of us.

4. Magic Lessons Podcast

Need some creative inspiration to start your new year!? Look no further than this new podcast by Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love and her latest work Big Magic.

Elizabeth Gilbert's Magic Lessons Podcast expounds on ideas she has in her latest book Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear. Gilbert talks about creativity with experts such as Brene Brown, John Hodgman, and Rob Bell, along with everyday creative people who are struggling in their creative lives and Gilbert mentors them along. In her podcast on creativity with Brene Brown, they talk candidly about creativity and fear of failure. They ask the essential question "What's worth doing even if you fail? What do you love doing so much that the word failure doesn't even have any meaning?" Some very good thoughts here to start your year!

5. Alzheimer's Prevention Program: Keep Your Brain Healthy for the Rest of Your Life

Dr. Gary Small presents this lecture from UCTV on the latest findings to aid people in preventing Alzheimer's disease. He shows viewers the brain of an Alzheimer's patient which has plaque and inflammation build up. Dr. Small suggests ways to prevent Alzheimer's including exercise, lifelong learning, a healthy diet (with Omega-3 fatty acids), socializing, reducing stress with deep breathing, and a glass of wine per day might not hurt either. He also covers some studies regarding vitamins and supplements which are not yet conclusive. Can we fully prevent Alzheimer's disease? Not yet, but there are a lot of things we can do improve brain health and memory and reduce the odds of getting Alzheimer's. This talk is available on MP3 download on the UCTV website and on video through their YouTube channel.

6. Alain de Botton on Art as Therapy

Philosopher Alain de Botton talks about how we can use art as therapy in the modern world in this talk from The School of Life which De Botton founded in 2008. With the decline in devotion to religion since the mid-19th century, artists and art critics since then have argued that we can use art and culture as ways to address issues previously confronted by religion. De Botton feels that museums are our contemporary cathedrals, but expresses his dismay in the chronological way museums are currently curated which are not particularly helpful to their devotees. He suggests a new way of ordering museums according to different life struggles such as anxiety, love, and more. It's a humorous talk and De Botton includes many references to paintings throughout the talk so it might be best to watch this one.

7. The Neuroscience of Happiness

Dan Gilbert, author of Stumbling on Happiness, hosts this talk on the neuroscience of happiness at The Aspen Institute. To start the talk, Professor of Neuroscience Kent Berridge talks about the hedonic circuits of the brain, and how they are often in deep regions of the brain and not in the cerebral cortex where many of the "higher-order" functions of the human brain take place. He also talks about the dopamine reward system which doesn't necessarily produce happiness such as in the case of addiction. Next Richie Davidson talks about his findings in the areas of compassion and meditation, and how meditation can lead to changes in the brain that lead to greater resilience and happiness. They field a number of interesting questions from Dan Gilbert and the audience about brain science, such as the differences in the brains of liberals and conservatives.

8. Optimal Living Interviews

With the Optimal Living Interview series, PhilosophersNotes CEO Brian Johnson talks with various authors on the ways we can optimize and actualize our lives. Guests in the series have included Daniel G. Amen, Tal Ben-Shahar, Robin Sharma, Daniel Siegel, Kelly McGonigal, Robert Greene, Michael J. Gelb, David Allen, Mark Hyman, and many more. Topics include ways anyone can seek out and improve their overall nutrition, hone their daily focus, maintain mindfulness, and work towards a balanced life that is full of purpose. Browse over 75 interviews on this YouTube playlist and find one that interests you!

9. 15 Free Audio Books by James Allen

Self-help movement pioneer James Allen penned over 20 books in his lifetime all of which are in the public domain. You can now download 15 of these audio books through Librivox thanks in large part to volunteer narrator Andrea Fiore who has narrated most of them. You can download and listen to our version of his most popular work: As a Man Thinketh along with 14 others including:

Above Life's Turmoil

All These Things Added

Byways to Blessedness

The Divine Companion

Eight Pillars of Prosperity

Foundation Stones to Happiness and Success

From Passion to Peace

The Heavenly Life

Light on Life's Difficulties

Man: King of Mind, Body, and Circumstance

The Mastery of Destiny

Out from the Heart

The Path of Prosperity

The Way of Peace

Download one of these inspirational classics today!

15 Free Audio Books by James Allen

10. King: Man Of Peace In A Time Of War

This documentary available on Hulu starts out with the life and accomplishments of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. during the civil rights movement. The majority of the documentary centers on an interview with Dr. King in 1967 conducted on the popular television talk series "The Mike Douglas Show." In this interview Dr. King addresses questions regarding his opposition to the U.S. involvement in the war in Vietnam. He speaks eloquently about the need for the U.S. to stop the war, a position which he had held for some time and the majority of the U.S. population was coming to support as well. The documentary also features interviews with notable figures such as Rev. Jesse Jackson and former Secretary of State Colin Powell. It's an interesting documentary that goes beyond King's involvement in the Civil Rights Movement to his promotion of peace worldwide. Note: Hulu movies are only available to watch in the United States.

11. Greg McKeown on Essentialism

In this 40-minute talk from Google, author Greg McKeown lays out how to become an "essentialist" by having clarity of purpose and being able to use the power of no to say "no" to things that do not align with your purpose. He uses examples of people such as Rosa Parks and Gandhi as people who were "essentialists" in that they had clarity of purpose and they evaluated their priority and stuck to it. Because if you don't prioritize your own life, someone else will do it for you. It's a good talk for anyone that fields a bit scattered in their day-to-day operations.

12. David A. Kessler: The End of Overeating

David A. Kessler, former Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (and the man who helped bring us "Nutrition Facts" on food labeling), discusses his book The End of Overeating in this talk from the Forum Network. He tries to decipher why obesity rates have risen since the 1960s and focuses on salt, sugar, and fat. He argues that these three elements of food hijack the brains reward system and work much like addictive drugs which keep people eating more and more. He proposes public and personal initiatives to instill values of eating whole foods, and changing perceptions of eating foods with salt, sugar, and fat much like public perceptions of smoking have been changed.

And if you need some more encouragement to reduce your sugar consumption, watch this talk from Dr. Robert Lustig:

Robert Lustig on Sugar

Robert Lustig speaks at Google and gives us the history of the rise of the obesity epidemic as he attempts to debunk the idea that it is due to people being gluttonous and slothful. He goes into the history of the sugar and high fructose corn syrup industry, and how fat free processed foods have had sugar added to make them taste better and have longer shelf lives. He connects the rise of sugar consumption with the rise of obesity globally, and he shows that high sugar consumption has many of the same health effects as high alcohol consumption. He encourages political action in the face of a powerful sugar-based food industry, and on a personal level discourages eating foods high in sugar.

13. Jonah Berger on Contagious: Why Things Catch On

We all have ideas we want to share whether it be with friends or in business, and we would all we like these ideas to be influential and spread. In this talk at Google, Jonah Berger takes a look at why certain ideas spread and go viral either by word of mouth or by social media. Berger covers some internet phenomenon that have gone viral and why. He lists six things that make an idea contagious: 1. Their social currency that represents someone's status, 2. Triggers in the environment, 3. Emotion (when we care we share), 4. Publicly visible (such as Apple's white headphones), 5. Practical value (news you can use), and 6. Using stories that carry ideas in them. He then answers questions, such as why are cats so viral?!

14. The Republic

The Republic by Plato is one of the most influential works of philosophy in history. In the form of Socratic dialogue, Plato's teacher and protagonist Socrates sets out to find an answer to the question: "What is justice?". Along the way Socrates discusses the ideal city-state and his theory of forms, which includes his famous allegory of the cave. This audiobook is read by Librivox's star narrator Bob Neufeld.

You can also listen to this version of The Republic via our YouTube channel:

The Republic (on our YouTube Channel)

And if you need some motivation for reading or listening to some of the classics this year, watch this lecture from Big Think:

Jeffrey Brenzel: The Essential Value of a Classic Education

Jeffrey Brenzel, Philosopher and Dean of Undergraduate Admissions at Yale University, argues why you should read old and outdated classics as opposed to just new books. First he lays out his criteria for what makes a work of literature a classic. He briefly delves into some of the classics such as Plato's Republic and how the thought of Plato and Socrates influenced Western thought up to the present day. He explains that studying classic books helps us understand how we got to where we are now, but also provides us with alternative perspectives that we may not encounter in our daily life that can broaden and enrich our view of the World. Ultimately he argues that while the classics might take more effort to read than your latest bestseller, they produce richer rewards that can change your ideas and your life.

15. Dr. Mehmet Oz on Better Health, Healing, and Living Well

One of America's most famous doctors gives a ton of health advice in this hour long talk at The 92nd Street Y. Dr. Oz provides his ideas on why people make lasting changes in their lives to live healthier. He goes on to suggest many ways we can all live healthier from diet to exercise to deep breathing to ways to get a better night sleep. It's a very informative lecture from the enthusiastic health expert Dr. Oz!

16. Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are

Watch the second most popular TED Talk of all time! If you're not one of the 30 million people who have viewed it thus far, then we highly recommend you watch this one. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy makes a strong case for faking it until you make it, or rather, fake it til you become it, in this inspiring talk. She focuses on the importance of posture and how our bodies can affect our minds which can then lead to better outcomes, and she references numerous studies where posture played an important role in outcomes. At the end of the talk she tells of her own moving experience with "faking it" until she had become the person who she doubted she could be. We recommend watching this TED talk as there are a lot of visual references in it. It's a must see!

17. Hay House Meditations Podcast

The popular spiritual growth publisher Hay House is offering over 50 guided meditations on their meditation podcast from many of their top authors including Dr. Wayne Dyer, Louise Hay, Judith Orloff, Marianne Williamson, and many more of their bestselling authors. The podcasts vary in their theme and in their running time giving you many options to choose from. There are quick 3-minute meditations to 25-minute meditations, you can find a guided meditation that fits you schedule. Enjoy this podcast from Hay House.

If you like some guided imagery along with your meditation you can also check out Hay House's Monday Meditation playlist on YouTube featuring over 60 meditations:

Monday Meditations from Hay House on YouTube

18. Top 100 Free Motivational Speeches, Lectures, & Podcasts

To give you a boost this year, we've updated our top 100 free motivational audio & video learning resources that we have featured on our site. For the past seven years we've featured a Monday Motivation email every week as part of our Free Resource of the Day Emails. From these resources we've selected the top 100 free motivational audio & video resources. You can check them all out by clicking the titles below. We've attempted to order them according the best of the best, but they are all highly motivational free resources to inspire you to greater health & wealth in all areas of your life.