If I had to pick one motivational speaker as a favorite it would undoubtedly be Eric Thomas who is also know as “ET The Hip Hop Preacher.” I first stumbled upon Eric after watching his YouTube video called “Secrets to Success” which currently has almost 1.5 million views and is essentially his claim to motivational speaking fame.
Eric was by no means an instant success instead he has an incredible and inspiring life’s story. He is an african american who grew up on the streets of Detroit, Michigan and his father left him at a young age. Eric actually did not get the chance to meet his real father until later in life. Eric also dropped out of high school and was even homeless at one point. Despite all of these misfortunes he was able to turn his life around drastically. He went on to get his GED and then went on to college. The road ahead was still tough as in his words it took him “12 years to get a four year degree” which has become a popular phrase he states in his videos emphasizing the importance of persistence. He then figured since it took him so long to get his bachelor’s degree he might as well keep going and that he did. He went on to receive his master’s degree and then just within the past year he successfully completed his PhD.
Eric has an amazing story and if your interested in learning more about him I suggest reading his book, “The Secret to Success” and following him on YouTube at ET Hip Hop Preacher YouTube Channel.
Eric is my favorite motivational speaker because he is easy to relate too. He did not come from a privileged background and therefore, in a way, he is a quintessential underdog. In his videos there is a strong undertone for an emphasis on motivating young people especially those that are in college which can be seen in the video below, which I would often watch during finals week. He even used to work at Michigan State University and has several videos on his YouTube channel of him delivering speeches to students there. Eric’s speaking style and his style in general are unique for a motivational figure. He is unlike any other which I am sure is a part of what contributed to his popularity. Eric stays true to his roots and always wears a flat brim hat when giving speeches regardless of his audience. When speaking he does not merely give you a list of steps or principles you should follow, instead he tells a story. The most impressive aspect of his speaking style is the emotion that he puts behind his words. When listening to his speeches I sometimes get goose bumps! Overall, if I had to summarize the message behind all of Eric’s videos it would be to work relentlessly hard at whatever you are trying to achieve and to never, ever give up.
Some of My Favorite Quotes by ET the Hip Hop Preacher
“When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you’ll be successful.”
“You will never ever be successful, until you turn your pain into greatness, until you allow your pain to push you from where you are to push you to where you need to be. Stop running from your pain and embrace your pain. Your pain is going to be a part of your prize, a part of your product. I challenge you to push yourself.”
“Forget about your past! Make the rest of your life, the best of your life.”
“If you can look up, you can get up.”
“Don’t cry to quit. Cry to keep going.”
“The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.”
“Without struggle there is no progress.”
Some of My Favorite Videos by ET the Hip Hop Preacher7:35, I really like the analogy Eric uses here to explain what happens when you hold onto your past. 2:50, Another great analogy stating that you should be like an airplane that rises above bad weather – rise above your problems as well! It is so easy to get sucked into negative thinking patterns or just problems in general. This video was a huge turning point for me in that it speaks volumes about the importance of perspective. Instead of looking at bad situations as just you having bad luck or having a terrible life, there is actually a lot of success and growth that can come from these negative situations and sometimes just mentally perceiving them as positive events instead of completely negative can make a world of a difference. From 13:00 to 14:30 when I watched this in college I cried. Enough said. Watch the ending. Great video on resiliency!
Amazing video for any college or graduate students. Eric gives a speech to students before the last few weeks of the semester. Very motivating for those about to finish up a semester! I CAN. I WILL. I MUST. Great video for when your in that super tough situation and you feel like giving up.