The Greatest Motivational Speaker Ever Teaches Happiness and How to Live Life

I am not the greatest motivational speaker ever, nor would I attempt to call myself such.  I am a simple man that so happens to be one of the top youth motivational speakers in the world.  Since 1992, I have addressed high school and middle school audiences all over the world.  Having said that, I share with you this video and some thoughts because people always ask me, “Jeff, how are you always happy and have such a great outlook on life?” The answer isn’t too hard to find.

I’ve come to learn that there are three things you want in life.  When the day is done and you think about what you did or didn’t do, you really want to know three things:

1.  Is your life meaningful

2.  Is your life rewarding

3.  Is your life fulfilling

That is it.  You just want to know that what you do every day, do you answer those three questions.  If not, you aren’t living life the way it should be lived.  That is my opinion.  If you are living life to the fullest, you will undoubtedly answer “Yes!” to those three questions.

So, how do you do it?  I remember back in 1993, I was going through some of the hardest and darkest days of my life when I watched the awesome Jimmy Valvano Speech.  The world famous, “Don’t Give Up! Don’t Ever Give Up! Speech.  Do you remember?  Did you watch?  Well, stop now and watch by clicking the link I just gave to you.  It is the most awesome and motivational speech that I have ever watched and it is the speech that changed my life.

Listen, things happen every day to the best of us.  Some things are within our control and some things aren’t.  The bottom line is that you can only control what you have the power to control.  This video is a result of Jimmy Valvano and NC State winning the 1983 NCAA National Basketball Championships.  Do you remember that game?  It was one of the greatest NCAA Finals of all time.  NC State versus Houston.  The Cardiac Kids versus the Phi Slamma Jamma from Houston.  NC State pulled off the victory.  It was awesome.  I am a big Jimmy V fan and always have been.

I’ll recap a little of what this video meant to me.  Unfortunately,because of controversy Jimmy Valvano was fired from NC State in 1989-1990.  In June of 1992, Jimmy Valvano was stricken with terminal cancer.  March of 1993, ESPN came out with the ESPN Espy Awards and they invited Jimmy V to give the keynote talk that night.

He was so weak, but mustered everything he could to give that speech and announce the Jimmy Foundation.  He talked about how he had little time to live, but talked about the cancer taking away his energy, but how it couldn’t touch his heart, his spirit, or his soul.  Then, he told the three things you should do every day.  I remember this talk.  He is dying of cancer, yet he talked about the three things you have to do every day.  I remember and I have lived them every day of my life and I will continue to do so.  Here they are:

1.  Laugh.  Laugh every day

2.  Spend time in thought

3.  Don’t ever be afraid to have your emotions moved to tears

I have learned that no matter what you deal with in life, remember, “it will be ok!”  Also remember, “very day you have the power to choose your attitude and the choices you make.”  Jimmy Valvano has given me life and taught me so much.  Thank you Jimmy Valvano and rest in peace my friend.

** Jeff Yalden is one of the most sought after teen motivational speakers in America today.  Jeff Yalden has impacted audiences in school assemblies and teen leadership conferences in all 50 states, 48 countries, and every Canadian Province.  For more information on Jeff Yalden, please visit



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Author:Jeff Yalden, Youth Motivational Speaker

Youth Motivational Speaker & Teen Life Coach. Since 1992, Jeff Yalden has been mesmerizing audiences with his engaging style and passion. Jeff is a story-teller that every where he speaks, he guarantees he is real and in the moment, perfect for every audience. He is one of a kind. He's interactive and nobody pours as much energy and passion into their programs that Jeff does. Guaranteed, Jeff will be a defining moment and a highlight of your students lives.

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