Marcus Hill mug

Marcus Hill, Staff Reporter 

I love motivational videos.

I never realize the genre existed until 10 years ago at Colorado State University Pueblo.

Eric Thomas, then commonly referred to as ET the Hip-Hop Preacher, visited CSU Pueblo for a speaking engagement. However, at the time, I was an intramural supervisor, so during his speech, I had a game to, well, uh, supervise.

Serendipitously enough, a team forfeited due to lack of players, which gave me and other officials a free hour. The forfeit occurred 10 minutes prior to Thomas’ speech, so the intramural officials and I walked to the Occhiato Student Center to listen. 

At the time, I had never heard of Eric Thomas or knew any of his work. But his gravelly voice and passion for kids ignited my spirit.

I don’t recall much f his speech, but the energy Eric Thomas exuded remains in my life to this day.

Years later, I discovered his YouTube channel, podcast and mixtapes (yes, a motivational speaker with mixtapes), which led me down a rabbit hole of other motivational or inspirational speakers: Gary Vaynerchuk, Les Brown, Tony Robbins, David Goggins, Ray Lewis, Najwa Zebian, Tai Lopez — the Lamborghini guy —Jay Shetty, CT Fletcher, Ronnie Coleman, Lewis Howes and Mel Robbins (more on these two later).

Starting in 2016, I watched videos or listened to at least one of them every day. That’s not hyperbole: Every day before work or before the gym, I consumed their material to invigorate my soul for the day.

That streak ended in 2020.

Damn the coronavirus pandemic! Aside from forcing essentially the entire world to shelter in place, it ate at my motivation. And, hey, I had nowhere to go. I figured I had the juice to endure whatever the two-week SIP orders brought.

In hindsight, that was idiotic, especially since the lockdown lasted for months. But alas, listening to or viewing motivational material waned from every day to five days a week and eventually down to one.

Previously, I’d brag I had energy for me and you, enough to complete a marathon and then finish a four-person game of Monopoly.

Once I unplugged from the world of motivation, that energy whittled to having the juice maybe to sit through a 15-second YouTube ad.

My headspace sucked. I recognized the rut but had no desire to improve it. Thankfully, the wheels began churning again a few months ago.

I cut back on fast food (three times a week is excessive), resumed gym workouts and restarted the motivational speeches.

Now, back to Lewis Howes and Mel Robbins.

In early October, Robbins appeared on Howes’ School of Greatness Podcast. Rather than provide a 98-minute synopsis, I will highlight the game changer.

Robbins said when we actively look for something, we will find it. She suggested searching for hearts in our daily lives, on a sign, in food, in a heart-shaped rock. Just find a heart every day, she says.

“OK, Mel Robbins. Hearts. Where the hell will I find a heart in my life? There’s nothing in my work or daily routine I’ll find that resembles a heart.” That was my first thought

The following day at work, I engaged in my 10-minute daily walk. I took a lap around the block, completely expecting not to find a heart despite searching for one. Y’all, I’ll be damned if I didn’t find a heart-shaped rock. 

To be fair, it resembled Superman’s logo, but it was close enough. I picked it up, gave one of those I-can’t-believe-it laughs and put it down.

Now, I see hearts everywhere: leaves, holes in the ground and on trees. I even saw one in a piece of pancake. I have proof for those who do not believe me. 

It is amazing what we see when we’re deliberate about our actions. Imagine what other fortunes we miss due to our stubborn nature.

As we ring in the New Year, speak it, whatever ‘it’ is for you, into existence. My old routine yielded positive results and pushed me through rough patches in life.

I hate I temporarily abandoned it, but the move led to a refreshed perspective. 


Marcus Hill is a reporter for the Southeast Express and Schriever Sentinel. He graduated from Colorado State University-Pueblo in 2012 with a degree in Mass Communication.

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