By now, just about everyone on earth has seen Susan Boyle sing on Britain’s Got Talent.

Just in case you are one of the three people on the planet who hasn’t seen it, HERE IT IS.

I’m voting it the most inspirational moment of our time.

Every second of that video has a lesson. From the confidence she radiated when she said: “I’m going to make that audience rock” to the smile she continued to beam as the audience laughed at her, whistled cat calls and rolled their eyes.

When she said her ambition was to be as successful as the British actress Elaine Paige, the audience scoffed. She continued to smile.

Listening to the introduction to her song, knowing that in just 8 seconds her life was going to change forever, was an incredible thrill.

My favorite part happened four seconds into her singing when the ever-skeptical Simon raised his eyebrows, astounded at what he was hearing.

Every single moment of that video was perfect. Susan’s choice of a song, the music dramatically playing in the background after she finished singing, the judges admitting that everyone was cynical and against her when she came out.

Even the opening of the segment was perfect. It showed an overweight, unattractive Susan, eating.

The 15 seconds from the time the button was pushed to start her music to the audience going wild in a standing ovation was, in my opinion, the most impactful moment of all.

As I write this, I’ve watched that video over 100 times. It’s inspirational, it’s motivational. But most importantly, it’s the greatest success lesson I’ve ever seen.

Susan mentioned that she had been chasing her dream since she was 12 (she’s now 47). She didn’t give up. Then, in just seconds, the Grand Prize of Life was her’s. That’s how it works. Many people believe there’s some kind of success ladder. As long as you work hard and do what each step of the ladder requires, you’ll reach the top.

Tain’t necessarily true. You can do everything you’re “supposed to do” and never reach the top.

One of my favorite sayings is from Muhammad Ali: “It doesn’t matter that you were knocked down 68 times. It only matters that you stood up 69 times.”

So often I’ve seen people give up, never reaching their dream. It took me 19 years to perfect my publicity system. I didn’t give up and I was rewarded with the Grand Prize of Life.

Save that video to your hard drive. Watch it over and over again. Watch the middle-aged, frumpy, overweight, unattractive woman mow down all the ridicule, insults, negativity, obstacles (real and imagined) to realize her dream. Then consider what you’re doing to reach your dream.

There’s nothing I can do for you that can help, inspire and motivate you more than that video.

That’s it for now. I want to see if I can watch the video 200 times by the end of the day.

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  1. Jean D. Francois Says:

    I agree with you. This was very inspirational. it even brought tears into my eyes. I even used it in my next sermon teh following week end. We must persevere. The dream must never die. Never give up, no mattter what!

  2. Paul Hartunian Says:

    And I agree with you, Jean. It’s brought tears to my eyes over 100 times now. I hope everyone watches and absorbs that video.

  3. Gina Parris Says:

    Absolutely!! I love the unspoken insinuation of “You stupid woman,don’t you know if you’re FORTY SEVEN years old and your dream hasn’t worked out for you yet, than there is obviously something wrong with you – or your bloody dream.” NOT!! How many people buy into the previous story, even when the words are unspoken. Go Susan!

  4. Dan Page Says:


    I begin every day at 6:00 AM watching that video. And many times throughout the day, when I need inspiration.

    Anyone with an ounce of substance can FEEL the power of those few minutes. It doesn’t get any better than this!

    After 20 years of hard work, I’m making a big change and taking a HUGE career risk, which you’ll soon hear about. Susan Boyle doesn’t know it…but she’s helping me every day!


  5. Dave Says:

    I am impressed. Not only one of my favorite songs, but a huge leap from what one would expect from appearances to actual performance.

  6. Chris W James Says:

    I loved it and was happy that finally something positive made the news. The world can’t deny her perseverance.
    It’s a great lesson that I needed to reflect upon this week. As I’m feeling a bit discouraged, and under the weather, thanks.

  7. Jillian Gotlib Says:

    Dear Susan Boyle, thank you, for your exquisite angel voice and inspirational song.
    You are the “Seabiscuit” of our time, and I am privileged to have heard you sing.
    Thank you for making my life richer, in heart , courage, gusto, and gumption, and sheer artistic talent.
    Here’s to Real Beauty, Truth & Goodness…..
    Unpretentious and Genuine!

  8. Signe A. Dayhoff, Ph.D. Says:

    I can’t think of anything else that has stirred so many people so positively in many years. When I saw it originally, my first thought before she walked out on the stage was “please let her not be embarrassed.” Everyone’s reaction to her humble appearance distressed me and I was anticipating harsh criticism that anyone who looked like just a real person with no pretense or artifices could produce anything of quality. I hoped she would show them. And then she confidently sang her first note. I wept, I cheered, and hoped that at least a few people would come away realizing that you don’t have to look like a Barbie Doll construction to have something wonderful to offer.

    Paul, thank you so much for writing about her multi-faceted inspiration and how persistence needs to carry you along to achieve your dreams. it has taken me years too.

  9. Jillian Gotlib Says:

    P.S. I loved it when she blew a kiss the audience!
    She knew she had slayed that Dragon!

  10. Jackie Says:

    Susan gave us an unforgettable performance and an invaluable life lesson.

  11. Yves Marie Danie Says:

    Last week, I watched this video more times than I will admit.

    I had to stop watching it because my head was hurting from all the crying that was going on. I can’t remember ever being this moved in such a very long time.

    Soul-refreshing, at its’ finest.

    It made me look inside myself and ask a lot of questions. Reminding me that it is moments such as Susan Boyles’ that really matter because it changes lives, changes hearts – if only for a time.

    It felt super-GREAT cheering for the underdog! 🙂

  12. Yves Marie Danie Says:

    Oh, and yes, Paul.

    To answer your question? This was ABSOLUTELY the most inspirational moments of our time.

    Well, it’s certainly right up there. 🙂

  13. Robert Schwarztrauber Says:

    Very moving and inspirational Paul! You could feel the power in her voice when she said, “I’m going to make that audience rock”.
    She decided! There was no doubt in her voice whatsoever, even after all those years of trying. She decided, and it was so.
    There’s your answer. That’s how she did it. Great video. Great lessons.

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