Motivational speakers come and go, inspirational speakers tend to have messages that linger longer and over the last decade Motivational and Inspirational Speaking has become an industry all of its own. But who are the true motivators and inspirers of the last decade?

Many of the best motivators and inspirational people of the last decade have been around for more than just a decade and others come on to the scene with huge splash or bang and then vanish. The true motivators and those that inspire most are often the ones not on “the circuit” but are found in everyday life, or in film, TV and sport or even, dare I say it, in politics. Who would they be for you?

I can’t speak for everyone but I will speak for myself. Having done my fair share of motivational and inspirational speaking myself I have taken the time to just highlight who has inspired me most and makes me get up and do not get up and go in the last decade or so.

John C. Maxwell

Top of my list: a writer, preacher and leader of men but a man who understands people. John C. Maxwell’s teaching, if that is the right word, leans on a few core pillars: experience in life, experience in business, an understanding of people and behaviour, and a tremendous Christian faith. He has been around for more than a decade but he both motivates and inspires and understands that in the crazy 21st century world time if of the essence. His teaching is timeless but adapts to the age and he has impacted me more than almost any other.

J.K Rowling

If anyone can show what it takes to inspire and motivate, the creator of Harry Potter can. Her books got children reading in an age where technology was taking them away from print on paper to digital screen. She made a fortune, she inspired others with her story about writing what became one of the biggest selling book and highest grossing movie series’ of all time, and then quite recently it was noted that she was no longer on the Forbes Billionaire list as she had given her money away. As and author myself J.K Rowling has motivated me, and others, to succeed and inspired through her generosity.

Jack Canfield

According to his website, Jack is known as “America’s #1 Success Coach,” He is the originator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul® series, Best-selling author many times over, entrepreneur, public speaker and Founder and Chairman of The Canfield Training Group in Santa Barbara. He has appeared many times on tv programmes across the world and has starred in the famous The Secret. Find out more about Jack here

Piotr Malachowski

“Who?” I hear you ask.

Motivational and Inspirational people come and go, and some through selfless actions make an impact that changes a life or many lives forever but in almost total silence. Piotr Malachowski is a Polish discus thrower who won Silver at the recent Rio Olympics, a kind hearted man who appreciates the value of life.  Piotr auctioned off his silver medal to help raise funds to help a 3-year-old boy, Olek, who had cancer. After he had won Piotr said “My silver medal is worth much more than a week ago. It is worth the health of little Olek.” And on announcing he was auctioning off his medal he said “I fought for gold in Rio. Today I’m calling on everyone to fight for something even more precious. If you help me, my silver medal may turn out to be more precious than gold for Olek.”  That is real inspiration to many and motivation to others.

In the last decade there have been countless people who have inspired and motivated others, to draw up a list would be futile as there are so many and some may inspire me and not you. All around us there are people doing great things that will inspire us, motivate us or teach us something, and whether they are famous or not it makes little difference. The last decade has seen many people who have changed, inspired or motivated a single person or many and in the next there will be others who do the same and some will remain and others will vanish into the mists of time.

Based in Cape Town, South Africa Matt Newnham is a writer who has a cup that is always a little more than half full. Matt is passionate about life and success and his writing has earned him the title “The Master of Emotional Appeal” as he manages to find the true heart and human feeling of almost any subject.  Matt is also the Author of the children’s book Space Ranger Fred and the Shoelace Adventure.  Follow Matt on Twitter @MattNewnhamZA  , on Facebook and on his website