I thought I was taking a gym class, but I was definitely not expecting what I got instead. 

I took a class called "Personalized Fitness" to try to cover my physical education gen-ed requirement, but soon came to realize that this was not your typical gym class, and we would not be doing anything that involved sweat, or kickball. At first I was disappointed, because I was looking forward to some good old fashioned gym class after a long day of sitting at desks, but that outlook soon changed when I met our professor-Dr. Robert Gilbert-sports psychologist, motivational speaker, and an expert on all things inspirational. He is intelligent, a great storyteller, as well as a very interesting person; his lectures include magic tricks, ripping decks of cards in half and breaking arrows on his neck (the only time I sweat in this class was watching that lecture), all he does all this in the name of teaching and his "war against average". 

When I took Dr. Gilbert's class, I was not in the best place. After a tumultuous 3 semesters of college that including transferring-twice- I was down and out, feeling sorry for myself, wondering why it didn't happen for me the way it was "supposed" to. But Every time I walked out of Dr. Gilbert's class I literally felt like I could do anything, and by the end of the semester I firmly believed that I could and would accomplish anything and everything I want in life. He told us that if we let it, and take his advice, this class could change our lives and it most definitely changed mine.

But don't fret if you can't take his class at MSU. Dr. Gilbert has dedicated his life to motivating students for the last 25 years through his Success Hotline. Dr. Gilbert started his hotline on January 22nd, 1992 as a wrestling coach who wanted to be able to motivate his athletes more than just when he saw them a few times a week.

According to Dr. Gilbert is is easier to do something everyday then once a week so soon his Monday Peptalks turned into a daily message. He has left a message every single day since 1992, that's 25 years and over 9,609 messages, and that dedication is inspiring in itself, even if you don't call the number. His hotline is a way for him to "practice becoming a better teacher and speaker because no one is crazy enough to do it every single day." Dr. Gilbert said for him the hotline is like brushing his teeth, it would be harder for him not to do it because it has become such a large part of his daily life. 

When I asked Dr Gilbert where he gets his ideas from he said that "nature abhors a vacuum," which he explained as knowing that he has a 3 minute hold to fill each morning and having that in the back of his mind allows him to notice or find things throughout the day that have a message. 

I asked Dr. Gilbert if he could describe the hotline in one sentence, what would it be? He had several sentences: "You have all the ability inside you, all you're lacking is the strategy," and "Thoughts determine what  you want, actions determine what you get." 

These are two lessons that Dr. Gilbert stressed greatly in our class, and many of the inspirational stories that he shares are examples of these quotes in action. Dr. Gilbert mentioned that many of the students that have been calling for years have actually become very successful professionally. There is no hard data about the effects of his hotline on these people, but I think it is pretty clear that hearing these positive messages all the time both consciously and subconsciously helped them become as successful as they are today. 

beer, pizza, coffee, tea
Kristen Matthews

If you know what's good for you, call this number:


If you're not into phone calls, try twitter, or the blog

Every year in high school we learned about all the hotlines that we could call for suicide, alcohol, abuse, etc, which all have a time and a place, unfortunately. But Dr. Gilbert has created a hotline to call for positivity, inspiration, and motivation. Basically, you call the number and it leads to a recording of Dr. Gilbert giving his inspirational message. 

Every college student should know this number to call when you need a little inspiration; it doesn't matter if you need a small amount of motivation to get up and go to the gym, or are prepping for a job interview and need a big confidence booster. The hotline holds a different purpose for everyone! Some people call every day, some only once in a while. Either way, the hotline is there when you need it most.