Music was a major part of my adolescent development. It gave me an escapism that, looking back, I never realized how much I depended on. It had the power to take me away from whatever I was going through at the time and throw me into whatever alternate emotion or reality I preferred. At some point in my angst ridden youth, I decided that my soul moved to a more aggressive cadence.

While I no longer hit up the hardcore or punk shows, I still keep a few key tracks on standby when I need a boost of youthful energy from my past. Here are a few that will forever have a spot on my playlists!

5. Fort Minor – Remember the Name

Of the songs on this list, this is easily the most upbeat. Not that the others are depressing, it’s just that this one has a much happier tone. This is one for getting out there, getting what you want, and doing it all with a confident smirk because you know you’re going to get it done.

4. Cypress Hill – Rock Superstar

This one isn’t so much as a motivator as much as it helps me put things into perspective for what it takes to be successful. I’m not entirely sure how far I want to take this content creation, but this song reminds me that even the slightest bit of movement takes more sacrifice and dedication that most seem to realize.

3. Five Finger Death Punch – Back For More

One of the last rock shows that I attended, and without any hyperbole they put on one of the best live shows I have ever seen. At the time they were between their first two albums, so Ivan was still relying on his stage presence to make the show entertaining rather than backdrops, lighting, and pyrotechnics. This song in particular gives me the drive for getting me off my butt and back into the process.

2. Unleash the Archers – Test Your Metal

This is a considerably more recent song than the remainder of this list, but it serves a distinct purpose. The whole message of this song is once you’ve achieved some notoriety in your current locale and you have hit a plateau, you’re going to have to push out of your comfort zone. Be that your current networking circle or your geographic location. At this current time, I have been able to establish a bit of a name for myself in the local Con circuit, but if I am to make any more movement I am going to have to venture out beyond my current area code. Time (and money) is tight at the moment, but I may be able to squeeze the occasional venture with enough planning.

1. Authority Zero – Sky’s the Limit

Easily my absolute favorite for motivation. The final lines helped me put things into perspective when I was going through some really tough times many years back. The gist of it is: So you’re going through some rough patches. You essentially have two option: you can either sit there and wallow in your sadness, wishing things were different OR you can get up, NOW, and start working towards something better, NOW. You may not make much progress immediately or it make take a long time before things begin to pay off. But the truth of the matter sometimes is that if you do not start, then it will never happen. Start something now, see it through to the end, and eventually things will start to happen.

What’s on YOUR Soundtrack?

Tell me what has worked for YOU in the past! Are you with me with the rock, or do you take a more serene approach to focus yourself?

Honorable Mention: Rise Against – Give It All

“These reasons belong to me”