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20 Best Inspirational Speeches from the Movies

20 Best Inspirational Speeches from the Movies

When inspiration does not come, I go for a walk, go to the movies, talk to a friend, let go… The muse is bound to return again, especially if I turn my back!

~Judy Collins

People watch movies for a lot of different reasons. Some watch for escapism—to leave their everyday lives and experience the exotic, exciting lands that are in the movies they watch. Some watch movies to be thrilled or even scared, They watch action movies and horror movies to get the blood pumping. I watch movies for another reason—to be inspired. I love inspirational speeches. When I come out of a movie, I want to feel like I can conquer the world, that everything is possible, and that good will win out in the end.

Inspirational Movie Speeches

I have racked up twenty movies that are on my list to watch over and over again, at least for the inspirational speeches in them. Ready to be inspired? In no particular order, here we go:

1. Independence Day (1996) – President Whitmore Speech

The aliens have pretty much conquered Earth. The US President has put together a rag tag fleet to go against them. None of the pilots know if they will return or even be successful. President Whitmore gives them a speech to go for it. In the context of the 4th of July, he speaks of teamwork, freedom, and not giving up.

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2. Gladiator (2000) – As One

Former Roman General Maximus is standing before a blood thirsty crowd with a motley crew of gladiators. He recognizes what has beenlanned for their death and organizes the gladiators together to form an effective fighting unit. His message is stand alone, you die. Stand together and we can win.

3. Braveheart (1995) – William Wallace

Leader of the rebel Scots, William Wallace exhorts his people to fight for their freedom and not live one further day in slavery. This is based on the real speech that William Wallace gave before the Battle of Stirling. Makes you want to go out and buy a kilt.

4. Network (1976) – Mad as Hell

Fired TV broadcaster Howard Beale pleads with people not to believe what they see on TV and not to feel powerless against the political and media forces of the world. For a film that is thirty-seven years old, it still hits a lot of the issues that are relevant today.

5. Peaceful Warrior (2006) – Take Out the Trash

The centuries old teacher Socrates teaches Dan about taking out the trash. “The trash is anything that is keeping you from the only thing that matters… this moment, here and now.”

6. Rocky (1976) – It Ain’t How Hard You Hit

Rocky gives his grown up son a heart to heart on stop blaming others and taking charge of his own life. It is a great speech from a father to a son about taking responsibility.

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7. The Legend of Bagger Vance (2006) – Authentic Swing

Caddy Bagger Vance gives advice on looking inside of yourself and finding what is your true nature. Great inspiration when it gets hectic and crazy.  .

8. The Blind Side (2009) – The Charge of the Light Brigade

Through a recital of the “The Charge of the Light Brigade” a struggling student and football player learns about courage and honor. Great linkage of the historic charge to teamwork and responsibility in the modern age.

9. Secondhand Lions (2003) – Everything a Boy Needs to Know

Great uncle Hub McCann teaches his nephew Walter about what it takes to be a man. He speaks of honor, courage, virtue and power of good.

10.  Forever Strong (2008) – Haka Chant

Not really a speech, the Haka chant before the rugby match will get your blood going. Got a hard contest ahead of you? Watch this and get it done!

11.  Faith Like Potatoes (2006) – White African

While putting on a demonstration of his native country of Scotland, South African farmer Angus is challenged by one of the locals about his national loyalties. Angus talks about how you can love your heritage and still love your new home. He speaks of diversity and acceptance. Great story for those who have moved away from home and feel torn.

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12.  Miracle on Ice (2004) – You Were Born for This

US Hockey Team Coach Herb Brooks put together a team of amateurs to play against the world’s elite hockey player. Prior to the semi final game against the Russians he speaks to the team as they sit in the locker room. “Great moments are born from great opportunity.”

13. We are Marshall (2006) – We Cannot Lose

The coach of a football team delivers a speech honoring the memory of the prior team that had been killed in a plane crash. How do you pick it up when all seems lost? “This is your opportunity to rise from the ashes and grab glory!”

14. Invictus (2009) – This Is Our Country

In overtime, South African Rugby Captain François Pienaar urges his team to fight on for victory. It’s short, sweet, and to the point.

15. Any Given Sunday (1999) – Inch By inch

An aging football coach takes a good look at himself and asks his team do the same. You can accept your present, miserable circumstances or you can fight your way out of it.

16. The Shawshank Redemption (1994) – Get Busy Living

Convict Andy would not allow grim circumstances keep him from hoping and following his dreams. This speech is great to watch when you are feeling sorry for yourself.

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17. Remember the Titans (2000) – Coach Boone speech

Football coach Boone reminds his players of the Battle of Gettysburg and the need to come together as a team.

18. Hoosiers (1986) – I Don’t Care What the Scoreboard Says

Coach Dale talks about the need to be winners. Forget about the distractions, just put out the effort and concentration to win at what you want.

19. Facing the Giants (2006) – Death Crawl

Coach Taylor urges his team to give their best for the game. Don’t ever give up before you started. There is a lot more inside of yourself than you might believe.

20. Don Juan DeMarco (1994) – Four Questions

Finally Don Juan explains that love conquers all. It is the reason for living and dying. Nice!

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

For the original article by Celestine: 13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

“We all have problems. The way we solve them is what makes us different.” ~Unknown

“It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” – Hans Selye

Have you ever experienced moments when things just don’t go your way? For example, losing your keys, accidentally spilling your drink, waking up late, missing your buses/trains, forgetting to bring your things, and so on?

You’re not alone. All of us, myself included, experience times when things don’t go as we expect.

Here is my guide on how to deal with daily setbacks.

1. Take a step back and evaluate

When something bad happens, take a step back and evaluate the situation. Some questions to ask yourself:

  1. What is the problem?
  2. Are you the only person facing this problem in the world today?
  3. How does this problem look like at an individual level? A national level? On a global scale?
  4. What’s the worst possible thing that can happen to you as a result of this?
  5. How is it going to impact your life in the next 1 year? 5 years? 10 years?

Doing this exercise is not to undermine the problem or disclaiming responsibility, but to consider different perspectives, so you can adopt the best approach for it. Most problems we encounter daily may seem like huge issues when they crop up, but most, if not all, don’t have much impact in our life beyond that day.

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2. Vent if you have to, but don’t linger on the problem

If you feel very frustrated and need to let off some steam, go ahead and do that. Talk to a friend, complain, crib about it, or scream at the top of your lungs if it makes you happy.

At the same time, don’t get caught up with venting. While venting may temporarily relieve yourself, it’s not going to solve the problem ultimately. You don’t want to be an energy vampire.

Vent if there’s a need to, but do it for 15 to 20 minutes. Then move on.

3. Realize there are others out there facing this too

Even though the situation may be frustrating, you’re not alone. Remember there are almost 7 billion people in the world today, and chances are that other people have faced the same thing before too. Knowing it’s not just you helps you to get out of a self-victimizing mindset.

4. Process your thoughts/emotions

Process your thoughts/emotions with any of the four methods:

  1. Journal. Write your unhappiness in a private diary or in your blog. It doesn’t have to be formal at all – it can be a brain dump on rough paper or new word document. Delete after you are done.
  2. Audio taping. Record yourself as you talk out what’s on your mind. Tools include tape recorder, your PC (Audacity is a freeware for recording/editing audio) and your mobile (most mobiles today have audio recording functions). You can even use your voice mail for this. Just talking helps you to gain awareness of your emotions. After recording, play back and listen to what you said. You might find it quite revealing.
  3. Meditation. At its simplest form, meditation is just sitting/lying still and observing your reality as it is – including your thoughts and emotions. Some think that it involves some complex mambo-jumbo, but it doesn’t.
  4. Talking to someone. Talking about it with someone helps you work through the issue. It also gets you an alternate viewpoint and consider it from a different angle.

5. Acknowledge your thoughts

Don’t resist your thoughts, but acknowledge them. This includes both positive and negative thoughts.

By acknowledging, I mean recognizing these thoughts exist. So if say, you have a thought that says, “Wow, I’m so stupid!”, acknowledge that. If you have a thought that says, “I can’t believe this is happening to me again”, acknowledge that as well.

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Know that acknowledging the thoughts doesn’t mean you agree with them. It’s simply recognizing the existence of said thoughts so that you can stop resisting yourself and focus on the situation on hand.

6. Give yourself a break

If you’re very stressed out by the situation, and the problem is not time sensitive, then give yourself a break. Take a walk, listen to some music, watch a movie, or get some sleep. When you’re done, you should feel a lot more revitalized to deal with the situation.

7. Uncover what you’re really upset about

A lot of times, the anger we feel isn’t about the world. You may start off feeling angry at someone or something, but at the depth of it, it’s anger toward yourself.

Uncover the root of your anger. I have written a five part anger management series on how to permanently overcome anger.

After that, ask yourself: How can you improve the situation? Go to Step #9, where you define your actionable steps. Our anger comes from not having control on the situation. Sitting there and feeling infuriated is not going to change the situation. The more action we take, the more we will regain control over the situation, the better we will feel.

8. See this as an obstacle to be overcome

As Helen Keller once said,

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

Whatever you’re facing right now, see it as an obstacle to be overcome. In every worthy endeavor, there’ll always be countless obstacles that emerge along the way. These obstacles are what separate the people who make it, and those who don’t. If you’re able to push through and overcome them, you’ll emerge a stronger person than before. It’ll be harder for anything to get you down in the future.

9. Analyze the situation – Focus on actionable steps

In every setback, there are going to be things that can’t be reversed since they have already occurred. You want to focus on things that can still be changed (salvageable) vs. things that have already happened and can’t be changed. The only time the situation changes is when you take steps to improve it. Rather than cry over spilt milk, work through your situation:

  1. What’s the situation?
  2. What’s stressing you about this situation?
  3. What are the next steps that’ll help you resolve them?
  4. Take action on your next steps!

After you have identified your next steps, act on them. The key here is to focus on the actionable steps, not the inactionable steps. It’s about regaining control over the situation through direct action.

10. Identify how it occurred (so it won’t occur again next time)

A lot of times we react to our problems. The problem occurs, and we try to make the best out of what has happened within the context. While developing a healthy coping mechanism is important (which is what the other helping points are on), it’s also equally important, if not more, to understand how the problem arose. This way, you can work on preventing it from taking place next time, vs. dealing reactively with it.

Most of us probably think the problem is outside of our control, but reality is most of the times it’s fully preventable. It’s just a matter of how much responsibility you take over the problem.

For example, for someone who can’t get a cab for work in the morning, he/she may see the problem as a lack of cabs in the country, or bad luck. However, if you trace to the root of the problem, it’s probably more to do with (a) Having unrealistic expectations of the length of time to get a cab. He/she should budget more time for waiting for a cab next time. (b) Oversleeping, because he/she was too tired from working late the previous day. He/she should allocate enough time for rest next time. He/she should also pick up better time management skills, so as to finish work in lesser time.

11. Realize the situation can be a lot worse

No matter how bad the situation is, it can always be much worse. A plus point vs. negative point analysis will help you realize that.

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12. Do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it

No matter how bad your situation may seem, do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it. Life is too beautiful to worry so much over daily issues. Take a step back (#1), give yourself a break if you need to (#6), and do what you can within your means (#9). Everything else will unfold accordingly. Worrying too much about the outcome isn’t going to change things or make your life any better.

13. Pick out the learning points from the encounter

There’s something to learn from every encounter. What have you learned from this situation? What lessons have you taken away?

After you identify your learning points, think about how you’re going to apply them moving forward. With this, you’ve clearly gained something from this encounter. You’ve walked away a stronger, wiser, better person, with more life lessons to draw from in the future.

Get the manifesto version of this article: [Manifesto] What To Do When Things Don’t Go Your Way

Featured photo credit: Alice Donovan Rouse via unsplash.com

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