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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 August 6, 2020

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

We’ve all done it. That moment when a series of words slithers from your mouth and the instant regret manifests through blushing and profuse apologies. If you could just think before you speak! It doesn’t have to be like this, and with a bit of practice, it’s actually quite easy to prevent.

“Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” – Napolean Hill

Are we speaking the same language?

My mum recently left me a note thanking me for looking after her dog. She’d signed it with “LOL.” In my world, this means “laugh out loud,” and in her world it means “lots of love.” My kids tell me things are “sick” when they’re good, and ”manck” when they’re bad (when I say “bad,” I don’t mean good!). It’s amazing that we manage to communicate at all.

When speaking, we tend to color our language with words and phrases that have become personal to us, things we’ve picked up from our friends, families and even memes from the internet. These colloquialisms become normal, and we expect the listener (or reader) to understand “what we mean.” If you really want the listener to understand your meaning, try to use words and phrases that they might use.

Am I being lazy?

When you’ve been in a relationship for a while, a strange metamorphosis takes place. People tend to become lazier in the way that they communicate with each other, with less thought for the feelings of their partner. There’s no malice intended; we just reach a “comfort zone” and know that our partners “know what we mean.”

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Here’s an exchange from Psychology Today to demonstrate what I mean:

Early in the relationship:

“Honey, I don’t want you to take this wrong, but I’m noticing that your hair is getting a little thin on top. I know guys are sensitive about losing their hair, but I don’t want someone else to embarrass you without your expecting it.”

When the relationship is established:

“Did you know that you’re losing a lot of hair on the back of your head? You’re combing it funny and it doesn’t help. Wear a baseball cap or something if you feel weird about it. Lots of guys get thin on top. It’s no big deal.”

It’s pretty clear which of these statements is more empathetic and more likely to be received well. Recognizing when we do this can be tricky, but with a little practice it becomes easy.

Have I actually got anything to say?

When I was a kid, my gran used to say to me that if I didn’t have anything good to say, I shouldn’t say anything at all. My gran couldn’t stand gossip, so this makes total sense, but you can take this statement a little further and modify it: “If you don’t have anything to say, then don’t say anything at all.”

A lot of the time, people speak to fill “uncomfortable silences,” or because they believe that saying something, anything, is better than staying quiet. It can even be a cause of anxiety for some people.

When somebody else is speaking, listen. Don’t wait to speak. Listen. Actually hear what that person is saying, think about it, and respond if necessary.

Am I painting an accurate picture?

One of the most common forms of miscommunication is the lack of a “referential index,” a type of generalization that fails to refer to specific nouns. As an example, look at these two simple phrases: “Can you pass me that?” and “Pass me that thing over there!”. How often have you said something similar?

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How is the listener supposed to know what you mean? The person that you’re talking to will start to fill in the gaps with something that may very well be completely different to what you mean. You’re thinking “pass me the salt,” but you get passed the pepper. This can be infuriating for the listener, and more importantly, can create a lack of understanding and ultimately produce conflict.

Before you speak, try to label people, places and objects in a way that it is easy for any listeners to understand.

What words am I using?

It’s well known that our use of nouns and verbs (or lack of them) gives an insight into where we grew up, our education, our thoughts and our feelings.

Less well known is that the use of pronouns offers a critical insight into how we emotionally code our sentences. James Pennebaker’s research in the 1990’s concluded that function words are important keys to someone’s psychological state and reveal much more than content words do.

Starting a sentence with “I think…” demonstrates self-focus rather than empathy with the speaker, whereas asking the speaker to elaborate or quantify what they’re saying clearly shows that you’re listening and have respect even if you disagree.

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Is the map really the territory?

Before speaking, we sometimes construct a scenario that makes us act in a way that isn’t necessarily reflective of the actual situation.

A while ago, John promised to help me out in a big way with a project that I was working on. After an initial meeting and some big promises, we put together a plan and set off on its execution. A week or so went by, and I tried to get a hold of John to see how things were going. After voice mails and emails with no reply and general silence, I tried again a week later and still got no response.

I was frustrated and started to get more than a bit vexed. The project obviously meant more to me than it did to him, and I started to construct all manner of crazy scenarios. I finally got through to John and immediately started a mild rant about making promises you can’t keep. He stopped me in my tracks with the news that his brother had died. If I’d have just thought before I spoke…

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