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25 Inspirational Movie Quotes That Teach You About Life And Death

25 Inspirational Movie Quotes That Teach You About Life And Death

All of us have our favorite film that tackles life and death themes, yet moving observations about our existence can be found in an incredibly wide range of films. Whether a film is comedic or tragic, for kids or adults, audiences are frequently faced with tender, noteworthy views on life and death. Whether they are old favorites or new additions, these movies hold truly pointed and touching observations about life and death.

Be The Change

life and death

    “Sometimes the truth isn’t good enough, sometimes people deserve more. Sometimes people deserve to have their faith rewarded…”
    -Batman, The Dark Knight

    In a film emphasizing doing good because it’s our duty as humans, no other line summarizes the importance of taking initiative quite like this one.

    Seek Your Own Path

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      “This cannot be my destiny!”
      -MewTwo, Pokemon: The First Movie

      Films for children rarely stir your soul, but who doesn’t empathize with a character becoming aware of himself in the very worst of starting places. A movie that challenges kids to go after what they want, MewTwos hatred of his lot in life can stir any viewer.

      Avoid Being A Follower

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        “Who’s the more foolish, the fool or the fool who follows him?”
        -Obi-Wan, Star Wars: A New Hope 

        In the middle of a tense undercover mission, Obi-Wan addresses the other character’s fears head on, reminding each of us to think before we follow others.

        Life Requires Art

        life-is

          “Nothing is more necessary than the unnecessary.”
          -Uncle Eliseo, Life Is Beautiful

          Amid the tragedies of the holocaust, Guido in Life Is Beautiful strives to protect his sons innocence. The film highlights the critical nature of art in everyday life, making the case that the things and people we love are the only reason for living. Never is this more clear than when Uncle Eliseo states our need for art and comedy so concisely.

          Believe In Yourself

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            “Luke: ‘I don’t, I don’t believe it.’ Yoda: ‘That is why you fail.’”
            -Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

            Perhaps no movie character can beat Yoda when it comes to the wise, all-knowing mentor. This simple retort to Luke’s complaint is a poignant underscore to one of the main themes in the Star Wars films: that a strong mind that perseveres can do anything in life.

            Choose Your Destiny

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              “I see now that the circumstances of one’s birth are irrelevant; it is what you do with the gift of life that determines who you are.”
              -MewTwo, Pokemon: The First Movie

              The penultimate line from Pokemon: The First Movie, when the result of a scientific experiment learns our choices determine who we are. Proving that quality films, even ones about Pokemon, can teach us a thing or two about life and death.

              Don’t Take Life Too Seriously

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                “This trial… the whole world… it’s all… show business.”
                -Billy Flynn, Chicago

                Another theme in Chicago rings reminiscent of Shakespeare’s “all the worlds a stage..”. Highlighting the temperance of life, reminds us all to enjoy life while we have it, concentrating less on where we are and more on enjoying the ride.

                Consider The Other Side

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                  [Explaining the death of her parents to Stitch] “It was raining, and they went for a drive. What happened to yours? I hear you cry at night. Do you dream about them? I know that’s why you wreck things, and push me.”
                  -Lilo, Lilo And Stitch

                  Lilo’s unique perspective on the troublesome, chaotic stitch in Lilo And Stitch is a powerful statement on empathy. A quiet, simple moment that teaches us all to remember to walk a mile in another’s shoes.

                  Life Is Easier Said Than Done

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                    “Neo, sooner or later you’re going to realize just as I did that there’s a difference between knowing the path and walking the path.”
                    -Morpheus, The Matrix

                    Another insightful moment from Morpheus, the enlightened leader reminds all of us that falling along the way to success in life is normal.

                    Choose Thoughtfully

                    The-Incredibles

                      “See? Now you respect me, because I’m a threat. That’s the way it works. Turns out there are lots of people, whole countries, that want respect, and will pay through the nose to get it.”
                      -Syndrome, The Incredibles

                      The animated film The Incredibles takes a truly intimidating turn when the evil genius Syndrome flaunts his seemingly endless wealth and new connections. Since Mr. Incredible’s actions influenced Syndrome’s decision to become evil, this moment is a surprisingly powerful reminder that our actions have consequences.

                      Hold To Your Convictions

                      Jack-Skellington

                        “Just because I cannot see it, doesn’t mean I can’t believe it!”
                        -Jack Skellington, The Nightmare Before Christmas

                        In a movie full of quotable scenes, Jack Skellington’s refusal to give up on his passion just because it seems unlikely is inspiring.

                        Moving On Is A Process

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                          “Molly: ‘My daddy doesn’t think she’s in heaven.’ Corrina Washington: ‘Well, that’s probably just because your daddy is so jealous of the angels. He’s so jealous, he can’t even stand to think about those angels who get to play with your mommy all day long. And he’s hurting just like you’re hurting, and you’re going to hurt for a long time. Every day it’ll get a little better, but you’ll always miss your mommy, and that’s okay.’”
                          -Corrina, Corrina

                          In a film that tackles loss in 1950’s America, Corrina’s succinct advice to a young girl missing her deceased mother is truly moving. Reminding us that life and death come with troubling, yet manageable circumstances.

                          Never Give Up

                          Little-Miss-Sunshine-5

                            “A real loser is someone who’s so afraid of not winning he doesn’t even try.”
                            -Grandpa, Little Miss Sunshine

                            As Olive grows afraid she won’t win the beauty pageant, Grandpa’s timeless advice will make anyone smile. Ultimately reminding audiences taking risks is important in life, Grandpas words make everyone ready to give it another try.

                            Laugh At Your Troubles

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                              “He gets down to the end of his life, and he looks back and decides that all those years he suffered, Those were the best years of his life, ’cause they made him who he was. All those years he was happy? You know, total waste. Didn’t learn a thing. So, if you sleep until you’re 18… Ah, think of the suffering you’re gonna miss. I mean high school? High school-those are your prime suffering years. You don’t get better suffering than that.”
                              -Frank, Little Miss Sunshine

                              As struggling teen Dwayne is faced with his most painful years, Frank’s humorous take on what lies ahead reminds us all to look for the positive in life. Even when things are troubling, the only way to move forward is to keep your chin up.

                              Growing Up Can Be Hard

                              GardenState

                                “You know that point in your life when you realize the house you grew up in isn’t really your home anymore? All of a sudden even though you have some place where you put your shit, that idea of home is gone.”
                                -Andrew Largeman, Garden State

                                Everyone faces a time in life where they transition out their childhood comfort zones. As Andrew Largeman is forced to revisit a troubling childhood, his musings had all of us contemplating our place in life.

                                Audiences Have Responsibility Too

                                Chicago-movie-01

                                  “In this town, murder’s a form of entertainment.”
                                  -Matron Mama Morton, Chicago

                                  Chicago challenges how far we say audiences will go to see something new. Mamas interpretation that murder is show business is more relevant than ever in a world of gratuitous reality programming.

                                  Laugh At Yourself

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                                    “If you can’t laugh at yourself, life is going to seem a whole lot longer than you’d like.”
                                    -Sam, Garden State

                                    Sam’s simple encouragement for Andrew Largeman to take things less seriously is an effective and powerful lesson in Garden State.

                                    Go Your Own Way

                                    GARDEN_STATE_INTERVIEW_LAWRENCE_SHER_ZACH_BRAFF

                                      “Can you imagine being the guy whose job it is to argue for the right to build a mall on top of a geological phenomenon?”
                                      -Andrew Largeman, Garden State

                                      When Andrew and his new friends strike out into their surroundings, we’re once again caught contemplating our individual choices and direction in life.

                                      Make The Most Of Life

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                                        “Frodo: ‘I wish the ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened.’ Gandalf: ‘So do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.’”
                                        -The Lord Of The Rings: Fellowship Of The Ring

                                        An emotional reminder that everyone has challenges they’d rather not face, Gandalf reminds us all the only thing we can do is make the most of where we are in life.

                                        Stand Up For Others

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                                          “There’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo… and it’s worth fighting for.”
                                          -Sam, The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers

                                          Amid a crumbling society, Sam’s simple optimism in The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers is a beautiful reminder that there is always good-natured people, even when things look impossible.

                                          Challenge Your Perspective

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                                            “What is real? How do you define ‘real’? If you’re talking about what you can feel, what you can smell, what you can taste and see, then ‘real’ is simply electrical signals interpreted by your brain.”
                                            -Morpheus, The Matrix

                                            Another movie full of wise lines, The Matrix challenges each of us to redefine how we view our world. As the film challenges the way we see ourselves, we are all prompted to  make the most of our lives.

                                            Examine Your Own Faults

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                                              “You know what I’ve noticed? Nobody panics when things go “according to plan.” Even if the plan is horrifying! If, tomorrow, I tell the press that, like, a gang banger will get shot, or a truckload of soldiers will be blown up, nobody panics, because it’s all “part of the plan”. But when I say that one little old mayor will die, well then everyone loses their minds!”
                                              -The Joker, The Dark Knight

                                              In an already thrilling examination of a twisted mind, The Dark Knight prompts each of us to examine our own lives. While we’re quick to condemn evil, the villain in this film reminds us that every day decisions made by our lawmakers have just as troubling effects.

                                              Appreciate What You Have

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                                                “Kim: ‘Hold me.’ Edward: ‘I can’t.’”
                                                -Edward Scissorhands

                                                Nothing makes you appreciate the things you have quite like Edward’s unfortunate challenges in Edward Scissorhands. As Edward is forced to remain apart from those he loves because of his form, anybody is prone to tear up.

                                                Think Before You Act

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                                                  “If I may… Um, I’ll tell you the problem with the scientific power that you’re using here, it didn’t require any discipline to attain it. You read what others had done and you took the next step. You didn’t earn the knowledge for yourselves, so you don’t take any responsibility for it.”
                                                  -Dr. Malcolm, Jurassic Park

                                                  Dr Malcolm’s quotable objection to science playing with life is a powerful reminder that what we do in the name of discovery, we are still responsible for. No other film line quite captures the new scientific discoveries and challenges faced in our budding millennial world. 

                                                  Carpe Diem

                                                  dead-poets-society-still

                                                    Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary.”
                                                    -John, Dead Poets Society

                                                    In a simple moment from Dead Poets Society, John Keating sums up the most vital life advice any of us can receive.

                                                    Featured photo credit: Chuck Coker via flickr.com

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                                                    Alicia Prince

                                                    A writer, filmmaker, and artist who shares about lifestyle tips and inspirations on Lifehack.

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                                                    Last Updated on January 15, 2021

                                                    7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

                                                    7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

                                                    The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

                                                    Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

                                                    Posture

                                                    First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

                                                    • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
                                                    • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
                                                    • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
                                                    • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

                                                    All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

                                                    Facial Expressions

                                                    Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

                                                    • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
                                                    • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
                                                    • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

                                                    If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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                                                    1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

                                                    A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

                                                    The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

                                                    This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

                                                    2. Relax Your Face

                                                    New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

                                                    The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

                                                    To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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                                                    3. Improve Your Eye Contact

                                                    Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

                                                    The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

                                                    To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

                                                    3. Smile More

                                                    There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

                                                    Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

                                                    4. Hand Gestures

                                                    Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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                                                    It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

                                                    5. Enhance Your Handshake

                                                    In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

                                                    “Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

                                                    It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

                                                    6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

                                                    As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

                                                    Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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                                                    Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

                                                    Final Takeaways

                                                    Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

                                                    If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

                                                    More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

                                                    Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

                                                    Reference

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