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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

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    “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

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                            “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

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                                “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

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                                  “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

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                                      “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 July 20, 2021

                                                    How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

                                                    How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

                                                    You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

                                                    Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

                                                    Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

                                                    Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

                                                    1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

                                                    According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

                                                    “Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

                                                    Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

                                                    Warming up

                                                    If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

                                                    If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

                                                    Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

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                                                    1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
                                                    2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
                                                    3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

                                                    Stay hydrated

                                                    Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

                                                    To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

                                                    Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

                                                    Meditate

                                                    Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

                                                    Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

                                                    Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

                                                    Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

                                                    2. Focus on your goal

                                                    One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

                                                    Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

                                                    Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

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                                                    Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

                                                    If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

                                                    3. Convert negativity to positivity

                                                    There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

                                                    ‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

                                                    It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

                                                    Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

                                                    Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

                                                    Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

                                                    4. Understand your content

                                                    Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

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                                                    However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

                                                    “No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

                                                    Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

                                                    Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

                                                    One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

                                                    5. Practice makes perfect

                                                    Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

                                                    In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

                                                    Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

                                                    6. Be authentic

                                                    There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

                                                    Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

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                                                    Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

                                                    To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

                                                    With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

                                                    Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

                                                    7. Post speech evaluation

                                                    Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

                                                    Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

                                                    We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

                                                    You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

                                                    Improve your next speech

                                                    As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

                                                    Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

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                                                    • How did I do?
                                                    • Are there any areas for improvement?
                                                    • Did I sound or look stressed?
                                                    • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
                                                    • Was I saying “um” too often?
                                                    • How was the flow of the speech?

                                                    Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

                                                    If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

                                                    Reference

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