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35 Inspirational Movies That Will Change Your Life

35 Inspirational Movies That Will Change Your Life

The best inspirational movies leave an indelible impression on the viewer. In this selection I’ve chosen 35 — from Oscar winners to cult favorites, they’re worthy of anyone’s DVD collection.

In an attempt to avoid this list being cliché, I’ve picked films you may not have seen before, and ones which may have slipped from your memory. As a result, you won’t find certain well known films below, such as Schindler’s List, Forrest Gump, and Shawshank Redemption. The exceptional films on offer should, hopefully, make up for it!

1. Amadeus

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    This wonderful period epic, loosely based on Mozart’s genius, boasts fine performances and exceptional music.

    “This was a music I’d never heard. Filled with such longing, such unfulfillable longing.” A description of Mozart’s music.

    2. The Madness of King George

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      King George III loses his mind, throwing government into chaos. Revolutionary medical man Dr. Willis is called in to restore order in this brilliant drama.

      “No life is without its regrets yet none is without its consolations.” King George III.

      3. Mary and Max

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        A quirky, life-affirming claymation film. Two loners become pen pals and strike up a long distance friendship.

         “My fifth job was a garbage collector. I cleaned up after litter bugs and didn’t have to talk to anybody. Sometimes I liked to pretend I was an intergalactic robot.” Max.

        4. Princess Mononoke

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          A sweeping masterpiece from Studio Ghibli. Young warrior Ashitaka fights to restore order between supernatural forces and the human world.

          “This is what hatred looks like! This is what it does when it catches hold of you!”Ashitaki.

          5. Spirited Away

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            Schoolgirl Chihiro is inadvertently transferred to the spirit world, forcing her to work in a Japanese bathhouse to reclaim her freedom.

            “Once you’ve met someone you never really forget them. It just takes a while for your memories to return.” Advice for Chihiro

            6. The Kings of Summer

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              Three teenage boys, annoyed by their families, take to the woods to live in a house they’ve built, embracing life along the way.

               You’re right, it’s a classic kidnapping. They took our children and the canned goods and pasta.” Frank, an irritated parent.

              7. Rush

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                A thrilling account of the 1976 Formula 1 season. James Hunt and Niki Lauda battled for the World Title, the latter overcoming an appalling accident in the process.

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                “It’s impossible to perspire through a skin graft, so sweat will never run into my eyes again, which is good for a driver.” Lauda following his accident.

                8. Punch-Drunk Love

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                  A quirky romantic drama. Adam Sandler’s eccentric loner Barry Egan is wooed by Emily Watson’s mysterious Lena.

                  “I have a lot of puddings, and in six to eight weeks it can be redeemed. So if you could just give me that much time, I think I can get enough mileage to go with you wherever you go.” Barry to Lena.

                  9. Of Mice and Men

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                    Gary Sinise’s excellent adaptation of John Steinbeck’s classic novella. Strong willed George, and mentally disabled Lennie, travel around America as farm hands, dreaming of one day owning their own land..

                    “We got a future. We got somebody to talk to that gives a damn about us.” George.

                    10. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

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                      Based on Jean-Dominique Bauby’s book, this poignant French film tells of his life after a paralysing stroke. Suffering locked-in syndrome, he nevertheless wrote a novel.

                      “I decided to stop pitying myself. Other than my eye, two things aren’t paralysed, my imagination and my memory.” Bauby. 

                      11. The Squid and the Whale

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                        A couple divorce, forcing their children (Walt and Frank) to cope with the psychological games which erupt between their parents.

                        “We’d look at the knight armor at the Met. The scary fish at the Natural History Museum. I was always afraid of the squid and whale fighting.” Walt.

                        12. The Illusionist

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                          Sylvain Chomet’s sublime animated tale of a struggling magician as he travels across Europe, bonding with a young fan on the way.

                          “Magicians do not exist.” The Magician’s note.

                          13. Adaptation

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                            Anxiety ridden Charlie Kaufman (Nic Cage) is a screenwriter adapting a difficult novel, becoming increasingly unstable during his attempts.

                            “All my problems and anxiety can be reduced to a chemical imbalance or some kind of misfiring synapses. I need to get help for that. But I’ll still be ugly, though.” Charlie.

                            14. Beasts of the Southern Wild

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                              This fantasy drama centres around six year old Hushpuppy. As her community is stricken with environmental issues, she learns to adapt to a new world.

                              “I see that I am a little piece of a big, big universe, and that makes it right.” Hushpuppy.

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                              15. Life of Pi

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                                The story of Pi’s fight for survival whilst stranded in the Pacific Ocean. A volatile Bengal tiger is his sole company.

                                “The whole of life becomes an act of letting go, but what always hurts the most is not taking a moment to say goodbye.” Pi.

                                16. Awakenings

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                                  Based on neurologist Oliver Sack’s book. Robin Williams stars as introverted Dr. Sayer, who discovers a drug which awakens catatonic patients.

                                  “Another awakening took place; that the human spirit is more powerful than any drug—and THAT is what needs to be nourished: with work, play, friendship, family. THESE are the things that matter.” Dr. Sayer.

                                  17. One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest

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                                    Jack Nicholson stars as Randal P. McMurphy. A maverick, he feigns madness to escape prison time in a mental institute, causing mayhem in the process.

                                    “What do you think you are, for Chrissake, crazy or somethin’? Well you’re not! You’re not! You’re no crazier than the average asshole out walkin’ around on the streets.” McMurphy.

                                    18. The Straight Story

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                                      WWII veteran Alvin hears his estranged brother has had a stroke, so sets off on a 240 mile journey to see him—via his tractor.

                                      “There’s no one knows your life better than a brother that’s near your age. He knows who you are and what you are better than anyone.” Alvin.

                                      19. The Pianist

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                                        Roman Polanski’s account of Polish pianist Władysław Szpilman’s remarkable fight for survival during Nazi deportation of Jews in WWII.

                                        “[taking off his watch] Here, sell this. Food is more important than time.” Szpilman. 

                                        20. My Left Foot

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                                          Daniel Day-Lewis gives an exceptional performance as Irishman Christy Brown. He suffered with severe cerebral palsy, yet became a noted writer.

                                          “This is Christy Brown, my son. Genius.” Christy Brown’s father.

                                          21. Life is Beautiful

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                                            Roberto Benigni’s WWII film of a father who uses his imagination to protect his son from the horrors of war.

                                            “This is my story. This is the sacrifice my father made. This was his gift to me.” The son narrates.

                                            22. Rescue Dawn

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                                              A tense survival tale by Werner Herzog, featuring Christian Bale as POW Dieter Dengler. A true story, Dengler’s bravery and charmisma are truly inspiring.

                                              “Empty what is full. Fill what is empty. Scratch what itches.” Dieter Dengler.

                                              23. Empire of the Sun

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                                                Young Brit Jim becomes a POW at a WWII internment camp. Over the years, whilst fighting for survival, he matures from a petulant child to a mature young adult.

                                                “First one side feeds you and the other side tries to get you killed, then it’s turned around; it’s all timing.” Advice for Jim.

                                                24. Mud

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                                                  Two teenage boys discover the enigmatic Mud living on a sparse island. As they become friends, it’s soon apparent the law are after him.

                                                  “There are fierce powers at work in the world, boys. Good, evil, poor luck, best luck. As men, we’ve got to take advantage where we can.” Mud.

                                                  25. Sideways

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                                                    Following a painful divorce, struggling author Miles heads off for a wine tasting weekend with hedonistic friend Jack. Chaos, and new love, ensues.

                                                    “Its flavors, they’re just the most haunting and brilliant and thrilling and subtle and… ancient on the planet.” Miles.

                                                    26. The Truman Show

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                                                      Truman Burbank lives an ordinary middle class life, unaware he’s actually the star of the most popular TV show on Earth.

                                                      “There’s nothing fake about Truman himself. No scripts, no cue cards. It isn’t always Shakespeare, but it’s genuine. It’s a life.” Christof, the show’s creator.

                                                      27. 127 Hours

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                                                        Aron Ralston traps his arm whilst hiking, leading to an unnerving realization.

                                                        “This rock… this rock has been waiting for me my entire life.” Ralston.

                                                        28. Léon: The Professional

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                                                          Léon is a hitman and loner. Suddenly forced to care for a child (a young Natalie Portman), he finds his humane side and seeks a change.

                                                          “You’ve given me a taste for life. I wanna be happy. Sleep in a bed, have roots. And you’ll never be alone again, Mathilda.” Léon.

                                                          29. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

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                                                            Shy Joel and hedonistic Clementine begin a relationship, unaware they already share a unique history.

                                                            “Are we like those bored couples you feel sorry for in restaurants? Are we the dining dead?” Joel.

                                                            30. Million Dollar Baby

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                                                              A rags to riches story. Maggie, a humble waitress, makes a break as a boxer and rapidly shoots to stardom.

                                                              “It’s the magic of risking everything for a dream that nobody sees but you.”

                                                              31. The Savages

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                                                                Estranged siblings Jon and Wendy Savage are reunited when their father displays signs of dementia.

                                                                “This upward mobility fixation of yours, it’s counterproductive and, frankly, pretty selfish. Because it’s not about Dad, it’s about you and your guilt.” Jon Savage.

                                                                32. The Descendants

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                                                                  When his wife is hospitalized, wealthy Matt King (George Clooney) and his family must adapt to sweeping changes.

                                                                  “You give your children enough money to do something but not enough to do nothing.” Matt King.

                                                                  33. Another Year

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                                                                    A British drama focusing on a happily married couple. Over four seasons they observe their unhappy friends as they attempt to structure their lives.

                                                                    “Young people. Everything’s for young people. Those bars, you know, they’re full of young people shouting about nothing.” A friend laments life.

                                                                    34. Stranger Than Fiction

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                                                                      Will Ferrell performs against type as introverted Harold Crick, who starts to hear a voice in his head (Emma Thompson) narrating his every move.

                                                                      “I’m cursing you, you stupid voice, so shut up and leave me alone!” Harold Crick.

                                                                      35. Gravity

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                                                                        Last but not least, 2013’s thrilling sci-fi epic. Boasting exceptional special effects, this inspiring look at space is a visual treat.

                                                                         “Either I make it down there in one piece and I have one hell of a story to tell! Or I burn up in the next ten minutes.” Dr. Stone.

                                                                        Besides all these inspirational movies, you may also like these:

                                                                        10 Movies You Need To Watch To Be More Successful

                                                                        12 Best Foreign Movies Of All Time That Will Expand Your Worldview

                                                                        10 Movies You Should Watch To Boost Your Mood And Energy

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                                                                        Alex Morris

                                                                        Content Manager, Copywriter, & Blogger

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                                                                        Last Updated on November 18, 2020

                                                                        50 Habits of Highly Successful People You Should Learn

                                                                        50 Habits of Highly Successful People You Should Learn

                                                                        If you’re like me and really into self-development, you’ve probably read many of the thousands of self-help books out there on the market. But also like me, you probably find all the information a bit overwhelming.

                                                                        That’s why I wanted to do the self-less task of taking the most important, life-changing lessons I’ve drawn from these books and condensed them into 50 key points.

                                                                        Here’re 50 habits of successful people you should learn:

                                                                        1. Believe It to See It

                                                                        Our minds tend to focus on what’s happening around us and refuse to see what could happen. Only when you trust in what’s possible and dare to dream big, big things can happen for you.

                                                                        2. See Problems as a Wonderful Gift

                                                                        While others only see problems and give up, successful people use the problem as a lesson to find improvement in themselves or the task at hand.

                                                                        3. Keep Looking for Solutions

                                                                        Even if they’re knee-deep in problems, successful people will still put all of their focus on finding solutions.

                                                                        4. Remember It’s All About the Journey

                                                                        Successful people are conscious and methodical in creating their own success. They don’t sit around doing the bare minimum, hoping success finds them.

                                                                        5. Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway

                                                                        There’s so much fear on the road to success, but instead of letting that fear control and limit them, successful people do a good job of just forging ahead regardless.

                                                                        6. Always Ask Productive Questions

                                                                        It’s all about asking the right questions. Successful people make sure they are questions that will elicit information for a more productive, creative and positive mindset moving forward.

                                                                        7. Understand the Best Waste of Energy Is Complaining

                                                                        Successful people know that choosing to see the negative side of things will only create a useless and unproductive state.

                                                                        8. Don’t Play the Blame Game

                                                                        Taking responsibility for actions and outcomes is a form of empowerment that you can build your success upon. While the act of blaming others or outside circumstances takes this empowerment away from you.

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                                                                        9. Maximize Your Strengths

                                                                        Not every successful person is simply more talented than the rest, but they do use what they know they’re good at to achieve more successful results.

                                                                        10. Be in It to Win It

                                                                        Successful people are busy, productive and proactive. Instead of sitting around over-thinking and over-planning a great idea, they just take a step towards it no matter how small.

                                                                        11. Know That Success Attracts Success

                                                                        People who are successful surround themselves and seek out like-minded people. They understand the importance of being part of a team and forge win-win relationships.

                                                                        12. Actually Choose to Be Successful

                                                                        Dreaming big is a massive part of being successful even if your dream seems impossible. Ambition is a mindset that needs to be a daily conscious choice.

                                                                        13. Visualize, Visualize, Visualize!

                                                                        You’ve got to see your success in your mind’s eye even before it comes. Successful people clarify and get that certainty about what they want their reality to look like rather than being mere spectators of life.

                                                                        14. Be a One-Off Original

                                                                        Successful people look for what’s working and then create a unique spin on it. Imitating only regurgitates other people’s ideas with no originality.

                                                                        15. The Perfect Time to Act Is Now

                                                                        Waiting for the right time to act is basically procrastination wrapped up in an excuse. Successful people know there’s never a perfect time so they may as well just do it now.

                                                                        16. Keep Learning, Keep Growing

                                                                        Continuous learning is the key to a successful life. Whether it’s academic, being a student of life or actionable learning, it’s all about expanding your knowledge and personal development.

                                                                        17. Always Look on the Bright Side of Life

                                                                        Successful people have the knack for finding positive aspects in all people and circumstances no matter what.

                                                                        18. Having a Bad Day? Do It Anyway!

                                                                        We all have bad moods but it shouldn’t be an excuse to stop everything. Giving into a bad mood just stop-starts your life, slowing success way down.

                                                                        19. Sometimes Risky Business Is Needed

                                                                        Calculated risks are a must for success. It’s about weighing the pros and cons while moving forward with that element of trust.

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                                                                        20. Accept Challenge All the Time

                                                                        Dealing with problems head-on is a must to be successful. Successful people also face challenges in order to improve themselves.

                                                                        21. Make Your Own Luck

                                                                        In the mindset of a successful person, there’s no such thing as ‘luck’ or ‘fate’. They take control to actively and consciously create their own best life.

                                                                        22. Ignite Your Initiative

                                                                        While many people are reactive, successful people are proactive – taking action before they have to.

                                                                        23. Be the Master of Your Emotions

                                                                        Being effective at managing emotions is key on the road to success. That’s not to say successful people don’t feel like we all do, but they’re just not slaves to their emotions.

                                                                        24. Champion in Communication

                                                                        Consciously working on effective communication skills gets anyone closer to success.

                                                                        25. Plan Your Life Strategically

                                                                        Successful people’s lives aren’t a clumsy series of unplanned events and outcomes, they methodically work at turning their plans into a reality.

                                                                        26. Become Exceptional at What You Do

                                                                        To become exceptional, you typically have to do things that most won’t. To become successful, hard decisions need to be made and acting on them is crucial.

                                                                        27. Choose to Live Outside of Your Comfort Zone

                                                                        While many people are pleasure junkies and avoid pain and discomfort at all costs, successful people understand the value and benefits of working through the tough stuff that most would avoid.

                                                                        28. Live by Core Values

                                                                        Successful people firstly identify their core values and what’s important to them, then do their best to live a life that reflects these values.

                                                                        29. Realize Money Isn’t Everything

                                                                        Money and success are not interchangeable and the most successful people understand this. Putting money on a pedestal and equating it to success is a dangerous mindset to have. Success comes in many forms.

                                                                        30. Don’t Get Carried Away

                                                                        Successful people understand the importance of discipline and self-control and as a result they are happy to take the road less travelled.

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                                                                        31. Self-Worth Is Not Tied to Success

                                                                        Successful people are secure. They do not derive their self-worth from what they own, who they know, where they live or what they look like.

                                                                        32. Kindness Breeds Kindness (And Success)

                                                                        Generosity and kindness is a common trait among long-term successful people. It’s important to take pleasure in helping others achieve.

                                                                        33. More Humility, Less Arrogance

                                                                        Successful people are humble and happy to admit and apologize for mistakes. This is because they’re confident in their ability. They are happy to learn from others and happy to make others look good rather than seek their own personal glory.

                                                                        34. Change Opens New Doors

                                                                        People who are successful are adaptable and embrace change, while the majority are creatures of comfort and habit. They are comfortable with, and embrace, the new and the unfamiliar.

                                                                        35. Success Requires a Healthy Body

                                                                        It’s not just how you think, it’s about how you show up for success. Successful people understand the importance of being physically well, not for vain reasons but because being in tiptop condition creates a better personal life for success.

                                                                        36. Laziness Just Doesn’t Exist

                                                                        Successful people are never considered lazy. Yes, they can relax when they need to, but working hard is their game.

                                                                        37. Resilience by the Bucket Load

                                                                        When difficulty strikes, most would throw in the towel, but successful people are just warming up.

                                                                        38. Feedback Is Just Another Chance to Improve

                                                                        How people react to feedback determines their potential for success. Being open to constructive criticism and acting on it to improve is most seen in those who are successful.

                                                                        39. Your Vibe Attracts Your Tribe

                                                                        If people are hanging out with toxic and negative people, then they need to take a look at themselves. Successful people hang out with others who are positive and supportive.

                                                                        40. Can’t Control It? Forget It

                                                                        Successful people don’t invest time or emotional energy into things which they have no control of.

                                                                        41. Swim Against the Tide

                                                                        Successful people are not people-pleasers and they don’t need constant approval from others in order to move ahead.

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                                                                        42. Alone Time Is Valuable Time

                                                                        More self-worth means being more comfortable with your own company. Successful people are more happy and see the value in spending time alone.

                                                                        43. Self-Standard Is Higher Than Most

                                                                        Everyone has a choice to set high standards for themselves. Successful people do this, which in turn produces greater commitment, more momentum, a better work ethic and of course, better results.

                                                                        44. Failure Isn’t Rationalized

                                                                        While many use age, health, lack of time, ‘bad luck’, or lack of opportunity to explain away their failure, the key to success is finding a way to succeed despite facing these challenges.

                                                                        45. Down Time Is an Important Part of a Routine

                                                                        Having an off switch and taking time to do things that make them happy is a common trait of a successful person. Take a look at here The Importance of Scheduling Downtime.

                                                                        46. Career Isn’t Who You Are, It’s What You Do

                                                                        Successful people know their career isn’t their identity. They are multi-dimensional and don’t define themselves by their job.

                                                                        47. Be Interested in Only the Path of Resistance

                                                                        While most people look for the easiest way or the shortcut, successful people are more interested in the most effective way. They look for the course of action which will produce the best results over the long term.

                                                                        48. Follow Through

                                                                        Many spend their life starting things that they never finish, but successful people get the job done. Even when the excitement and the novelty has worn off they still follow through and finish.

                                                                        49. Invest in All Your Dimensions

                                                                        We’re not just physical and psychological beings, but emotional and spiritual creatures as well. Successful people consciously work at being healthy and productive on all levels.

                                                                        50. Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

                                                                        To obtain success, it’s important to practice what you preach. Successful people don’t talk about the theory, they live the reality.

                                                                        So there you have it, a summary of what I’ve learned from self-help books. But of course, you need to start taking actions so you will get closer to success too.

                                                                        Bonus: 5 Bad Habits To Quit

                                                                        More About Success

                                                                        Featured photo credit: Juan Jose via unsplash.com

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