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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 October 15, 2019

                                                                        How To Be Successful In Life? 13 Tips From The Most Successful People

                                                                        How To Be Successful In Life? 13 Tips From The Most Successful People

                                                                        What is success to you? How to be successful in life?

                                                                        To some, when they think of success, they imagine wealth; others want power; some just want to make a positive impact on the world.

                                                                        All of these are perfectly valid, indeed success is a concept that means different things to different people. Though no matter what success is to you, it almost certainly isn’t something will come easily.

                                                                        There are countless guides and books to being successful, however, as success is personal and unique to each individual. The advice contained in these books can often not be relevant. Therefore following the advice of a single individual can often be unhelpful.

                                                                        With this in mind, considering the advice of a great many people, people whose ideas of success were different both to each other, and quite possibly, to you can be a good alternative.

                                                                        What follows is a list of thirteen of the best pieces of advice from some of the most successful people who have ever lived. If you want to learn how to be successful, these 13 tips are essential:

                                                                        1. Think Big

                                                                          From Michelangelo Buonarroti, Great Renaissance Artist:

                                                                          “The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.”

                                                                          There are few artists as influential as Michaelangelo. Today centuries after his death, his work still inspires and connects to people. His work is world famous, just think of his statue of David, or the Mural in the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican.

                                                                          Imagine then, if he decided not to work as an artist.

                                                                          Being a successful artist has always been extremely difficult, imagine if he decided to give up this ambition in favour of something easier?

                                                                          Oftentimes, people often decided to put their dreams aside for something more “realistic”. To give up their dream for something easier. This quote teaches us the danger of such a point of view.
                                                                          Instead be ambitious.

                                                                          2. Find What You Love to Do and Do It

                                                                            From Oprah Winfrey, Media Mogul:

                                                                            “You know you are on the road to success if you would do your job and not be paid for it.”

                                                                            This is a good quote to remember and think about when you’re at work.

                                                                            Imagine being as successful as possible in your current job. Ultimately you’ll probably find yourself working extremely hard and this it will take up much of your time.

                                                                            If it’s a job you hate, then being successful at it might only mean filling your life with something you hate to do. What’s the sense in this?

                                                                            Instead, why not focus on doing something you love? When you’ve found what you’re passionate about, you get the motivation to keep you moving. Success at this means the fulfilment of your dreams.

                                                                            Not sure what your passion is yet? You should learn about this Motivation Engine first.

                                                                            Even if you’re not successful, you still filled your time with something you love to do. Many successful musicians spent years of their lives doing unpaid performances, the only reason they kept playing was because they loved to perform.

                                                                            3. Learn How to Balance Life

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                                                                              From Phil Knight, CEO of Nike Inc.:

                                                                              “There is an immutable conflict at work in life and in business, a constant battle between peace and chaos. Neither can be mastered, but both can be influenced. How you go about that is the key to success.”

                                                                              All too often, people think that to be successful, they need to make the object of their success their life.

                                                                              If a person thinks their job will lead them to success, then they may spend countless hours per day, and well into the evening working hard.

                                                                              However this comes at the cost of rest, your health and having an enjoyable life. Ultimately they may burn out and cease to be successful at their job anyway.

                                                                              If success comes from having a strong social life and a good group of friends, their job may suffer; meaning that they may lose their job, and then be unable to afford going out with friends.

                                                                              In these ways, success, as Phil Knight says above, is helped by balance. Think of it as a balance between rest and work, or work and play.

                                                                              To achieve that balance, this Ultimate Guide to Prioritizing Your Work And Life can help you.

                                                                              4. Do Not Be Afraid of Failure

                                                                                From Henry Ford, Founder of Ford Motors:

                                                                                “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”

                                                                                There is a story, it’s unconfirmed whether it actually happened, yet the message within is none the less true:

                                                                                Thomas Edison inventing the lightbulb was the result of several hundred failed attempts. In an interview, he was asked “How do you feel after all of your failed attempts?”

                                                                                His response was great, “I didn’t fail, I learned hundreds of ways not to invent the lightbulb”

                                                                                He saw each “failure” as a lesson. From that lesson he learned what won’t work, and also might work instead.

                                                                                Each failed attempt, each rejection, were key steps on his path to success. It is easy to feel like you should give up after a failure. But perhaps in that failure is a lesson.

                                                                                Pay attention to your failures, study them. Perhaps then you’ll learn how to succeed.

                                                                                If you find it difficult to fight your fear of failure, here’s a guide for you: Why You Have the Fear of Failure (And How to Conquer It Step-By-Step)

                                                                                5. Have an Unwavering Resolution to Succeed

                                                                                  From Colonel Sanders, Founder of KFC:

                                                                                  “I made a resolve then that I was going to amount to something if I could. And no hours, nor amount of labor, nor amount of money would deter me from giving the best that there was in me. And I have done that ever since, and I win by it. I know.”

                                                                                  This, in many ways relates to the above quote about learning from your failures.

                                                                                  It’s the easiest thing in the world to give up from a failure. The only way to push on is if you have the true burning desire to succeed, to not be moved or dissuaded from your goals.

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                                                                                  If you are not truly dedicated towards success, then each failure will hurt more, each set back will slow you down.

                                                                                  Success is hard; without the unwavering desire to succeed, this difficulty may seem insurmountable. With the desire, it is merely an obstacle to go through.

                                                                                  6. Be a Person of Action

                                                                                    From Leonardo da Vinci, Renaissance Genius:

                                                                                    “It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.”

                                                                                    Though it was said hundreds of years ago, it works just as much today as it ever had. It applies to literally any successful person.

                                                                                    Think about it, picture someone like William Shakespeare:

                                                                                    When we think of the time he lived in, we think of the time in a way shaped by him. When we think of Renaissance era Italy, we think of Michelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci. Or think about the present day, Bill Gates or Steve Jobs. Our current way of life would simply be incomparably different if they didn’t accomplish what they did.

                                                                                    You’re probably reading this article on a device by a company that they either founded or companies influenced by them.

                                                                                    All these figures were proactive, they saw ways to do things differently and did them. If they let the world shape them, then they’d simply fit into the background. Instead they shaped the world.

                                                                                    Applying this to you?

                                                                                    Don’t be afraid of going outside the norm. If you can think of a better way to do something, do it that way. If you fail, try again.

                                                                                    7. Cultivate Positive Relationships

                                                                                      From Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of America: “

                                                                                      The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.”

                                                                                      The best leaders and some of the most influential people (and Theodore Roosevelt is one of the best leaders and one of the most influential people to have lived) were not those who caused commotions, who fought with people or disregarded people; but were people who were friendly to those around them.

                                                                                      People liked them. They wanted them to do well.

                                                                                      This is key to good leadership.

                                                                                      It’s logical. If someone likes you, they want to help you; if you give them a suggestion, they’ll gladly follow through with it.

                                                                                      But if someone doesn’t like you, they may either refuse to help or actively get in your way.

                                                                                      What’s more, it’s always a good idea to cultivate good relationships. You can never tell who will prove to become someone who’ll be able to help you in a big way, or even be a good and supportive friend.

                                                                                      As such, help people and they may help you; and be good to people, and they my be good to you.

                                                                                      8. Don’t Be Afraid of Introducing New Ideas

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                                                                                        From Mark Twain, Famed Author:

                                                                                        “A person with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds.”

                                                                                        It is an unfortunate truth that those with the boldest ideas are often disregarded.

                                                                                        Most of us are taught from an early age to think and do things similarly to everyone else. This can be great to fill an existing role. But to truly do things differently (and all successful people did things differently), you need to think differently.

                                                                                        If you have a new idea, don’t throw it away because it’s new and different; instead, celebrate it. Your strange new idea might one day be the one that leads you to success.

                                                                                        9. Believe in Your Capacity to Succeed

                                                                                          From Walter Disney, Founder of Walt Disney Company:

                                                                                          “If you can dream it, you can do it.”

                                                                                          Success has to be something you can imagine yourself achieving.

                                                                                          It is possible that you will come across those who doubt you and your ability to succeed. You must not become one of these people because the moment you cease believing and dreaming is the moment these dreams fall away.

                                                                                          Keep dreaming!

                                                                                          10. Always Maintain a Positive Mental Attitude

                                                                                            From Thomas Jefferson, 3rd President of America:

                                                                                            “Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.”

                                                                                            Like the above quote says, you need to trust in your ability to succeed. This is the only way to cultivate the right mindset.

                                                                                            Replace negative thoughts with the positive ones. You need to approach problems, not as obstacles stopping you, but merely tasks that need to be completed for you to keep going.

                                                                                            If you stay positive and think like this, setbacks won’t affect you so much, people’s doubts won’t impact you and even the biggest obstacles will seem like minor problems.

                                                                                            However with the wrong mindset of doubt, you’ll be much easier to stop.

                                                                                            11. Don’t Let Discouragement Stop You from Pressing On

                                                                                              From Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of America:

                                                                                              “Let no feeling of discouragement prey upon you, and in the end you are sure to succeed.”

                                                                                              It is an unfortunate fact of human nature — all of us in some way, doubt ourselves. This can be made far worse if others doubt us too.

                                                                                              When surrounded by doubts, giving up can actually seem like a good idea.

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                                                                                              Don’t pay attention to the doubts. If you are discouraged, ignore it.

                                                                                              If this discouragement moves into your mind and you begin to doubt yourself. It is important to ignore this too.

                                                                                              This is How Self Doubt Keeps You Stuck and How to Overcome It

                                                                                              12. Be Willing to Work Hard

                                                                                                From JC Penny, Founder of JC Penney Inc.:

                                                                                                “Unless you are willing to drench yourself in your work beyond the capacity of the average man, you are just not cut out for positions at the top.”

                                                                                                You might have heard the quote that “success is 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration” or you may have heard about the 10,000 hours idea.

                                                                                                Whichever way you frame it, they say one thing:

                                                                                                True success comes from work.

                                                                                                You’ll never become successful if you don’t work towards your goal in life and keep working towards it.

                                                                                                Check out this article and you’ll understand Why Hard Work Beats Talent.

                                                                                                13. Be Brave Enough to Follow Your Intuition

                                                                                                  From Steve Jobs, Co-founder of Apple Inc.:

                                                                                                  “Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

                                                                                                  In ancient Greece, there was a group of Oracles who lived in Delphi. Everyone who needed advice or to know their future visited them, from the poorest of society to kings. Above the doorway of the temple were the words “know thyself”.

                                                                                                  If you strongly believe and desire something, chances are that you already have an idea how to get there. If not, you may naturally know what things will help you and what things will slow you down.

                                                                                                  It’s like how your body can detect danger even when things seem safe.

                                                                                                  Ultimately then, you need to trust your own instincts.

                                                                                                  Final Thoughts

                                                                                                  What you might have noticed is that many of the above lessons are similar — most are about developing the right state of mind. This clearly suggests that the key to achieving success, in whatever you wish, comes down to the way you approach it mentally.

                                                                                                  Moreover, no matter what stage of life you’re at now, you can still make a difference and pursue success. You can make resetting your life possible when you do this: How to Start Over and Reboot Your Life When It Seems Too Late

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                                                                                                  Featured photo credit: Ryan Wong via unsplash.com

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