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You’ve got things you want to accomplish but sometimes you wonder if you’ll ever get there. Whether it’s losing those last ten pounds or finally turning a profit on that business sometimes you need a little something extra to get you back in the good fight. While a lot of people get reinvigorated to continue going after their dreams after listening to some music, I personally get pumped to do some serious accomplishing when I watch certain go-getting movies. Here’s my personal list of 10 movies that get me motivated when I’m ready to give up:
- Invincible – Starring Mark Wahlberg & Greg Kinnear
Who doesn’t get inspired to get off the couch after seeing Mark Wahlberg’s perfectly chiseled muscles? This movie is the true story of Vince Papale, a 30-year old teacher that’s been recently laid off. When he was younger, he was a pretty good football player. Just when things seem hopeless for Vince, the Philadelphia Eagles decide to have open try-outs in the hopes of reinvigorating their struggling football team. Is this Vince Papale’s shot? This story is all about doing what other people think you can’t. It’s about rising to the occasion when an opportunity presents itself. It also reminds us that you’re never too old to go after your dreams.
2. Unbroken – Starring Jack O’Connell
Directed by Angelina Jolie, this film starring Jack O’Connell is based on the true story of Olympian Louis Zamperini. Becoming an Olympian is impressive enough and watching that story alone is enough to get you running those sprints you don’t feel like doing. But this movie is not about Zamperini’s Olympic career. It’s the story of how after surviving a near-fatal crash in the Pacific Ocean during WWII Zamperini had to use mind over matter to survive POW camp. This movie is all about showing you just how much the human body can endure and how important your mindset is to your survival. Watch this movie and be ready to take on anything!
3. Soul Surfer – Starring AnnaSophia Robb & Dennis Quaid
Films based on true stories just tend to resonate more when you know someone actually lived the incredible things you’re seeing on screen. This film is the story of Bethany Hamilton, the teenage surfer who lost her arm in a shark attack. Chronicling her rehab and her efforts to get back on her board, this movie always makes me realize that we are adaptable. It doesn’t matter what happens to you if there’s a will there’s a way. It might take some props and look a little funny but if there’s something you want to do, you can do it.
4. The Social Network – Starring Jesse Eisenberg
You ever feel like maybe you’re too shy or socially awkward to change the world? I feel like that sometimes but then I remember that Mark Zuckerberg managed to build a social media empire and I think I can totally nail this interview. So if you’ve got a pitch you need to make and you’re not sure you can do it you need to watch this movie. It chronicles Mark Zuckerberg from his nerdy beginnings at Harvard to CEO of one of the biggest companies on the planet. The Social Network shows us that all you need to make it is an idea and stubbornness.
5. The Pursuit of Happyness – Starring Will Smith
You ever been really broke? Like, can’t buy a can of tuna, getting evicted broke? Maybe it’s to the point where everyone has lost hope in you. Your spouse doesn’t think you’re going to amount to anything, your kids think you’re a loser, and your parents pretend that you don’t exist. If you’ve ever felt destitute and like there’s no way you’re ever going to make any money, then you have to watch this movie. Again based on the true story of Chris Gardner, a Dad just trying to figure out how to put a roof over his kid’s head. Even though he never went to college he managed to get into a broker apprenticeship. This movie is so powerful because it shows that sometimes what you need is humility and a willingness to learn. A setback is just setting you up for a comeback.
6. Hidden Figures – Starring Taraji P. Henson & Octavia Spencer
Who says girls can’t do math?! More importantly, who says you can’t contribute to a male-dominated industry? If that’s the case the ladies in this film didn’t get the memo. This movie is based on the true story of a group of African-American female mathematicians who not only helped do all the calculations to get us in space but also helped program all of the IBM computers the space program would come to rely on later. I love this movie so much because it proves that actions speak louder than words. If your team has a goal they’re trying to achieve and seem stuck but no one is listening to you, then you might just need to do it on your own and show them it can be done. When it comes down to it NASA got over its prejudices because it had a goal that was bigger than race or gender. And they achieved it because they let these ladies work to their full potential.
7. Joy – Starring Jennifer Lawrence
This movie is based on the true story of self-made millionaire Joy Mangano, the inventor of the Miracle Mop. This film tells the story of how Joy was always tinkering and thinking up ideas. Then one day frustrated with her life and wanting more she decided to just go for it. It follows her struggles to get her idea off the ground and the stubbornness she displayed throughout the whole process. This movie gets me pumped because once again it proves that all you need is an idea and the stubbornness to stick to it, even when other people tell say you should give up.
8. The Legend of Bagger Vance – Starring Matt Damon & Will Smith
Some people overlook this movie as a motivational film, probably because it’s a little on a whimsical side but that’s exactly why I love it. This movie follows golfer Rannulph Junuh as he attempts after a prolonged absence from the game to make a comeback. He’s struggling because he’s lost his swing when suddenly a mysterious caddy played by Will Smith appears. With this caddy’s help, Junuh is able to regain his confidence and play in the big tournament. I love this movie because it shows us that sometimes you have to believe in the unseen to reach your goals. It’s different for everyone, some of us need to pray, some of us need vision boards, some of us need to buy something we really can’t afford. The point is when you take a step forward into your dreams, the universe responds with help.
9. Sliding Doors – Starring Gwenyth Paltrow
One of Gwenyth Paltrow’s lesser-known films, I went through a period of time where I watched it almost on repeat. This film isn’t so much a career, goal motivating movie, as a keep going it all works out in the end kind of movie. We all know a lot of our lives are up to chance and in this film, you’re going to find out just how different life can go if you miss a train and are delayed by just an hour. While Helen ends up going down two very different paths whether she makes that train or not ultimately we see that her final destination is up to her. She always has the power to change her circumstance. And ultimately, no matter what happens, as long as you don’t give up everything will turn out all right.
10. Rocky – Starring Sylvester Stallone
Last but certainly not least is my all-time favorite movie, Rocky! Not only is the movie designed to get you off your couch, get you to write that screenplay, start that business, defeat all your foes, BUT the story of how the movie was produced will convince you that there’s nothing you can’t do! Sylvester Stallone wrote the script to Rocky at a time when he was broke like he had to sell his dog broke. No one would hire him for anything. He was starting to wonder if this acting thing was even for him. When in a moment of inspiration he got an idea about an underdog fighter. He wrote the script. On a casting call that he didn’t nail, he mentioned to the producers this idea he’d be working on about a boxer. They were interested. They offered him $360,000 for the script but only if Sly didn’t act in it. Something in Stallone’s gut told him that he needed to be in this movie and he turned the offer down. Eventually, the producers agreed to let him star in it. They gave him a tiny budget but Stallone made it work. Rocky went on to win three Academy Awards including Best Picture and Sylvester Stallone went on become an international superstar. Rocky shows us that it doesn’t matter where you start perseverance is what will get you to the mountaintop. So don’t give up! There’s a champion inside of you.
Those are 10 of my favorite motivational movies. Remember, if you’ve got a dream if you’ve got to protect it. Don’t let anyone tell you it can’t be done because anything new that was ever invented or started was something that had never been done before. Be the dreamer that the world needs. Who knows you might just be the person that finally invents Warp Drive?
Let me know in the comments what some of your favorite motivational movies are. Also, if you watch any of these movies in this list let me know what you thought.
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