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My Favorite Inspirational Movie Speeches to Get Me Through the Year

Student of life, lifelong learner, mother, writer, artist, poet, dancer, musician, and martial artist ... passionate about all of these.


I love inspirational speeches!

People watch movies for so many different reasons. Some watch because they want to escape from something. Maybe they want to leave their everyday lives and experience the exotic, exciting lands that are in the movies they watch. Others may watch movies to be thrilled or even scared by Jason Voorhies, Freddy Kruger, or Michael Myers. They watch action movies and horror movies to get the blood pumping.

Yes, I watch certain movies for the same reason. I love a good horror movie now and then. I also watch a good romance flick once in a while. However, the main reason behind why I watch movies is simple: I want to be inspired.

I love inspirational speeches. When I come out of a movie, I want to feel like I can conquer the world, that everything is possible, and that good will win out in the end. When I watch a movie I want to feel mu heart pumping with the excitement of the events on the screen. I want to be crying because of the words of inspiration, admiration and gusto that escape the speaker on screen. I want to feel that "Yes, I can" feeling. Why else would you watch movies? I want the movie to make me laugh. I want to be cheering when it's all over as we watch the underdog hero battle through adversity, through knockdown after knockdown until, eventually, he or she succeeds. Inspirational movies can be can be painful to watch at times but, also, an inspirational film can touch you like no other can.

They are extremely moving, they are uplifting and they inspire the viewer to live life to their full potential. These speeches come out of their character’s moment of strength and out of the wisdom they have gained from their lives.

Speeches have the power to move me emotionally.

I love to write and paint and so much more. I get my inspiration from many places. I've been inspired to paint sunflowers by watching Under The Tuscan Sun. It also taught me that life offers us a thousand chances. All we have to do is take it!

If you know anything about me then you will know that I love the art of communication. I communicate through my writing. I communicate through my paintings. I love reading and I absolutely love speeches. Speeches have the power to move me emotionally and to even change the way I think of life.

I decided to compile some of my favorite inspiring movie speeches.

I have set some very lofty goals for myself this year, not the least of which is running a marathon in December. I'm going to be relying on a lot of people to help me with training and staying motivated, in addition to inspiring me beyond what I think I am capable of. I have written about some wisdom gained about being inspired, in addition to letting go.

There have been many great speeches in movies throughout movie history, some better than others, but this is what I believe to be some of the best movie speeches ever. I do have others, but this article could go on for a long time, if I included them all.

These are some of my favorite....not listed in any particular order.

Good Will Hunting: Park Scene

Good Will Hunting: Park Scene

This is arguably the best monologue in a great movie filled with great monologues, Robin Williams' character Sean Maguire points out the difference between being smart and educated to Will, and earns his trust and respect in the process. It is scenes like this one that won Williams an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor.

is this a favorite? Ever since I've been diagnosed with lupus, I have heard so much advice about how I should live, what medicines I should take. I've even had my own treatment protocols questioned, as if I don't live in this body, and know what it is doing to me.

Lupus has taught me so much, including relishing each moment of everyday, but I won't get into that here. However, the point I want to get across here is don't "presume to know everything about me because you saw a painting of mine" or you know of a sister's friend first cousin's best friend who had the same illness and decide to "rip my fuckin' life apart." Unless you've walked my journey, you have no idea how it feels, or why I do what I do, or why I live the way I do.

This scene goes to the heart of knowledge. Educate yourself!

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Make each day count!

Make each day count!

Make each day count!

Dead Poets' Society - Seize the Day

The concept of seizing the day and not letting it pass you by continues to inspire me, even though I first watched this movie over 10 years ago.

The notion of "Carpe Diem" cuts me deeper even today. You see....since my near-death-experience 19 years ago, and since I was diagnosed with lupus, the world looks differently to me. I begin to see more sunrises, more sunsets, more butterflies. I appreciate the rain more, even though it can cause major aches and pains in my body. I appreciate the scenes as I drive from one state to the other. Bales of hay which I would otherwise not given another glance now look like living art in a field. I appreciate the times spent with my children more.

I have learnt to make each moment count!

Stand up, be inspired and make every day count. It is not so much the speech that is amazing but the impact it has on you.

Dead Poets' Society: Seize the day!

Rocky Balboa: It ain't about how hard you get hit!

Rocky Balboa - Take responsibility.

Rocky gives his grown up son a heart to heart talk on stop blaming others and taking charge, and responsibility, of his own life. It is a great speech from a father to a son about taking responsibility.

"It ain't about how hard you hit; it's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward."

Rocky has a great story and gives a great speech all the same. It is amazing that the actor, Sylvestor Stallone, actually has a Rocky type story.

He got hit, and he got hit hard, but he kept coming back for more. He wanted to be an actor, and no one would have ever hired someone that looks like he does and that talks out of the side of their mouth like he does. But he got hit and came back, true inspiration.

I've been knocked down a few times in my life....but I refused to stay down. It is that attitude that keeps me going forward. When you have spent the last 15 years of your life trying to find out why your organs keep failing, and you have to get up and go to work and be a mother, and a teacher, while dealing with chronic pain, I know what it's like to get hit...daily...and I know what it's like to have to get up and keep moving forward. I cannot let illness keep me from achieving my goals, my dreams. I have to keep moving forward, one step at a time,, but forward.


Armageddon - Come together, Mankind!

I realize that as I embark on this new year, and this challenge of running a marathon, I realize that I cannot do this alone. As a result I have rallied a team together that will help me get to achieve that goal. Trainers, nutritionists, even spectators as I run on the day of the marathon, will all come together to help me achieve that dream.

Definitely one of my favorite movies of all time, because it has everything in it – Action, Romance, Humor, Drama, Space. It is about the quest to destroy an asteroid heading towards earth (before it destroys the earth). It is extremely funny and emotional also. This speech is from the president of the united states as the astronauts are preparing to launch into space towards the asteroid.

Yes, there are a lot of factual errors in it, but the idea of the entire world putting aside any issues particular countries may be having with each other, and praying together against a calamity that could wipe out the world....they realize just how vulnerable everyone is, no matter what kind of equipment you have.

I know how vulnerable I am making myself in taking on this challenge. First I have to do it with a body that is attacking itself on a daily basis. I have to do with others who are seasoned runners. I have to do it trying to not think about the life I had where I ran cross-country in college, one where emphysema was not an issue, one where lupus was not a part of my life. Not only will the entire Cayman Islands come together that day to rally all of the runners on, but I have to come together, in mind and body between now and the day of the event.

Let's do this!!

Coach Carter: Our Deepest Fear

Coach Carter: Our Deepest Fear

Stop playing small!

That's what this movie teaches. This movie is about a coach who benches his entire basketball team for having bad academic records even though they are an undefeated team. He wants them to first succeed academically before focusing on sports. The speech is actually a reiterate of a poem from Marianne Williamson's book Return to Love from the 90's.

I should really have put this at the beginning.

Some days I do feel inadequate. Some days I allow illness to get the best of me. I try not to let it last too long, because I have a life to live. I have a gift to share with the world. I have challenges to fulfill. I have to be a parent. I have to be a sister, an aunt, a friend.

I have to live up to my full potential!

I want my talents, energy, motivation to become infectious so that other people will follow suit.

A Return to Love, where you can find the Poem: Our Deepest Fear

Chariots of Fire

Chariots of Fire: Determination, Find your purpose!

God made me for a purpose. I will celebrate my Spirit!

Whatever your purpose is, you need to find it, and go do it!

Chariots of Fire is about two outsiders, a Scotsman who is the son of missionaries in China, and a Jew whose father is an immigrant from Lithuania, and it is about how both of them use running as a means of asserting their dignity. But it is about more than them, and a lot of this film's greatness is hard to put into words. “Chariots of Fire” creates deep feelings among many members of its audiences, and it does that not so much with its story or even its characters as with particular moments that are very sharply seen and heard.

So where does the power come from to see the race to the end?


Shawshank Redemption: Get busy living or get busy dying!

Shawshank Redemption: Get busy living or get busy dying!

Convict Andy would not allow grim circumstances keep him from hoping and following his dreams. This speech is great to watch when you are feeling sorry for yourself.

We''re shown by Andy's example that you have to keep true to yourself, not lose hope, bide your time, set a quiet example and look for your chance. Even posters for the film illustrate the liberating, redemptive power of hope and the religious themes of freedom and resurrection, with the words: "Fear can hold you prisoner, Hope can set you free."

Darabont's film is a patiently-told, allegorical tale of friendship, patience, hope, survival, emancipation, and ultimate redemption and salvation by the time of the film's finale.

This happens to be one of my all-time favorite movies. One of the choices that I have had to make, and I think I make the decision daily.....that is TO LIVE! I could easily lay down and let illness run its course, but THAT IS NOT ME!

At the end of life, I want to skid in sideways, screaming, "What a ride! I had the time of my life! I lived the inspired life!"

Schindler's List Ending Scene

Schindler's List

Whoever saves one life, saves the world entire.

A few days after I received my diagnosis of lupus, I collapsed and ended up in the Emergency Room. I credit the place where I collapsed with saving my life. It was a local herbal store and I had gone there that morning because I wanted to start some more natural remedies to treat my illnesses.

Since that day, I have become certified as an Herbalist and have also received certifications in Aromatherapy for Natural Living. I have since gone on to make my own products, start an online page where I share my items with others who are also looking for more natural remedies to treat lupus.

Many times I have been attacked for my choices of products used. Others see my reasoning and ask questions on where the items can be found. Although I have not set out to save the world of lupus patients, if the methods or items that I use helps one person, then I have been successful.

Enough said!

The Pursuit of Happyness: Last Day

Pursuit of Happyness: Last day

Will Smith stars in this moving tale inspired by the true story about a struggling single father who dreams of a better life for his young son. Finding themselves homeless, he risks everything by embarking on an unpaid internship in a highly competitive stockbroker training program where only one in twenty interns make the grade.

Throughout the movie, even as the situations got worse, the dad and the boy were still happy. Yes, they were poor, hungry, homeless but they were still happy.

I think its a symbolic indication for how one should not wait for things to be perfect to be happy. So should be our attitude about life, more money or little money, we should still pursue the good old happyness.

Gladiator: As One

Gladiator: As One

Former Roman General Maximus is standing before a blood thirsty crowd with a motley crew of gladiators. He recognizes what has been planned for their death and organizes the gladiators together to form an effective fighting unit. His message is "stand alone, you die. Stand together and we can win."

As a lupus warrior, I have found that at the onset of diagnosis, I was a mental wreck. I knew that I could not do this alone. I sought out a "team" to help me. That team consists of fellow lupus warriors, family members, friends and my psychiatrist. Together we rally for emotional support. Without having others who know what I am going through, I'm not sure if I would have it this far.

As one, Lupus Warriors, we have one voice to fight for a cure.

Network: Mad As Hell!

Network: Mad as hell!

Fired TV broadcaster Howard Beale pleads with people not to believe what they see on TV and not to feel powerless against the political and media forces of the world. For a film that is thirty-seven years old, it still hits a lot of the issues that are relevant today.

What is really teeing you off? Find out, and deal with it!

I remember the day my doctor told me that I had lupus. My response was, "Well at least now I have something to blame. I am sort of relieved. I'm just baffled that I have spent my whole life taking care of my body, eating right, exercising, and I end up with this. My body decides it's going to revolt????? I should have had that shot of vodka when I had the chance. I should have smoked that spliff when I had the opportunity. What the hell? "

My doctor looked at me, at first with shock, but then with understanding. Having been my doctor for so long, he knew how I had managed to train for and receive a Black Belt in Taekwondo. He knew that I still ran at least 3 miles a day at that point, so he could understand my frustration.

Do I still have days where I get frustrated? HELL, YEAH! However, I channel that rage towards finding ways to help my body to heal. Lupus cannot win. I have too much to live for!

Independence Day: Right to live!

Independence Day: Right to live

In Independence Day the aliens have pretty much conquered Earth. The US President has put together a rag tag fleet to go against them. None of the pilots know if they will return or even be successful. President Whitmore gives them a speech to go for it. In the context of the 4th of July, he speaks of teamwork, freedom, not giving up, and being united in your common interests.

I love when I wake up in the morning and check my Facebook page, and there is a photo from Wanda that I have been tagged in. Wanda is fellow lupus warrior. She faces unbelievable challenges on a daily basis, but yet she chooses to send a group of about 46 lupus warriors an inspirational photo or post DAILY, one that encourages us to not give up, to continue to fight for a cure, to be united together in our common goal...finding a cure for lupus, and to encourage one another.

Thank you, Wanda!!

Dead Poet's Society: There is something deep inside you!

Dead Poets' Society: There is something deep inside you

Find your passion!

Capture inspiration.

Stop being afraid.

Live your life.

Be brutally honest with yourself about your unhappiness. Embark on some serious soul-searching. Ask yourself some tough questions and learn what it feels like to be authentically YOU.

Peaceful Warrior Scene: Take out the trash!

Peaceful Warrior: Take out the trash!

The trash is anything that is keeping you from the only thing that matters...this moment!

Declutter: Declutter your house. Declutter you life. Let go of toxic relationships. Let go of anger, grudges and hostility...anything that is holding you back from being your highest, most present, self.

It's a new year, and the perfect time to "take out the trash."

Hoosiers: I don't care what the scoreboard says!

Hoosiers: I don't care what the scoreboard says!

You don't have to be a sports fanatic to appreciate this great speech. Worrying about what the outcome of your efforts could be is a waste of energy. There are certain variables you can’t control, so losing sleep over them is fruitless. Winners focus on what they can control and eliminate the rest of the noise. They also aren’t fazed when things they can’t control get in the way of the outcome because they know they have spent their efforts the right way.

"Forget about the crowds, the size of the school, their fancy uniforms, and remember what got you here. Focus on the fundamentals that we've gone over time and time again.

"And most important, don't get caught up thinking about winning or losing this game. If you put your effort and concentration into playing to your potential, to be the best that you can be, I don't care what the scoreboard says at the end of the game, in my book we're gonna be winners!" Coach Dale

As I embark on this marathon training, I may be tempted to get caught up in the idea of winning or losing, but I know that when I step at that start line, I will have already won.

The Legend of Bagger Vance: Authentic Swing

Bagger Vance: Authentic swing

In Bagger Vance, Will Smith transforms himself into this beautiful soul that guides and mentors us through life's hardest obstacle...doubt.

Caddy Bagger Vance gives advice on looking inside of yourself and finding what is your true nature. This movie provides great inspiration when it gets hectic and crazy. .

Any Given Sunday: You can accept your miserable.....

Any Given Sunday: You can accept your miserable circumstances or you can fight your way out of it!

The Miami Sharks, a once-great American football team, are now in turmoil and struggling to make the 2001 Associated Football Franchises of America (AFFA) playoffs. They are coached by 30-year veteran Tony D'Amato (Al Pacino), who has fallen out of favor with young owner Christina Pagniacci (Cameron Diaz), who inherited the team, and offensive coordinator Nick Crozier (Aaron Eckhart), who is expected to succeed D'Amato as head coach.

What does the movie teach?

Circumstances are beyond human control, to a certain extent, but our we respond to those in our own power.

Don Juan De Marco: 4 Questions

Don Juan De Marco: 4 Questions of life

Don Juan DeMarco is a 1994 American romantic comedy-drama film starring Johnny Depp as John Arnold DeMarco, a man who believes himself to be Don Juan, the greatest lover in the world. Clad in a cape and domino mask, DeMarco undergoes psychiatric treatment with Marlon Brando's character, Dr. Jack Mickler, to cure him of his apparent delusion. But the psychiatric sessions have an unexpected effect on the psychiatric staff, some of whom find themselves inspired by DeMarco's delusion; the most profoundly affected is Dr. Mickler himself, who rekindles the romance in his complacent marriage.

In this scene Don Juan states:

“There are only four questions of value in life... What is sacred? Of what is the spirit made? What is worth living for, and what is worth dying for? The answer to each is the same: only love.”

Another one of my favorite quotes from this movie is this:

“By seeing beyond what is visible to the eye. Now there are those, of course, who do not share my perceptions, it’s true. When I say that all my woman are dazzling beauties, they object. The nose of this one is too large; the hips of another, they are too wide; perhaps the breasts of a third, they are too small. But I see these women for how they truly are… glorious, radiant, spectacular, and perfect, because, I am not limited by my eyesight. Women react to me the way that they do, Don Octavio, because they sense that I search out the beauty that dwells within until it overwhelms everything else. And then they cannot avoid their desire, to release that beauty and envelope me in it.”
― Don Juan DeMarco

As I go forth in the new year, I intend to search for the beauty that lies within each person that I come into contact with. Truly love a person for who they are! I also intend to do that for myself! How about you?

Mr. Holland's Opus: Farewell, Mr. Holland!

Mr. Holland's Opus: Farewell, Mr Holland!

It doesn't matter how many times I watch this scene, I cry my eyes out!

Mr. Holland's Opus is a 1995 American drama film directed by Stephen Herek, produced by Ted Field, Robert W. Cort, and Michael Nolin, and written by Patrick Sheane Duncan. The film stars Richard Dreyfuss in the title role of Glenn Holland, a high school music teacher who aspires to compose one great piece of music.

On his final day as a teacher, Iris and Cole, now an adult and a teacher himself, arrive to help Holland pack up. Sensing his disappointment over his self-perceived lack of achievement, Iris and Cole lead Holland to the school auditorium where he is surprised to find a gathering of many of his former students, now grown. Hearing that their beloved teacher is retiring, the students have secretly returned to the school to celebrate his career.

Holland's orchestral piece, never before played, has been distributed to the students by Iris and Cole. One of his most musically challenged students (Alicia Witt as a child and Joanna Gleason as an adult), who is now Governor of Oregon, sits with her clarinet. The students ask their former teacher to serve as conductor for the premiere performance of Mr. Holland's Opus ("The American Symphony"). As Holland conducts the orchestra of his former students, a proud Iris and Cole look on, appreciating the affection and respect that Holland receives. Holland, overwhelmed with emotion, finally realizes his masterpiece.

Lord of the Rings: The Tales that really matter.

Lord of the Rings: The tales that mattered.

The Lord Of The Rings movies have always been a symbolic parable to the real world we live in, and Peter Jackson hits the nail on the head with this profound climax of the movie where Sam discusses all the bad events that have occurred and how there's some good in this world, and it's worth fighting for. This theme was directly correlated to the same questions and concepts that our world faces....

A great story of friendship and sacrificial love.

Beautiful wise words about life and circumstances.

Even darkness must pass. A new day will come! There is still good in this world and it's worth fighting for.

Lord of the Rings: Trilogy

Facing the Giants: Death Crawl

Facing The Giants: Death Crawl

This is the action-packed drama about a Christian high school football coach who uses his undying faith to battle the giants of fear and failure. In six years of coaching, Grant Taylor has never led his Shiloh Eagles to a winning season. Devastated by his circumstances, he cries out to God in desperation. When Grant receives a message from an unexpected visitor, he searches for a stronger purpose for his football team. He dares to challenge his players to believe in God for the impossible on and off the field. Facing the Giants is a powerful experience for the whole family inspiring viewers to live with faith, hope, and love!

When you think you are done, there is a lot more left in you than you think, than you realize.

This gets me through a lot of days where I think all my energy is sent. As a result of this perseverance, I managed to dig deep down, finding that reserve, and moving ahead.

"We need men with moral courage to speak and write their real thoughts, and to stand by their convictions, even to the very death." Robert Green Ingersoll

We are Marshall: Rise from the ashes

In We Are Marshall, the coach of a football team delivers a speech honoring the memory of the prior team that had been killed in a plane crash. How do you pick it up when all seems lost? “This is your opportunity to rise from the ashes and grab glory!”

How many of us are guilty of having pity-parties for ourselves? We've all lost something or someone. We've lost our ability to run like we used to. We've lost our hair, our eyesight, our vision...and by that I mean our gusto for dreaming and realizing our dreams. We've lost our passion. We live from day to day with uncertainty because of an illness or other reason. We're tempted to just lay down and call it quits. I was at that place several years ago, but guess what? I didn't have that luxury, and neither do you. You have too much to live for!

The funeral ends today!

Remember, give life everything you’ve got. There’s no telling how far you’ll go and how much you can do so long as you don’t give up.


© 2016 Gina Welds


Gina Welds (author) from Tampa, Florida on January 10, 2016:

Thank you, Jodah! Yes, I agree. It is hard to choose just one favorite. There are a few more that I left out as it could have gotten quite lengthy. :-)

All the best for the new year, and beyond!

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on January 09, 2016:

You have chosen some amazing films here and epic speeches. It would be so hard to choose a favourite though the one of these movies I have seen most recently is "Coach Carter" and the speech was memorable. Robin Williams speech from "Good Will Hunting" however is hard to beat, and all the others were very worthy of mention. Very inspirational, as are you Gina in your determination. Good luck in the marathon.

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