by Jonathan Robinson: The TV and newspapers blare out an endless parade of bad news. Our own lives are filled with a constant barrage of stress.
With so much negative information overwhelming us at all times, we need an easy and effective way to replenish our souls. Fortunately, a quick and powerful source of inspiration is readily available. Movies. A good movie or video is truly a remarkable gift of modern technology. In about two hours you can enter a whole new world and become absorbed into its story, characters, and underlying message. When a movie touches your heart, it can inspire you to new heights of hope and possibility. It can almost instantly change your attitude and how you feel.
Nowadays, the average American spends about eleven years of their life watching TV or looking at their computer for entertainment—more than any other waking activity—including work! While TV can be fun and relaxing to watch at times, the preponderance of violent images and bad news on TV can also be stress inducing. In fact, studies show that most people actually feel worse after they watch TV. On the other hand, an inspiring movie can have an uplifting effect on people for many hours—or even days. Research indicates that traits such as kindness and bravery are increased in moviegoers after they watch movies whose characters display such characteristics.
Since what we watch on TV or in the movies effects how we feel and act, it’s critical we become selective about what we expose ourselves to. When you were young, your parents probably prevented you from seeing certain TV shows and movies. Now that you’re an adult, you need to choose which images and stories will help feed the type of person you want to become. Because there is a lot of “garbage” in the media, it’s not an easy job to do. To help make the task easier for you, I have come up with a list of thirty highly inspiring movies. This list was created by asking approximately 2000 people who attended my workshops about the “most inspiring movie they ever saw.” The thirty movies that got the most votes ended up on the list. Here, in no particular order, are the movies that most people selected:
1.Rocky 16. Hearts and Souls
2. Being There 17. Michael
3. Braveheart 18. Good Will Hunting
4. Brother Sun, Sister Moon 19. Peaceful Warrior
5. Casablanca 20. Network
6. Chariots of Fire 21. Out of Africa
7. Dead Poets Society 22. The Blind Side
8. The Empire Strikes Back 23. Powder
9. E. T. 24. The Razor’s Edge
10. Forrest Gump 25. Resurrection
11. Field of Dreams 26. Rocky
12. Gandhi 27. Schindler’s List
13. Gone With the Wind 28. The Ten Commandments
14. Groundhog Day ` 29. Titanic
15. Harold and Maude 30. The Wizard of Oz
Of course, there are many inspirational and great movies that didn’t make it onto this list. Yet, if you haven’t seen several of these movies, my advice is that you see them. Simply call your local video store and see if they carry the ones you haven’t seen. A truly wonderful movie is a blessing. It can make your heart soar, teach you new ways to live, and help you gain the wisdom of the characters portrayed in the script. Not bad for about $2 bucks. Even if you’ve seen most of the movies on the above list, rent and see them again. I’ve learned that I often get more benefit from seeing a movie a second, third, or fourth time, than I did the first time I saw it.
A few years ago, I went to a showing of the classic movie Harold and Maude. The first time I saw this movie, I loved it. I was now seeing it for the fifth time. I casually commented to the woman sitting next to me that I had seen this movie on four previous occasions. She looked at me as if I was crazy, and then said, “I’ve seen this movie 26 previous times!” She was serious. She went on to tell me that this movie had totally changed her life. The main character in the movie, Maude, inspired her to leave her loveless marriage, travel around the world, and become an artist. I was amazed. Ever since I heard this woman’s story, I have been much more open about the potential effects a movie can have on a person’s life. Nowadays, I often see the same movie on several occasions. I’ve learned to “absorb” what inspires me about a particular movie so that it never seems “old.” For me, watching movies has become a powerful source of illumination and learning.
In an attempt to always have new stimulation and entertainment, we often fail to get the deeper significance of what is right in front of us. What movies have truly inspired you in the past? Perhaps it’s time to see them again. What movies have simply given you a good laugh or made you feel good? With an open mind, you can watch a great movie over and over again and be nourished from it with each viewing. Like a good friend, a good movie can repeatedly feed your soul and uplift your heart.
Jonathan Robison has written several bestseller books including, “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Awakening Your Spirituality;” “The Experience of God,” “The Little Book of Big Questions;” and “Communication Miracles for Couples.” His latest book is called, “More Love, Less Conflict.” Jonathan also co-hosts the podcast “Awareness Explorers” with author Brian Tom O’Connor. This podcast focuses on revealing the easiest and most powerful practices for directly awakening to one’s true nature.
Through TV, live lectures and radio, Mr. Robinson has reached over 100 million people around the world. He is known for providing his audiences with immediately useful information presented in a fun and entertaining manner.