Over the years I have seen so many movies that have left a big imprint on my life. In this post I want to tell you about a few movies that will help you look at your work in a brand new light.
6 movies you must see to increase your happiness at work
1. The Pursuit of Happyness
“You got a dream… You gotta protect it. People can’t do somethin’ themselves, they wanna tell you you can’t do it. If you want somethin’, go get it. Period.” – Will Smith, The Pursuit of Happyness
As far as work related movies go this is my favorite. I have seen it a few times now and every time I watch it I get inspired to better myself as a person and make something of my life. Will Smith does a fantastic job playing a father who is struggling to make ends meet and support his wife and child. The trials he and his son go through while he is trying to “make it” are simply magic.
The great thing about this movie is that it shows you that you can achieve anything you set your mind to; even when your circumstances are working against you. But more importantly, you don’t have to compromise your morals to do it.
For more on Will Smith check out another article we wrote about developing charisma.
And before you ask; no that’s not a spelling error. The word “Happyness” is a reference to a scene in the movie.
2. Fight Club
“We’ve all been raised on television to believe that one day we’d all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won’t. And we’re slowly learning that fact. And we’re very, very pissed off.” – Tyler Durdan
Fight Club is without a doubt one of the best movies you can see to change your perspective about work. It is full of modern wisdom that can really help you see your life and your work in a new way. I have written a full article about Fight Club which shares some of Tyler Durdan’s wisdom.
The great thing about Fight Club is that it used a new and up to date method to present a message. If you didn’t learn any lessons from the movie you would have at least had a good two hours of entertainment.
3. Meet Joe Black
Another Brad Pitt movie that made me re-think everything I knew about work. In this timeless movie Brad Pitt plays the human embodiment of “death” who has come to take Anthony Hopkins to the next life. The two forge somewhat of a relationship and end up teaching each other some valuable lessons.
The thing I really liked about Meet Joe Black is that it teaches impermanence without being too depressing. It shows you that you can work your whole life building up an empire but in the end you can’t take it with you when you die.
“Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It is a very mean and nasty place and it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t how hard you hit; it’s about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward. How much you can take, and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done.” – Rocky
The Rocky movies aren’t really about “work” as such but they can teach you a lot about work. Rocky is extremely humble and genuine and in his pursuit of greatness he learns a lot about love, patience, justice and discipline.
I remember watching the Rocky movies and thinking afterwards that I could do anything I put my mind to. I went to work with a renewed sense of purpose and energy thinking that if Rocky can get himself out of a dead-end job then so can I.
5. To Sir With Love
This movie might be before your time (it is way before mine) but it is well worth looking up. My mother showed me this movie when I was in high school and I remember being deeply affected by it.
The movie is based around Sidney Poitier who takes a teaching job in the rough end of London. The students are rough and rude and Sidney takes it upon himself to teach them a few life lessons. It is one of the most inspiring films ever made.
The hit 90’s movie Dangerous Minds was a modern adaption of this classic.
6. Tears of the Sun
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”. – Edmund Burke
(from the title card of the movie)
I don’t really like Bruce Willis and I don’t really like movies about ethnic cleansing but this one really moved me. The movie is set in Nigeria where mass genocide is taking place. Bruce and his team of Navy Seals are dropped into the heat of the action to bring home an American doctor before she is murdered. However, after witnessing several acts of mass murder the troops decide to ignore their orders to return home and stay to help the local villagers escape to Cameroon.
This movie teaches us that sometimes the right decision is the tough decision. Sometimes we need to go against our managers directives in the name of doing the right thing – even if it means we have consequences.
More of the best movies about work
I would love to compile a massive list of the most inspiring work related movies. Leave a comment and tell everyone what movie inspired you. The movie doesn’t have to be specifically about work as long as it helped you learn a lesson that you could apply to your own workplace.
Originally posted on March 24, 2008 @ 6:54 am
Hi….I’ve seen all the movise u listed above…and I agree all of them have taught me something about life…I just wish more directors & writers come forward make inspiring movies like these…a few movies u can add are:
– Gone with the wind
– Forest gump
– Apollo 13
The Daily Minder
Excellent work Deepak!
Karl Staib - Your Work Happiness Matters
My favorite movie inspiration is “I am Sam.” Sean Penn is awesome in this role. I like the movie because it shows us that we all have the ability to succeed if we don’t give up.
Great Post! Keep them coming.
The Daily Minder
Hey Karl thanks for stopping by again.
Funny you should say that – I actually started writing this post while watching that post with my girlfriend. It is a very bitter sweet movie; sad and happy at the same time.
Rocky 2 was the best for motivation.
The Daily Minder
Samson – I agree!!! No one else does though… they all like III with mr. T.
You might want to check out “the weatherman” casting nicholas cage and michael caine…it’s also about making decision about work and life, and at some point michael caine’s character advises his son (cage’s character) that in life the right choice is almost always the tough one…
I wanted to watch pursut of happiness for a while now but never had the chance. i love will smith and now i want to watch it even more thanks to you =) and i’m also gonna watch the tears of the sun…it looked like just another stupid hollywood war movie but apparently there’s more to it as you say…
keep up the good work =)
All great choices. Excellent
What a great site.
Here’s my suggestion:
– The Wind and the Lion
I was somewhat troubled to read you say that you didnt like Bruce Willis. I’m not a huge fan, but would never use those words, afterall what has he done to me or you for that matter. I find it most disturbing that a person who has spent years meditating could even think of using those words about a person, esp one whom you have never met and only really know on screen as an actor. It goes against a lot of buddhist teaching and principles. Who are you? i have been put off this site by such narrowmindedness. Surely if you had to comment it would have been better to say “i am not a fan of Bruce Willis”, even this would have alarmed me, but better than what you said. I just dont know anymore!
The Daily Minder
Marnie I think perhaps you might be being a little unfair on me. What I said about Bruce Willis was not that out there. I just don’t really like him as an actor. This doesn’t go against Buddhist principles as far as I know.
Sorry if I upset you.