This post is not directly related to trading, but inspiring movies/TV series can help traders in two ways:
- Watching movies gives us something to do during slow periods in the markets, so we don’t take impulsive trades.
- These movies show us what human beings are truly capable of, when we put our minds to it. This inspiration can energize us and help drive us to new levels of performance in trading and in life.
So if you are looking for some new movies/TV series to watch, here are the top 19 that I recommend. Most of them are available on Netflix, at the time that this post was written.
There are a lot more movies out there, so I might have to do a part two later. But this list will certainly keep you busy for awhile.
I chose these movies based on how inspired I was after I watched them and how important I felt the message was.
I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.
1. Man on Wire
This is without a doubt, one of the most amazing stories of all time. A French guy breaks into the World Trade Center in New York, before the towers are completed.
He strings a tightrope across the towers and proceeds to walk back and forth for over an hour, with no safety harness.
Don’t worry, I didn’t spoil anything for you. Even though you now know how the movie ends, the rest of the story is so amazing, that it is hard to believe.
There is a newer version of this story, but I like this one best. It is truly a testament to what one person can do, when they really set their mind to doing something.
2. Kindness Diaries
I thought that this series was going to be cheesy and totally sappy.
…and it started out that way.
But as I got deeper into the series, it turned out to be an amazing tale of adventure and uncovering the good in the world. Too many times, we are shown what is bad in the world.
In this series, Leon Logothetis has the goal of traveling around the world on a motorcycle (with a sidecar).
Yeah, that’s been done before…
However, the catch is that he cannot use any money and must rely on the kindness of others. This makes the journey a million times harder.
Does he make it? Find out how far he gets and how he repays the kindest people on his journey.
That’s the coolest part.
It will restore your faith in humanity.
3. Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things
Minimalism doesn’t mean that you have to sell all of your stuff and live in a camper van on the side of the road. As I have written about before, it can simply be a great way to figure out what is important to you.
…and it can help you with your trading.
When you first get into the concept of minimalism, you scale back as much as possible. That means donating clothes that you haven’t worn in a long time, selling your old sports equipment on eBay and putting everything else on Craigslist.
This can be a tough, especially if you are used to accumulating a lot of stuff. But once you get going, it is very liberating.
After you cut everything to the bone, you are free to only add back the things that truly make you happy.
…and that’s when things really get fun.
You can learn more about the movie here.
4. One in a Billion
Quick…when I say NBA (National Basketball Association), what is the first thing that comes to mind?
I probably can’t guess what you thought of.
…but I bet I know something that you didn’t think of.
How many Asians do you know of in the NBA?
…yeah, I thought of the same two also. There are actually more, but that’s beside the point.
This movie documents the story of the first Indian man to be drafted in the NBA. It is an amazing story and an inspiration to anyone trying to overcome long odds.
5. APEX: The Story of the Hypercar
I love fast cars, just as much as the next trader.
…and I’m a fan of anything that Koenigsegg creates.
This movie is the story of how Christian von Koenigsegg started the company and created one of the most respected hypercar brands in the world.
At the time that this movie was made, they were in the process of launching the One:1. So it takes you through the though process of the car and how it was created.
It shows us that we can create something incredible, when we put our minds to it.
6. I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead
I hate Steve Aoki’s music.
But that’s OK because there is a lot of music that I dislike. However, I thoroughly enjoyed this movie and I am amazed by his work ethic and respect what he has accomplished in his career.
His story begins with a famous father, how he was too busy working, and was never around for his kids. This was the catalyst for Steve’s desire to be the best at whatever he chose to do.
That just so happened to be music.
This movie shows how sheer determination and a passion can create a life worth living.
7. The Barkley Marathons: The Race That Eats Its Young
I’ll admit, this movie caught me off guard.
I didn’t quite know what to expect when I clicked play, but it turned out to be a quirky story of one of those cool underground events that very few people know about, but a lot of people would love to participate in.
The Barkley Marathons doesn’t have a website and nobody knows what the course will be like every year. You have to know someone to even register.
When you arrive, you also have to bring an odd entrance fee…a license plate from your home state.
Once the race gets started, it is one of the most grueling races in the world. Only 14 out of about 1,000 people have actually finished it.
This story is a perfect example of doing something fun (the organizer) and taking on a challenge that is impossible for most people (the participants), but giving it your best shot anyway.
8. The Men Who Built America
This series a little over-dramatized, but it gets the point across. The men who built America truly lived by a different set of rules.
But we can still learn a lot from them.
Get some insights into what it took to build a nation and how you can apply that same sense of big-thinking to your life.
9. Long Way Round / Down
These are actually two TV series with the same theme…attempt a long, difficult adventure on a motorcycle. Follow actors Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman as they drive their motorcycles on two epic journeys.
First, they take their bikes over 20,000 miles from London to New York…the long way. On the second adventure, they travel from Western Europe to Cape Town, South Africa.
Even if you don’t like motorcycles, these movies will give you the itch to travel, for sure.
10. Jiro Dreams of Sushi
This is a man who is dedicated to his craft. Well, dedicated might not be strong enough of a word.
Obsessed is more accurate.
It is a story of someone who isn’t afraid to work hard and he has created exactly what he envisioned.
We can all learn a lot from him.
This movie got me interested in Formula 1. It is the story of legendary F1 driver Ayrton Senna and his rise to the top of the sport.
He had a lot of talent, for sure. But he also worked hard and this movie showcases the competitiveness and passion that made him a legendary driver.
12. Space Dive
What do you do when jumping out of an airplane becomes blasé?
You jump out of a spaceship, of course! OK, not quite a spaceship, but jump from a ballon floating on the edge of space.
This is another story that blew me away.
There are a lot of things that can go wrong with skydiving. But jumping from space presents so many more risks.
Witness this record-breaking jump from 128,100 feet above the earth and learn how Felix Baumgartner prepared for this historic feat.
13. Stretch and Bobbito
This movie is badass!
I’m a huge fan of the golden era of hip hop (late 1980s to early 1990s) and these guys were instrumental in making those artists popular. I didn’t even know that these guys existed until I watched this movie.
They were college DJs for the Columbia University radio station and they had the late-late night spot. Since they were college students, they didn’t get paid. In fact, many times they had to pay out of their own pockets to get things done.
In order to listen to their show, you not only had to stay up late, but you also had to get the tuning just right because the signal was pretty weak. But once you did catch the signal, you were treated to a majority of the biggest names in hip hop…before they were famous.
People used to record those shows on cassette tape and sell them. Many people still have their tapes.
The shows were that good.
Their guests included names like the Wu-Tang Clan, Jay-Z, Busta Rhymes, Biggie, Big Daddy Kane and much, much more.
It goes to show that if you do something for the pure love of it, great things can happen.
14. Sunshine Superman
What do you call a guy who likes to jump off mountains?
If he gets others to do it too, does that make him a cult leader?
But Carl Boenish started a movement that became known as BASE jumping and what followed was amazing. He got people to conquer their fears and do something exhilarating.
After watching this movie, you probably won’t be inclined to jump off a building with a parachute.
But it will make you question what the hell you are doing with your life.
15. Next Goal Wins
This movie is actually a little sad because it is an underdog story of epic proportions.
…but it has a pretty happy ending.
It is the story of the Samoan national soccer team. The movie starts with their record 31-0 loss to Australia, which brands them as the worst soccer team ever.
So they enlist the help of a legendary Dutch coach to try to turn things around. Watch this movie to find out if they can qualify for the World Cup in Brazil.
16. Valley Uprising
Like Sunshine Superman, this is another story of a group of rebels who made history with their death-defying feats.
This is the story of a group of climbers in Yosemite National Park who started a revolution. They climbed faster and more dangerously than anyone had dared to climb before.
You don’t have to be this rebellious. But this movie gives us insights into what it takes to push way past your comfort zone.
17. Riding Giants
I love surfing and this is the story of some of the most daring wave riders in history. It amazes me how they can brave these gigantic waves, when I get freaked out on waves that are a fraction of that size.
This movie is yet another example of people who push the limits and do incredible things.
18. Exit Through the Gift Shop
I highly recommend watching this movie because it is a perfect example of people who didn’t wait for approval to do what they loved.
Sure, what they do is usually illegal. But they also create amazing art and have become world famous.
Some of them now do far less illegal things and are able to make a living through their art.
Now, I’m not suggesting that you should break the law. But I am saying that you should stop asking for permission to do what you love.
19. The American Dream Project
Finally, let’s end this list with a feel-good series about a couple of guys who travel around the US on motorcycles and find out if the American Dream is still alive.
They find that it is alive and well, but it is certainly different things to different people. That is what is so cool about this series.
It shows us that there isn’t one set formula for the American Dream. It is what you make of it.
Regardless of where you live, this series inspires you to find your own dream.
Final Thoughts on Inspirational Movies
So that is my list of the 19 most inspirational movies that I have ever watched. I hope that they inspire you to reach your goals.
What are your favorite inspirational movies?
Leave a comment below and share them!