While bingeing that new fiction Netflix show is definitely what we sometimes need, observing or drawing inspiration from real life can foster your personal and mental growth—and help you see your full potential.
This is exactly what various inspiring documentaries are made of.
So, if you feel a bit like you need an extra kick in life or like you’re struggling with a vision for yourself, buckle down and allow yourself to feel inspired (and motivated!) by others’ stories. Below, we offer up seven of the best and more inspirational documentaries you’ll definitely want to watch.
The following will make you laugh, cry, hold your loved ones closer, and even keep you on the edge of your seat. In other words, you’re going to feel something. After all, it wouldn’t be inspiring if you didn’t!
So, if you’re settling into your next movie night, try watching these inspirational documentaries.
The conquering of a summit. The climb to the top. The endless physical demands. There are so many parallels between life and the story of what it takes to climb the world’s 14 tallest mountains.
In 14 Peaks, Nepali mountaineer Nimsdai Purja asserts a level of fearlessness and determination that is unmatched as he sets out to climb the world’s 14 tallest mountains within a six-month timeframe.
Risking his life, he aims to do what very few people have. And along the way, he saves lives, despite risking his own, and carries a level of joy and persistence that is hard to find.
Out of all of the inspirational documentaries on this list, this one earns its place at the top. You’ll take away the idea that nothing is impossible, even when our minds make us believe it is so.
Most things are a mental battle, and we have it in us to overcome that internal struggle and do great things.
Okay, I get it. March of the Penguins doesn’t seem like the first documentary that comes to mind when you think of “inspiring documentaries.”
But… the circle of life should be embraced! Plus, the endurance that some animals have can provide incredible inspiration (I mean, let’s look around: How amazing is this planet and the species that inhabit it?).
March of the Penguins features the annual journey that penguins in Antarctica make to bring a newborn penguin into their midst.
It takes place over many months and shines a light on the incredible sacrifices parents make when attempting to bring new life into this world. The parents must cooperate and work together to achieve the end goal.
Against incredible odds (and insane weather!), these animals will leave anyone in awe. And that feeling of “awe” is something you can carry with you as you go about navigating your own relationships and personal growth.
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With documentaries, we are never short of amazing feats accomplished by the average human. Inevitably, tons of training and prep goes into these incredible endeavors, but the commitment is beyond fascinating.
Free Solo will keep you on the edge of your seat as free soloist climber Alex Honnold takes on the risky task of climbing the most famous rock in Yosemite, without rope or backup.
In other words, it’s either do or die.
This documentary offers an inside look into the human spirit and its ability of it to overcome mind-blowing challenges, despite all the odds.
In Man on Wire, documentary filmmakers take a look at Philippe Petit’s bold and daring tightrope walk between the two World Trade Center Twin Towers in New York in 1974. While illegal, this story displays the undeniable and unwavering desire revolving around one man’s story and pursuit of his dreams.
You’ll be filled with adrenaline one minute and in complete awe the next. This documentary and story are beyond powerful, inspiring others to follow their dreams no matter what barriers are in their way.
The idea of visualizing to bring your dreams to life should never go under-recognized. And that’s kind of exactly what this documentary is all about.
A word to the wise though: Visualization must be followed by action for changes to happen in your life!
In recent history, Sweden has really promoted the idea of individualism and autonomy. Yet, these concepts have created a black hole of sorts. More and more people are dying alone, neighborhoods are being deserted, and sperm banks are increasing.
This documentary explores the ramifications of this side of an independent society, helping the viewers take on a whole new perspective regarding the meaning of community and relationships. All in all, the curtain gets pulled back on the value of community and why independence isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
You’ve probably heard talk about the bees in the last few years. And if you’re wondering what all the fuss is about, this documentary is for you.
More Than Honey explores the undeniable need to preserve and protect these small but impactful creatures.
Albert Einstein has said in the past, “If bees were to disappear from the globe, mankind would only have four years left to live.”
Now, that’s a scary thought!
This documentary displays the fragility of life and how much our existence relies on the species and animals around us. It fosters a sense of connection, to the world and ourselves. If nothing else inspires you, the visual display of bees will!
Watch one of the inspiring documentaries above and take what you will from it.
Find that meaning for yourself. There’s plenty to be found in all of the above. Many of them will leave you in a state of reflection, allowing you to carve a meaningful path for yourself and your life.
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