My Favorite Motivational Netflix Documentaries

For the majority of my adult life I have held one mantra close: live creatively. Those two words ring in my mind when I am faced with any choice: do I want to do this because I am supposed to or because I deeply want to? Truthfully though, living a creative life is hard: it means saying “yes” when most say “no” and being comfortable with the unknown. When I feel I am losing my gumption for creative living there are a few documentaries I turn to for inspiration.

The people in the documentaries below take “living creatively” to a whole other level. Although their stories are incredibly different, their commonality lies in that they all had a goal and went forth to seek that goal out in a way that transformed their lives forever.

  1. Mission Blue – Sylvia Earle, although her name is not as famous she is as important to ocean exploration as Neil Armstrong was to space. She is a marine biologist, lecturer, author and National Geographic Explorer-In-Residence since 1998. She has made it her mission to educate the world on the importance of ocean conservation. Mission Blue chronicles Sylvia’s career and dedication to her one true love, the ocean. It is awe-inspiring to watch someone with such passion.
  2. Last Man on the Moon. Little known fact about me, I am totally obsessed with space exploration, specifically the Race to the Moon. The passion, drive, intelligence and “never give up” attitude of the space program during that time inspires and ignites me. Last Man on the Moon tells the story of astronaut Gene Cernan, Commander of Apollo 17, the last mission to the moon.
  3. Valley Uprising. The term “dirt bag” is a compliment to this group of people. Valley Uprising follows the history of rock climbing from where it began at Yosemite National Park. The athletes in this film took rock climbing from something unknown and turned it into the sport it is today. They are a true testament of what it looks like to be completely immersed in a dream.
  4. 30 for 30. Okay, so this is a series of short documentaries done by ESPN Films but so far every one I’ve watched has locked me in. I am not a sports fan in the slightest but watching history through the lens of athletes shows the grit, endurance and devotion it takes to accomplish goals on such a large scale. My favorites of the series so far are any that have to do with boxing; boxers live grit and passion beyond anything I’ve ever seen.
  5. 180° South. This will forever be one of my favorites. From the music to the breathtaking scenery, filmmaker Jeff Johnson documents his dream to follow an epic mountain summit that was first done by his heroes more than 30 years before.

These movies give me excitement. They remind me that no matter what my vision for my life may be, if I follow that vision, pour my heart and soul into it and move beyond fear, my goals are possible.

Happy watching! Happy thriving!