Movie Recommendations to Gain Wisdom

Some say, at times you have to take a step back to move forward.

Others think, even slowing down a small bit can be a failure. You probably fall into this kind of thinking sometimes. We all do.

Yet, you’ve seen Matt having fun chasing golf balls. And you’ve seen when he took a vacation, which is unacceptable.

How could he slow down and take a break? There is no time for a break if you want to get to the top... Wrong!

We all struggle with this, and we constantly have to convince ourselves it is acceptable to slow down. We must realize sleeping is actually important for peak-performance, this ensures we don’t feel bad if we are sleeping 8 hours or more.

This is why today we are going to talk about movies! Yes, we don’t always spend our time working, reading, listening to podcasts, writing articles, or preparing secret projects we will launch during 2017…

We, against all evidence, are humans too. Part humans, part robots some would say.

These are some of the movies we recommend for you. Or if you haven’t been to the movies in what seemed like ages.... Then just go and watch anything.

You deserve the break.

Movies That Had an Impact


I am one of those people who doesn’t really like television. I get it, there are captivating shows out there, especially when you add in Netflix originals, Amazon, HBO, etc. There are some shows which capture my attention, yet most of the time I can’t stand television.

However, I love movies. Seriously, my wife and I routinely watch multiple movies on the weekend, it is one of our main ways to decompress from the week. She is a high-level business woman at Microsoft, we have a 3-year old, and I have my own business, plus an upcoming project to be released soon. Therefore, we need the time to relax and gain energy to conquer a new week.

Our movie viewing generally fits into three categories. 1) straight veg out mode, this is where we watch entertaining movies. You know the type, anything Marvel related, family movies to view with our son, or something which doesn’t take much thought. 2) more serious or innovative movies. These can be found in many genres, for example, Kubo and the Two Strings is a children’s movie, yet complex. 3) documentaries, I am more of a fan than my wife, yet we both enjoy a powerful documentary. This third category is what I want to focus on, below are some to make you think, motivate, and provide entertainment.

Baristaforget the IMDB ranking, this movie is amazing. If you are a coffee lover, you must see this movie. It follows multiple people vying for the title of world’s best barista. I didn’t even know there was such a thing. You will be inspired at how much they dedicate to their craft when you realize how little they make financially.

Anything by Director Gary Hustwit, first is Helvetica which is, yes, about the typeface Helvetica. I remember watching this and being excited during the opening credits, I looked over at my wife who had fallen asleep within the first 5-minutes. Her loss, this is a brilliant movie. Second, Objectified explores our dependence on consumer goods and the designers who create them. An interesting look at an industry which is foreign to many of us. Third, Urbanizedyou might love this movie but begin to hate where you live. Here, the director examines urban planning and how cities around the world are tackling overpopulation among other issues. Some of the solutions to the problems of large cities are pure genius.

Minimalism: A Documentary About The Important Things is a beautiful depiction of the minimalist movement which is occurring across the United States and globe. Halfway through the film, I texted Alejandro and recommended it. The next time we saw each other we both looked at each other and said “wow.” Yes, it’s that impactful.

I could go on for pages, yet for the sake of space, I will go quickly through more recommendations before handing off to Alejandro.

  • Dior and Igo ahead and make fun of me, I don’t care. This is a truly insightful movie into the world of high fashion.
  • The True Costthis is the opposite of Dior and I as The True Cost shows how fast fashion is becoming a global issue of inequality, consumption, and exploitation.
  • Living on One Dollarspeaking of inequality. This is really an experiment where 4 friends go to Guatemala for a month to, you guessed it, live on a dollar a day. I have worked in a third-world country and have witnessed this type of poverty first-hand, it’s surreal to imagine how many people live like this daily.
  • Fittest on Earth: The Story of the 2015 Reebok Crossfit Gamesas a formal personal trainer, I was enthralled by the discipline of these athletes. True story, I ate Lucky Charms while watching and felt deep shame.
  • The Barkley Marathons: The Race That Eats Its Young is about a race for ultra runners. I never want to run for three days straight but admire their perseverance. There is something truly inspiring about people running (pun intended) toward a goal when the accolades are few, they really love what they do.
  • Chris Bell is an underrated young director. He has filmed a trifecta of excellence with Bigger Stronger Faster, a glimpse into the world of performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) across many industries. Did you know classical musicians take PEDs!? Trophy Kids follows parents who push their kids to excel in sports, even when the children do not want to participate. Prescription Thugs shows what most of us know, the United States is overmedicated through the manufacturing of diseases and cures by some of the most powerful companies on the planet.

I recommended the above as they serve multiple purposes. A solid documentary will make you think, question your world view, and entertain you. I love movies for those reasons, the ability to simultaneously allow me to relax and think is what keeps me coming back.

Of course, I am also a nerd, I have been to the midnight premiere of many blockbusters and buy my Star Wars tickets months in advance. Yet, documentaries are special in a unique way and something I routinely look forward to viewing.


In order to be able to say YES to any great opportunity that shows up, you have to say NO to many others.

Years ago I said no to TV shows. For many years the only thing I watched on TV was NBA games, and recently not even that. Surprisingly life doesn’t end when you stop doing something you have been doing for years and you thought it would be impossible to live without.

Yet, as it is typical for me, I may have taken it to the extreme as I would watch no TV or movies at all for long periods.

The most valuable movie I saw this past year wasn’t valuable because of the content but because of who I watched it with.

We all read and hear that we need to live in the moment. That we have to appreciate the journey because there is success in every step. We shouldn’t just focus on the destination.

And then we forget to do it sometimes.

One of my biggest fears is to be that millionaire, CEO, or successful entrepreneur, that looks back and realizes they just traded career success for their family, friends, and many important moments.

I believe “obsession is what the lazy use to describe the dedicated”. But we need moments to review and reflect, so the things “we are doing for our family” don’t become the goals. Instead, being with our family is the goal and work is what we do, not who we are.

Fortunately, I was able to review and reflect quickly. The difference between reading 28 or 30 books may not be as big as watching 0 or 2 movies with your family. Those 2 movies can make a big impact.

On the other hand, 2 out of 28 may be significant, but not as impactful. Be sure that you are not having any “0s” in certain activities that are important to you. Yes, we only have 24 hours per day and 7 days per week. We have to make priorities. But this is not an excuse to have a “0” in any category that you care about.

After weekends of saying NO, I finally decided that it was time to say YES. And had the opportunity to watch Rogue One with my family.

Yes, the movie was great, but the most important thing is that I had the opportunity to share quality time with my loved ones after a long time of not doing so.

Now I will make sure that there are no long periods with “0s” in this area.


Your time and focus are your most valuable assets.

In order to add value, you have to be consuming value. Deciding on what you are going to do with your time and focus is key.

Maybe you don’t like reading books because you find it really hard to focus or you are a slow reader. You should still read! But perhaps you shouldn’t dedicate the majority of your time to that activity. This is why we also recommend podcasts that can help you 10x your 2017.

Now you also have some movies and documentaries you can consume which will prove to be valuable to you and your environment.

Most important of all, don’t forget your purpose! Don’t forget the reason why you want to add value.

Keep yourself accountable, and don’t let the result turn into goals, the journey with your family and friends is the goal.

Don’t have any “0s” with your family or friends. We can all understand low numbers in some categories of life, depending on your priorities, but there are no excuses to have “0s”. Take the time to spend with your family. Work is important because it encompasses a large part of our life, yet nothing is more important than being connected to our loved ones.

Our focus is to help others. We want to give you tools and resources so that you can take your life and career to the next level.

This is why we have written more than 100 blog posts, this is why we do our videos, and this is why for 2017 we have so much more planned that we will share with you soon!

This is a series of articles by Alejandro I. Sanoja and Matt Avery, see our past articles here.