Have You Ever Read a Book or Seen a Movie That Has Changed Your Life or Your Outlook on Life?

I'm in my late 20's, working a boring government job and just need a little bit of direction.
Yes - people say to travel and buy properties etc which is fine but is not for everyone and I have done my fair share of travelling
I'm looking for any books or movies you may have read/seen that has changed your outlook on life or has had a big impact on your life. If there is such thing..
Looking for self-improvement/ spiritual/ financial or basically anything that will open my eyes a bit more.. Recommendations please!


  • Have not read all of these personally, but are you referring to things like:
    - The Secret
    - Eat, Pray, Love
    - Yes Man
    - The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists
    - The Barefoot Investor
    - Rich Dad Poor Dad

    • Yes!! This is the sort of thing I'm looking for! Thank you :)

      • Agree with skipping the secret.

        And skip Rich Dad poor Dad. Has a bunch of tips with are vague, pretty unhelpful, and if I remember correctly the bloke who wrote it made more money off the book than any other business ventures.

        The game is interesting as fiction, but neglects to understand that pretending to be someone you are not in order to win others approval is the definition of a beta male.

        Barefoot investor is ok, but I prefer Mr money moustache.

        • Second Mr Money Moustache. Changed my life.

        • I Disagree, i really liked Rich Dad Poor Dad. it reads more like a novel at times with some financial tips. I find it more motivational, as in all of his financial tips while true are very vague.
          The best take away i found from his book was Be, Do, Have. If you want to "BE" an amazing sports star, singer or businessman. You have to start "DOing" the things they do, ie train, work hard practice. Then you will start to "HAVE" what they have. (which im sure is echoed a lot of different way through other sayings but i found the 3 words, be, do, have a great simple mantra.
          i think its worth a read. (i was in highschool then though.)

        • @hadronox:

          As motivation, and perhaps an insight into mindset, sure. Nothing wrong with self help books. Srs.

      • Free Willy 2 - The Adventure Home made me the man I am today.


        Illusions - The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah, by Richard Bach.

      • Hi melehoohaha
        What about this short video, have you seen it?
        I find it profound…

    • - The Secret

      I'd recommend you skip this one.

      From Wikipedia - "It is based on the pseudo-scientific 'law of attraction' which claims that thoughts can change the world directly."

      • Fair enough. I've just heard of it and know the author was Aussie and is presumably laughing all the way to the bank (as would most of authors of these kinds of books).

      • Yep, the secret was just plain crap.

    • If you're looking for inspiration, I would definitely skip Eat Pray Love - it's truly awful and the main character is just a narcissist (edit: hilariously accurate review: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/reviews/article-1314713... ).

      The most inspiring movie I've seen in recent years is The Social Network - and I don't only recommend that for tech entrepreneurs :)

      Decades ago, the movie I found most inspiring in terms of career was "The Secret of My Success" with Michael J Fox.

      • Why did you find The Social Network inspiring?

        • Good question - had to think about my answer..
          I find the portrayal of Zuckerberg very inspiring because 1) He had the skills and drive to create Facebook at exactly the right time in exactly the right place.. He wasn't the only one doing this at the time (e.g. MySpace and others), but his platform became dominant. 2) He has a bunch of personal rules that he follows to ensure the success of his creation: a) Exclusivity (initially only available to .harvard.edu email addresses - this turned out to be key) b) "Facebook can't go down - Facebook is the site that never goes down" . 3) I find the portrayal of his escalation from student to billionaire to be quite realistic and accurate, which is rare for movies in my experience

        • @blackfrancis75:

          Interesting take. Thanks for sharing.

      • Eat, Pray, Love wasn't that great… it was for a boost in Bali tourism me thinks.

    • +3 votes

      Also skip Rich Dad Poor Dad

      The book itself might be okay (don't know) but seems to be a slippery slope into more and more progressively more expensive seminars.

      • Haha, I should just get my post deleted then! That's 3 already!

        • No I think your post way great. I might disagree those books are amazing, but I obviously thought they were good enough at some point… I read them too :)

        • @ozbjunkie: maybe the difference between stupid and smart is reading those books but then thinking they are actually good, rather than not reading them in the first place? Or maybe the latter is genius?

        • @Jackson:

          Mate I don't know what genius is, but I'm guessing if I don't know, I'm not it.

          Socrates' comments on wisdom and ignorance come to mind.

          Either way, better read than dead.

      • I disagree with this entirely. The book is great, and never did I feel unfluenced to attend a seminar.

        • Rich dad poor dad is a great book. Made me look at life differently and helped a lot from the advice I was getting from others.

    • Second The Barefoot Investor.

    • Pay it forward

    • I would instead recommend

      How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

      Think and grow rich by Napoleon Hill

    • Second that for:
      Rich dad Poor dad.
      And the PUA book

    • Books I haven't seen mentioned yet:

      • The Ethical Slut (even if you have no inclination to polyamory - it is interesting to understand your monogamy as a conditioned choice versus absolute truth, and will improve your life in understanding/unlearning jealousy)

      • Enlightenment to Go

      • The Subtle Art of Not Giving a (profanity)
      • Ego is the Enemy
      • Tools of Titans


  • When I was 11 years old, I read my first Penthouse magazine. That definitely changed my life!
    (more the pictures than the story though!).

    will open my eyes a bit more

    It'll more than just open your eyes a bit more!

  • +20 votes

    Bhagavad Gita -well worth the read.

    18 chapters of Hindi philosophy. it gives perspective.

    • +16 votes

      Do you mean 'hindu' philosophy? My understanding is that 'Hindi' is the language.

  • Yes.

  • +49 votes

    Funnily enough, I quit my job after seeing Office Space, not a deep movie but was enough to shove me out of my seat of an awful job.

    Into the Wild (book or movie) was fascinating for me and although the guy was at the extreme end of the spectrum I understood his wanderlust.

    Wild (Cheryl Strayed) was also excellent. Book is far better than the movie

  • If I'm after a bit of inspiration for change I look at the archives of Zen Habits which I have been reading for years.


    You will find something to make you think or possibly even action, but in small manageable amounts without the time commitment or expense of an entire book.

  • Watched Tommy Wiseau's "The Room" while at a mate's house. Few months later, watched it again at a midnight screening at Cinema Nova on Lygon st.

    It wasn't just a movie, it was an experience. And I loved it!

    • It's a great movie, but even better watched while drunk so we made up a drinking game for it back in college.

      Rules included drink every time there's a framed picture of a spoon, every time someone sits on the ground and every time there's stock footage of San Fran.

  • The Secret Art of Not Giving a (The F Word)

  • Read these books and recommend them all:

    7 Habits of Highly Effective People
    How to Win Friends and Influence People
    Mindset : The New Psychology of Success

  • nope…Wish I could find something that did..Too cynical I guess..

    • Try reading or watching something outside of your usual preferences with an open mind. You could be in a bubble.

    • Do an MBA, join a large business, slash jobs and outsource everyone to drive up profits for a few quarters. Be the a$$hole everyone loves to hate.

  • First you need to figure out what it is your asking? Your question is too vague for the responses you're after, for example even Harry Potter is a thought provoking book, doesnt make it a suitable recomendation. Are you trying to figure out the purpose of life?

    • +2 votes

      "Looking for self-improvement/ spiritual/ financial or basically anything that will open my eyes a bit more.. Recommendations please!"
      Which bit did you not understand?

      • This bit doesn't make sense

        "Looking for self-improvement/ spiritual/ financial"

        Which one is it? Self improvement? Spiritual improvement? Financial improvement?

        "basically anything that will open my eyes a bit more"

        Anything? Really?

        • +4 votes

          Open eyes/ open mind. I applaud his willingness to improve himself without imposing constraints.

        • @4sure: No constraints is not realistic, it only shows that you have no idea what you want BUT you will take or try anything until by chance something satisfies you. Given that your time is not infinite, is that really an effective outlook on life?

        • @TheBilly:
          You must be fun at parties.

  • +4 votes

    mein kamph

  • Clifford The Big Red Dog

  • The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

    It's only 200 easy to read pages, and you'll get at least something out of it every time you read it.

    I think it'll help you OP