Ten Pieces of Inspiration #107

Each week, I highlight ten things each week that inspired me to greater financial, personal, and professional success. Hopefully, they will inspire you as well.

1. Michael J. Fox on doing it right the first time

“If you don’t take the time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?” – Michael J. Fox

If you take this idea to its logical conclusion, it strongly encourages you to be mindful with the small things in life. For example, people are often thoughtless without malice, but others might not interpret the thoughtlessness that way. If you are mindful, you’re not going to be thoughtless in your day-to-day interactions.

2. Brian Wilson – Our Prayer

I am a big fan of the late 1960s and early 1970s Beach Boys albums and everything that Brian Wilson did as a solo artist. I’m sharing some of my favorite ones here today, starting with this.

3. Jon Krakauer on desire

“It is easy, when you are young, to believe that what you desire is no less than what you deserve, to assume that if you want something badly enough, it is your God-given right to have it.” -Jon Krakauer

Desire doesn’t mean you deserve to have something or that you have a right to it. Believing that will cost you not only your finances, but many other aspects of your life. I think many people never grow out of this phase.

4. Brian Wilson – Surf’s Up (piano solo)

This is one of my favorite songs of all time.

5. Phil Callaway on seeing what we want to see

“Much of what we see depends on what we are looking for.” – Phil Callaway

If we want to find ways to improve ourselves, we will see them everywhere. If we believe ourselves perfect or don’t want to face it, we won’t see a thing.

6. Aristotle on excellence

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle

If you do something over and over again, particularly while being mindful of what you’re doing and seeking to improve at it, you will become excellent at whatever that thing is. 90% of climbing the mountain is perseverence and practice.

7. The Beach Boys – Heroes and Villains

My final Beach Boys / Brian Wilson selection. I listened to this song countless times as a child. I had an old cassette tape with a bunch of Beach Boys songs on it that I used to listen to.

8. The Dalai Lama on making a difference

“If you think you are too small to make a difference try sleeping with a mosquito.” – Dalai Lama

A single person can make a big difference if they’re willing to stand up for what’s really important to them.

9. Karen Thompson Walker on what fear can teach us

Her story about the whaleship Essex is pretty powerful, and it provides a lot to think about. Facing fears propels imagination and creativity.

10. Gandhi on humanity

“You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.” – Mahatma Gandhi

It’s easy to lose faith in people when someone you don’t know does something horrible. Remember instead the many, many people who stepped up and did wonderful things in the face of a terrible situation.

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