Ten Pieces of Inspiration #144

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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. Henry Ward Beecher on a person’s worth

“A man’s ledger does not tell what he is, or what he is worth. Count what is in man, not what is on him, if you would know what he is worth — whether rich or poor.” – Henry Ward Beecher

One of the real messages I try to convey with The Simple Dollar is that personal finance success is often built hand in hand with character. Sure, you can always point to the exception to the rule, but most of the people in my community who have achieved some degree of financial success usually have stellar characters (from what I can observe of them).

2. James Lyne on everyday cybercrime and what you can do about it

There are a lot of simple steps that anyone can take to prevent cybercrime, not only against themselves, but against others. The steps are simple and the results are profound.

3. Elizabeth Gilbert on a soul mate

“People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that’s what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life.” – Elizabeth Gilbert

Sarah provides this for me. A “soul mate” is a person that pushes you to become a better person, not a person who makes you content with who you already are.

4. Coursera

Coursera is another great place – along with sites like Khan Academy – to take classes online, learn about a topic, and eventually build up a “resume” of sourts describing your achievements on the site.

If you’ve ever wanted to learn about a topic, Coursera is a great place to start. I’ve used it for a few topics and though I’m more “invested” in Khan Academy because it was around earlier, both are fantastic tools.

5. Matthew B. Crawford on tools

“For humans, tools point to the necessity of moral inquiry. Because nature makes only ambiguous prescriptions for us, we are compelled to ask, what is good? If you give a young boy a hammer for the first time and watch his face, you will see an awareness of this burden dawning on him (as he turns to the cat, for example).” – Matthew B. Crawford

People don’t often think of the moral impact of the tools that they use. What impact does Facebook have on a person’s morals, for one?

Matthew Crawford is the author of a truly excellent book, Shop Class as Soulcraft, one of the few I’ve read multiple times.

6. Thich Nhat Hanh on spiritual growth

“Attachment to views is the greatest impediment to the spiritual path.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

It does not matter what specific views and perspectives you hold. If you are unwilling to even consider other views with an open mind, then you’re intentionally stunting your understanding of the world.

7. Lucia Micarelli – Kashmir

Simply beautiful.

8. John Blair on the observations of others

“Always remember that what you say and do are comparable to traveling at light speed. What you see, think, and do and what another observes are completely relative.” – John Blair

In other words, what you’re doing might seem like one thing to you, but it might seem like something completely different to someone else. You might be stating what you consider to be moral or political fact, but when others don’t agree, they draw a conclusion that you speak mis-truths.

9. Neil Young – Heart of Gold

This is a live performance from 1971.

10. William Blake on moral virtue

“You cannot have Liberty in this world without what you call Moral Virtue, and you cannot have Moral Virtue without the slavery of that half of the human race who hate what you call Moral Virtue.” -William Blake

Some choose to embrace this by actually attempting to enslave or oppress those who disagree. Others try to seek compromise. The key thing to always remember is that aside from a few very narrow truths, people are going to disagree morally about most things. What’s right and wrong is not absolute – it’s shaded by who you are and what you think and the situation you’re in.

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