Ten Pieces of Inspiration #155

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. Branch Rickey on luck

“Luck is the residue of design.” – Branch Rickey

Branch Rickey was the general manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers who signed Jackie Robinson and brought him into the major leagues. You could argue that he was lucky in choosing Robinson, who was just about the perfect man for the role in terms of personality and skill, but he actually spent quite a lot of time and effort finding the right man to break the color barrier.

2. Stefan Larsson on what doctors can learn from each other

I think the crux of what Larsson is saying here applies to many things beyond medicine. We all often discover successful ways of doing things, but we often don’t share them well.

3. Paulo Coelho on the lessons of children

“A child can teach an adult three things: to be happy for no reason, to always be busy with something, and to know how to demand with all his might that which he desires.” -Paulo Coelho

Paulo Coelho is an exceptional novelist from Brazil, perhaps best known for The Alchemist. He’s also clearly an astute observer of both children and the adults they turn into.

4. A mini-concert by Kronos Quartet

This is some amazing string music.

5. Eleanor Roosevelt on what others think of you

“What other people think of me is none of my business.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

Eleanor Roosevelt was the First Lady of the United States for fourteen years and later became a human rights crusader. As one of the first major female figures in American politics, she certainly had her critics, and this shows her great attitude toward them.

6. Ray Bradbury on independence

“Don’t ask for guarantees. And don’t look to be saved in any one thing, person, machine, or library. Do your own bit of saving, and if you drown, at least die knowing you were heading for shore.” ― Ray Bradbury

Ray Bradbury was a great American author; this quote was taken from one of his greatest novels, Fahrenheit 451. You can take this statement as literally or as metaphorically as you want; no matter what, it’s powerful.

7. Peter Doolittle on how your working memory makes sense of the world

Our “working memory” is our short-term memory and we use it constantly to make sense of the world around us and to make snap decisions. This is a fascinating look at how it works.

8. Whitney Young on improving yourself

“The truth is that there is nothing noble in being superior to somebody else. The only real nobility is in being superior to your former self.” Whitney Young

Whitney Young was an American civil rights leader who knew the true value of equality: it allows all of us to become the best people we can possibly be with the fewest restrictions possible.

9. Neil DeGrasse Tyson on religion and science

We need more mature discussions of religion and science like this. Neither atheists nor religious believers are inherently “bad” even if they don’t share your spiritual beliefs, and you can’t understand the world without understanding what the people around you believe. (There’s also a fun digression about rainbows.)

10. Orson Welles on happiness

“Happiness is not our right. It’s an achievement.” – Orson Welles

Orson Welles was a tremendous writer, director, and actor, yet much of his later life was a professional struggle. Finding happiness isn’t easy. It takes incredible work.

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