Ten Pieces of Inspiration #58

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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. Mortimer Adler on drudgework
I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad idea to work simply for the money sometimes.

“Work that is pure toil, done solely for the sake of the money it earns, is also sheer drudgery because it is stultifying rather than self improving.” – Mortimer Adler

However, if you’re doing that, your mind should be focused on what’s next. If you go to a job that’s just for a paycheck, then go home and don’t push yourself for something more, you’re just always going to have that same kind of job.

2. Shawn Achor on the secret to better work
The secret? Being happy about what you’re doing.

I find that when I’m enjoying what I’m doing, the work does tend to be more enjoyable and the work product is better.

3. Robert Bly on work and vacation
I tend to think that vacation is work. If you do nothing but work, you’re going to burn out on it.

Many people boast of going years without a vacation. But this is a sign of trouble — not commitment. – Robert Bly

I’m almost certain that a worker who works 48 weeks a year and enjoys 4 weeks of leisure produces more than a worker who works 52 weeks a year.

4. Morning sun
It doesn’t matter the season. I love the sight of the rising sun in the morning.

Autumn dawn

It comes up at different angles. It comes up on warm days and cool ones. It’s just always there, hanging in the sky.

Thanks to James Jordan for the image.

5. David Allen on keeping ideas in your head
This is the key idea behind how I manage my appointments and other key pieces of information.

First of all, if it’s on your mind, your mind isn’t clear. Anything you consider unfinished in any way must be captured in a trusted system outside your mind, or what I call a collection bucket, that you know you’ll come back to regularly and sort through. – David Allen

I get them out of my head. If I leave them in my head, I will almost always forget about it. If I write it down in a consistent place, all I have to remember is to regularly check that place.

6. What Should I Read Next?
This site actually does a really good job of suggesting another book to read based on the last one you’ve read.

I typed in several of my favorite books just to test it out and, each time, I found a list of results full of books I’d read and liked mixed with books that, upon researching them, looked really interesting.

Try it out. You might just find something great to read.

7. Thoreau on industriousness
It’s not enough just to work hard. You’ve got to work smart, too.

It is not enough to be industrious; so are the ants. What are you industrious about? – Henry David Thoreau

If you’re not working toward something for yourself, you’re working solely for the cash and you’ll probably never make significantly more than what you’re making now.

8. Blue sky
A blue sky doesn’t reveal a season. It could be cold. It could be warm.

Bowl of clouds

All it does is draw you outside into the fresh air.

Thanks to Kevin Dooley for the picture.

9. Thomas Jefferson on meeting your fate
You’re far better off pushing forward to an answer (whether you like that answer or not) than you are just dithering.

If I am to succeed, the sooner I know it, the less uneasiness I shall have to go through. If I am to meet with a disappointment, the sooner I know it, the more of life I shall have to wear it off: and if I do meet with one, I hope in God, and verily believe; it will be the last. – Thomas Jefferson

Simply waiting means no resolution. Simply waiting means you’re not moving on with your life.

10. Ella Fitzgerald sings “Mack the Knife” and seems to forget the words
She’s an amazing singer, but what makes this amazing is that she seems to lose track of the words about halfway through the song, so she ad-libs by beboping and making up words.

Most people would just lock up in this situation. Ella is a master performer, so she just keeps going and still makes a very enjoyable performance that puts a smile on your face.

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2 thoughts on “Ten Pieces of Inspiration #58

  1. What exactly is “drudgework”? Housecleaning, digging ditches, drafting Wills, data-entry, answering telephones? Each is repetitive and potentially mind-numbingly boring. Yet each offers some room for creativity by aiming for greater speed, greater efficiency, greater customer satisfaction, or some other measureable goal that can keep one interested and challenged.

  2. Regarding Ella Fitz: Actually, the bebopping is part of her regular style, called “scat”. She and Louie Armstrong were the masters of it. The hilarious part are the three vereses with real words she makes up before she stats the scat. “We are making a wreck of the Mack”. So funny!

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