Ten Pieces of Inspiration #69

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. Kahlil Gibran on joy and sorrow
Without sadness, it’s hard to feel happiness. You have to have the lows to appreciate the highs.

“The deeper sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.” – Kahlil Gibran

I think this is why people who have everything often feel sad and people who have many struggles often seem quite happy.

2. Herbie Hancock playing “Canteloupe Island”
I can’t get this one out of my head for some reason. I find myself humming or whistling parts of it all the time lately.

I love how certain pieces of music will just lodge in your head.

3. Thoreau on maximizing the value of a day
This is one of those quotes that different people can pull different meanings from.

“It requires more than a day’s devotion to know and to possess the wealth of a day.” – Henry David Thoreau

In other words, a great day rests on preparation done during the days before: tasks accomplished, skills learned, relationships built, and so on. Every day is preparation for a great tomorrow.

4. No Restrictions
This photo by Russell Lee, taken in 1942, depicts a shepherd and his dog.

No Known Restrictions: Shepherd with his Horse and Dog by Russell Lee, 1942 (LOC)

There’s something beautiful and free about this picture. The man was a shepherd – his life was a simple one. Yet he was able to see so much natural beauty and history during his life.

5. Guy Fawkes on solving a problem
A friend of mine had this as an interesting signature on his email. He’s currently struggling with getting into better shape.

“A desperate disease requires a dangerous remedy.” – Guy Fawkes

An interesting take on self-improvement, to say the least.

6. No Going Back
This photo by Mariano Kamp depicts a pawn on a chessboard, about to make a gutsy move.

No Going Back

We are all pawns, in some way. Will we make that gutsy move?

7. April showers…
The April rainy season has begun in earnest.

april showers

As I look at the cold rain, I remind myself that it is setting the stage for a beautiful May.

8. John Good on being happy and active
Happiness almost always seems to come from doing something. I am saddest when I’m idle.

“Happiness consists in activity: such is the constitution of our nature; it is a running stream, and not a stagnant pool.” – John Good

If you’re sad, get out and do something. You may not relieve the sadness, but at least you’ll have a sense of accomplishment.

9. Leymah Gbowee on unlocking the intelligence and passion in girls
I grew up in a house with two older brothers and no sisters. I have two sons and one daughter. For me, it can sometimes be difficult understanding some of the emotional responses and cultural pressures my daughter has on her because the experience is so different than mine. It’s a challenge, but it’s one that is buffeted with love.

This speaker really hits on something fundamental. I don’t want my daughter to be afraid to or ashamed to tackle anything in life. I want her to be proud of who she is.

10. Jules Renard on loving life’s mystery
With every year that passes, the nature of life seems less clear to me. What does it all mean? How does it really work? I knew a lot more twenty years ago (or so I thought).

“As I grow to understand life less and less, I learn to love it more and more.” – Jules Renard

Even with that mystery, I’m more excited than ever to get out of bed in the morning.

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  1. Johanna says:

    Your friend doesn’t know who Fawkes was, does he?

  2. Johanna says:

    (Hint: He wasn’t a weight-loss guru.)

  3. Jackson says:

    Inappropriateness has never stopped inspiration.

  4. kc says:

    An interesting take on self-improvement, to say the least.

    OMG.

  5. Interested Readers says:

    I’m more inclined to think Trent’s friend knows what the quote means and Trent is linking it to the friend’s attempts to lose weight.

  6. BobinPgh says:

    I wonder if the shepherd and dog picture was taken with Kodachrome film. Meanwhile, why can’t Brittany make a photo 10% as good as that one.

  7. Andrew says:

    You have no idea whether this man’s life was simple or not. How condescending!

  8. valleycat1 says:

    Andrew – In what way is it condescending to say someone led a simple life?

  9. valleycat1 says:

    Trent may have a romanticized idea of a shepherd’s life, but in his world view a simple life is the ideal.

  10. kc says:

    I was “buffeted with love” once, and it wasn’t pleasant.

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