Ten Pieces of Inspiration #71

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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. Emerson on helping others
I don’t think there is any such thing as true selflessness.

“It is one of the most beautiful compensations of life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Whenever you help someone else, it does help you in some way, whether you directly see it or not.

2. Miles Davis playing Summertime
This is just beautiful.

3. Virginia Woolf on telling the truth about yourself
Everyone has failings. I think part of success is recognizing when you fail and trying to figure out how to fix it.

“If you do not tell the truth about yourself you cannot tell it about other people.” – Virginia Woolf

This is incredibly difficult to do at times, but always worth it.

4. Badlands National Park
I’ve been showing my children pictures of some of the things we’re going to see on vacation. As of yet, nothing has quite captured my imagination like the barren nature of Badlands National Park.

Badlands National Park

It’s so empty, yet so beautiful. Thanks to Lietmotiv for the image.

5. Wayne Gretzky on taking a shot
If you don’t try, you will never succeed.

“One hundred percent of the shots you don’t take don’t go in.” – Wayne Gretzky

Few things are worse than a dream left unattempted. It haunts you forever.

6. Karin Glenmark saves the day
On November 1, 1984, a concert of Chess was performed at the Berwaldhallen concert hall in Stockholm, Sweden. Barbara Dickson, one of the leads, was set to sing a complicated part for her character near the end of the concert when she fell ill just before performing backstage. The others performing, including the male lead, Tommy Korberg, have no idea she’s ill.

Korberg is singing his part and right at the point where Dickson is supposed to jump in, the cue is missed. Korberg looks confused for a second, then out of nowhere, a voice starts singing the solo part out of the chorus. Karin Glenmark, who had sung the part before, just steps up and starts singing it from memory. At her first pause, she moves to the position of the lead she’s replacing and just finishes it out beautifully.

Even an “anonymous” member of the choir can sometimes show up and rescue everything.

7. Burton Hills on happiness
Outside of clinical diseases, happiness is mostly a choice. You can choose to be happy about what you have and what you’re doing or you can choose to be unhappy about it.

“Happiness is not a destination. It is a method of life.” – Burton Hills

It takes work to flip unhappiness to happiness, but when you do it, life just gets better.

8. Missing a pet
I had a rat terrier when I was younger. The dog’s name was Patch. I loved him dearly.

Chiquita taking a nap

He was killed in April 1994. Every April, I think about him a little.

Thanks to John Liu for the image.

9. Dan Gilbert on why we are happy
This is a really worthwhile talk. Give it your attention and you’ll be glad you did.

10. Emerson on a life worth living
I’d rather live fifty years and do wonderful things during those years than live eighty bitter and negative years.

“It is not length of life, but depth of life.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

What value is there in living a life full of anger and hate and dislike? If you can’t stomach something or only find fault in it, move on to something else.

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