Ten Pieces of Inspiration #84

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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. George Orwell on those kids
I think I’m wiser than my children at the moment, because the oldest one is six. However, I think that my parents are wiser than I am. As for intelligence, it’s an individual thing, but I think younger generations have an opportunity to learn from what the older generations did. However, Orwell has a pretty good point here.

“Every generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it.” – George Orwell

I think that’s true on the whole for how each generation perceives itself.

2. Dropbox
Dropbox has been an essential tool for me for a while. Not only can I easily move documents from my desktop computer to my laptop, I can easily view all of them on other devices as well. I can also easily share documents from my Dropbox with others, if needed.

All it does is creates a new folder on your computer (for me, it’s a sub-folder of “My Documents”). Everything you save in that folder is synchronized with your Dropbox account. Any computer that you’ve installed Dropbox on will also have a Dropbox folder, and so anything you save on any of those computers can be found on any of the other computers with your Dropbox. It’s that easy.

Dropbox makes so much of what I do so much easier, and it’s just so simple to use.

3. Carl Jung on what irritates us about others
If there’s something out there that irritates you, the issue is probably with you, not with the irritant.

“Everything that irritates us about others can lead to an understanding about ourselves” – Carl Jung

Spend some time figuring out what irritates you about that thing, and you’ll probably learn something about yourself.

4. Tracy Chevalier on how she looks at paintings
I loved this presentation. Tracy mirrors almost exactly how I look at art and how I feel in an art gallery.

To me, a painting is a way to see how someone else sees the world. What do they find important in a scene? How do they experience color? How are they able to translate what they see to a canvas? Some people do this very well (like van Gogh) and it becomes incredibly vivid and alive for me.

5. Larry King on learning
I saw this in the email signature of a reader who I’ve been exchanging emails with.

“I never learned anything while I was talking.” – Larry King

You can learn a lot by listening, though. People tell you so much, both through their direct words and their indirect messages. Listen and you’ll learn.

6. “Roger Federer as Religious Experience” by David Foster Wallace
I’ve decided to start including some of my favorite essays or short stories in these “pieces of inspiration” columns, because so often articles will just stick with me and alter my thinking for a very long time.

This essay reawakened an interest I had in tennis that had been dormant for more than a decade. As a teenager, I used to love to play tennis and I watched the majors (and even some other tennis events) fanatically on television (during the years when the dominant players were Ivan Lendl and Jim Courier and Andre Agassi). I stopped following it for years, but something about this essay pulled me back in and, after watching for a while, turned me into a big fan of Roger Federer.

7. Dale Carnegie on arguers and dodgers
A person who argues is standing up for their position, regardless of whether their position is weaker or stronger than another.

“Fear not those who argue but those who dodge.” – Dale Carnegie

A person who dodges either has no position to stand on or is trying to hide it from you.

8. A family in their garden
I love looking at older pictures and seeing reflections of the things my own family does. That’s exactly what I see here.

Sam Hauka Family On Their Farm

There are many times when you’ll find all of us in the garden, often harvesting something. It’s something we do together that’s a reflection of the past but just as enjoyable today.

9. Israel Salanter on souls and bellies
This quote resonates deeply with my spiritual side.

“Most people worry about their own bellies, and other people’s souls, when we all ought to worry about our own souls and other people’s bellies.” – Israel Salanter

It is not my place to determine if someone else is doing right or wrong in their spiritual journey. I am not their judge. My place is to make sure that people have what they need to succeed, whether it’s food or shelter or whether it’s something else entirely.

10. Solsbury Hill by Peter Gabriel
Some songs take you to a particular place and time.

This takes me straight to the summer before I went to college. I felt like my whole life was changing right then, and this song somehow spoke to it.

I’ve found myself returning to this song during every period of major change in my life. Something about this song resonates when things are changing.

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