Ten Pieces of Inspiration #91

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. Christian Larson on criticizing others
It is so easy to tear down others. It is so hard to improve yourself.

“Give so much time to the improvements of yourself that you have no time to criticise others.” – Christian D. Larson

Yet improving yourself is the only way upwards. Tearing down others accomplishes nothing.

2. Junkyards
When I was a little kid, my uncle ran a junkyard. He had an acre or two filled with old rusty cars that he’d pull parts from here and there to repair other cars.

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I have a lot of memories of running around in that junkyard, climbing in the cars, and playing epic games of hide-and-seek among the relics. Occasionally, I’d find interesting things in the trunk, long-forgotten by the original owners. Thanks to shaghaghi for sharing this photo.

3. Thoreau on the price of anything
I wholeheartedly agree with this statement. I put an awful lot of purchases directly into the context of how much of my life I have to spend in order to afford the purchase.

“The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.” – Henry David Thoreau

If I make $20 an hour, I’m probably bringing home $12. To buy a $600 item, I sacrifice fifty hours of my life. Is that worth it? Probably not.

4. 1915 photo of Australian soldier
What makes this picture charming to me?

Sleeping cat with soldier, 1915

The cat.

Thanks to the Austrialian War Memorial for sharing this photo.

5. Frank Clark on criticism and rain
If you’re going to criticize someone else, do it right. Don’t just rip into them.

“Criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish a man’s growth without destroying his roots.” – Frank A. Clark

If you eviscerate what they’re doing, everyone loses.

6. Mark Twain on people and ambition
Instead of tearing people down, why not lift them up?

“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambition. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.” – Mark Twain

Think of the people you really admire in your life. Did they spend much of it tearing other people down? Or did they spend it encouraging others to become successes in their own right?

7. Grotto in an iceberg
Nature produces some amazing things.

Grotto in an iceberg, photographed during the British Antarctic Expedition of 1911-1913, 5 Jan 1911

This is a natural formation inside of an iceberg. The photo was taken during the British Antarctic Expedition of 1911-1913. Thanks to the National Library of New Zealand for the image.

8. Will Durant on today
Right now is the moment to do that thing that’s on your mind.

“Forget mistakes, forget failures. Forget everything except what you’re going to do now and do it. Today is your lucky day.” – Will Durant

Get up, right now, and do it.

9. Michael Nyman – The Heart Asks Pleasure First
This is a wonderful piano piece, taken from the film The Piano.

This is another one of those pieces that seems best with eyes closed, at least to me.

10. Neil deGrasse Tyson on “-isms”
If you associate yourself publicly with a group, you take on the positive and the negative of that group.

“The moment someone attaches you to a philosophy or a movement, they then assign all the baggage and the rest of the philosophy to you. Then when you want to have a conversation, they will assert that they already know everything important there is to know about you, because of that association. That’s not the way to have a conversation. I’m sorry, it’s not. …I am not an -ism, I think for myself.” – Neil deGrasse Tyson

Be careful when you make such an association.

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