Ten Pieces of Inspiration #103

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. Quentin Crisp on career direction
It’s really tempting to switch careers, but sometimes it’s worth asking whether or not our skill set wouldn’t best be served staying put or choosing a third path.

“It’s no good running a pig farm badly for 30 years while saying, ‘Really, I was meant to be a ballet dancer.’ By then, pigs will be your style.” – Quentin Crisp

The skills we build in our life sometimes turn out to have more value than we think.

2. Paolo Cardini on monotasking
I find that whenever I multitask, the multiple tasks I do at once never get done very well.

This is fine if the tasks are truly unimportant… but if they’re so unimportant that I can’t bother with my full attention, why am I bothering at all?

3. Plato on wisdom and foolishness
If what you’re saying has no purpose, why are you saying it?

“Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something.” – Plato

Save your words for something of worth.

4. Morning
The end of the year doesn’t feel like the end to me. It feels like the start of something new.


Thanks to Vince Alongi for the image.

5. Alfred Whitehead on diverse ideas
Ideas come from all kinds of places. The best ideas tend to be combinations of ideas. So, it’s not surprising that many unique great ideas come from unexpected combinations of sources.

“Novel ideas are more apt to spring from an unusual assortment of knowledge – not necessarily from vast knowledge, but from a thorough conception of the methods and ideas of distinct lines of thought.” – Alfred Whitehead

The more diversity you have in your knowlege, the more useful it becomes.

6. Thoreau on effort
Often, the journey is worth as much as the destination.

“Chop your own wood and it will warm you twice.” – Henry David Thoreau

7. Rembrandt’s Lady with a Plume (1636)
There’s something deeply alive about the works of Rembrandt.


He had this astounding ability to bring a certain humanity to his subjects, as though you almost don’t want to look away lest the person in the painting break his or her pose and walk away.

8. Harlan Ellison on ignorance
An opinion that isn’t based on reason or fact isn’t really worth too much at all.

“You are not entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to your informed opinion. No one is entitled to be ignorant.” — Harlan Ellison

9. U2 – I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For
I wore out my cassette copy of The Joshua Tree (the album this song appears on) in 1988 and 1989. I can still sing along to every word.

10. Ben Franklin on anger and shame
Find a channel for your anger that doesn’t destroy you or destroy others. You’ll be rewarded for it.

“Whatever is begun in anger ends in shame.” – Benjamin Franklin

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