Ten Pieces of Inspiration #104

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. Jason Pollock on genuine kindness
What kind of person are you when no one you know is looking? That’s the person you really are.

“The most genuine acts of kindness are done without fanfare and when no one is looking.” – Jason Pollock

A kind person gives when there is no ulterior motive or reward.

2. Kate Bush – This Woman’s Work
Kate Bush’s voice hits me in some way that no other singing voice ever has.

3. Emerson on ambition and work
You need both ambition and work ethic to succeed. Without both, it’s hard to accomplish something of significance.

“Without ambition one starts nothing. Without work one finishes nothing. The prize will not be sent to you. You have to win it. The man who knows how will always have a job. The man who also knows why will always be his boss. As to methods there may be a million and then some, but principles are few. The man who grasps principles can successfully select his own methods. The man who tries methods, ignoring principles, is sure to have trouble.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

This one quote sums up what was success in Emerson’s time and what makes up success today.

4. A family Christmas, many years ago
The thing in this picture that really captured me was the relative thinness of the tree. I actually like it, but the modern impression of a Christmas tree is that it should be much more full than this.

Jul på dansk

Thanks to the Royal Library of Denmark for the image.

5. Robert S. MacArthur on the genius of hard work
Genius doesn’t exist in a vacuum. A great idea or achievement is the result of a lot of hard work, study, and contemplation.

“The highest genius is willingness and ability to do hard work. Any other conception of genius makes it a doubtful, if not a dangerous, possession.” – Robert S. MacArthur

People who achieve great things usually had to work like mad to achieve them.

6. Anaïs Nin on starting over
We’re all creatures of habit, but it sometimes requires us to shed those habits in order to achieve something we want. Often, that’s the really hard part of it.

“One must be thrust out of a finished cycle in life, and that leap is the most difficult to make-to part with one’s faith, one’s love, when one would prefer to renew the faith and recreate the passion.” – Anaïs Nin

It’s usually easier to just keep doing the same things, but it’s very rewarding to muster the strength to change.

7. Markham Nolan on separating fact and fiction online
The biggest challenge of the modern world is the abundance of information. With so much information out there, it’s easy to sneak in false information or to filter information in such a way that a false picture is created.

A wise person is very careful about the conclusions they draw.

8. Cicero on reliability
Passion isn’t everything.

“We should measure affection, not like youngsters by the ardor of its passion, but by its strength and constancy.” – Cicero

I would not trade the steady reliability of my relationship with my wife for all of the passion in the world.

9. Young boy mailing letters
I could not help but see my own children in this picture. He has a task to do and he’s trying hard to accomplish it.

Mailing Letters

What is he mailing? It’s lost to the mists of time, but his effort is remembered.

Thanks to the Smithsonian for the image.

10. David Foster Wallace on freedom
This quote has made me think all week long. I’ll leave it here for you, without additional comment.

“The really important kind of freedom involves attention, and awareness, and discipline, and effort, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them, over and over, in myriad petty little unsexy ways, every day.” – David Foster Wallace

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