Ten Pieces of Inspiration #176

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. Peter Drucker on something new

“If you want something new, you have to stop doing something old.” – Peter F. Drucker

Our hours are already full with something, even if it’s just lounging or sleeping. If we want something new in our life, we need to replace some element of that routine with something new. There’s no other way to do it.

2. Dan Pink on the puzzle of motivation

The science of motivation is endlessly fascinating while also being incredibly useful.

3. John D. Rockefeller on pleasure and work

“I can think of nothing less pleasurable than a life devoted to pleasure.” – John D. Rockefeller

A life of nonstop pleasure ceases to be pleasurable after a while. Why? It’s the low points that makes the high points seem so good. Without those lows, pleasure doesn’t seem special. It seems normal – and boring.

4. Terry Moore on how to tie your shoes

Finding the right way to do the simplest things makes a huge difference. This video reminds me of a story about one of my heroes, basketball coach John Wooden, who coached the UCLA men’s basketball teams to ten championships in the 1960s and 1970s. Did he start the season with sprints or shooting drills? Nope. He started with tying shoes and putting on socks correctly. The little details matter.

5. Henry Ward Beecher on personal standards

“Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anybody else expects of you. Never excuse yourself. Never pity yourself. Be a hard master to yourself – and be lenient to everybody else.” – Henry Ward Beecher

If you hold yourself to a high standard, you’ll become better. If you aren’t as hard on others, they won’t resent you. Most people do the exact opposite and they wonder why the world never lives up to their dreams.

6. Emerson on patience

“Patience and fortitude conquer all things.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

If you want to succeed at something, feed it time and consistent, deliberate effort. You’ll eventually start to wear away that rock.

7. Johnnyswim’s Tiny Desk concert

There is something enormously appealing going on here. I sincerely hope these people find incredible success. They are a husband-and-wife duo that just have wonderful chemistry and make great music.

8. James Baldwin on economic opportunity

“The most dangerous creation of any society is the man who has nothing to lose.” – James Baldwin

The best recipe for a stable and happy society is to make sure that everyone has the opportunity to build something of their own. When that’s taken away, people have nothing to lose and they get restless. It’s happened over and over and over and over again throughout history.

9. Licorize

I’m highlighting Licorize not so much because of the tool itself (though it’s really cool), but because it’s made me rethink how I bookmark things on the web.

It basically inspired me to make a few different to-do folders in my web browser’s bookmarks. When I want to look at something later, I just add it to those folders, then I review those folders regularly. This is working out surprisingly well (though I haven’t quite figured out a “best” system for folders yet).

Licorize basically turns this idea into an online tool. I started using it, got all inspired, decided to migrate it to my own browser’s bookmarks, and now I’m thinking of switching back to using Licorize (or at least copying some of the ideas there).

10. John Green on other people

“Just remember that sometimes, the way you think about a person isn’t the way they actually are.” – John Green

We only see glimpses of people, much like looking at a car from one angle. If you see a dented car from one angle, it might look horrible. From another angle, it might look beautiful. As a whole, it might look reliable. It’s all about the angle you happen to see at that moment.

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