Ten Pieces of Inspiration #21

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. An afternoon at the park
I came across this picture from last spring that shows my wife and my two oldest children playing together at the park on a beautiful spring day. These are the types of moments that make my life happy.

At the park

(And, for those wondering, Sarah’s shirt says “Self-Rescuing Princess” – I’ve been asked a few times about her unusual t-shirts that pop up in pictures now and again.)

2. O Captain, My Captain by Robert Frost
This is a poem of sacrifice, but also of great reward.

O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done, The ship has weather’d every rack,
the prize we sought is won, The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring; But O heart! heart! heart!
O the bleeding drops of red, Where on the deck my Captain lies, Fallen cold and dead.
O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells; Rise up- for you the flag is flung- for
you the bugle trills,

For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths- for you the shores a-crowding,
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
Here Captain! dear father!
This arm beneath your head!
It is some dream that on the deck,
You’ve fallen cold and dead.

My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still,
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will,
The ship is anchor’d safe and sound, its voyage closed and done,
From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won;
Exult O shores, and ring O bells!
But I with mournful tread,
Walk the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.

3. The hidden power of smiling
This video does a great job of outlining the value of a smile in scientific terms. It has a multitude of benefits, both for you and for those around you.

4. Antony Jay on training for leadership
This quote sums up why I constantly encourage people to step up to the plate and take leadership in almost any situation.

The only real training for leadership is leadership. – Antony Jay

If you want to be a good leader, you have to start with just being a leader.

5. Water grafitti
This is something I used to do as a child, taken to a wonderful artistic level.

I absolutely love street art, except I don’t like the long-term destruction of private property. This seems to be a great way to execute the beauty of street art without damage.

6. Metaphors by Sylvia Plath
This just works on so many levels.

I’m a riddle in nine syllables,
An elephant, a ponderous house,
A melon strolling on two tendrils.
O red fruit, ivory, fine timbers!
This loaf’s big with its yeasty rising.
Money’s new-minted in this fat purse.
I’m a means, a stage, a cow in calf.
I’ve eaten a bag of green apples,
Boarded the train there’s no getting off.

Is there meaning there, buried in metaphors, or is the burying the meaning itself? I love it.

7. Sandra Carey on knowledge and wisdom
A good thought.

Never mistake knowledge for wisdom. One helps you make a living; the other helps you make a life. – Sandra Carey

Wisdom is the utilization of knowledge for good use. Without wisdom, knowledge isn’t really all that useful.

8. On being wrong
This video sums up the most powerful way to grow.

9. Will Rogers on spending choices
Each of the elements of this quote points to a problem many have with money.

Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t like. – Will Rogers

So true and so succinct.

10. Someone playing a piano solo of The Sound of Silence
I love watching videos of people playing the piano on YouTube. They’re probably the most effective tool for getting me to actually practice. This is just a great example.

Fantastic. I look forward to the day when I’m able to do that, and I can see myself slowly inching in that direction.

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