Ten Pieces of Inspiration #22

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. Des Moines Family Music Festival
This past weekend, the five of us went to Every Family Rocks in Des Moines, Iowa. It was a concert of various children’s music acts, accompanied by a wide variety of art projects and similar fun things for families.

Face painting

Both of our children were really into the event, particularly my oldest son (the girl was getting very tired by the end of it). His enthusiasm for the entire event was infectious, particularly when the headlining act took the stage…

2. They Might Be Giants
The show was headlined by They Might Be Giants. An example of a song they played:

My son (who loves the four children’s albums the band has done) and my wife (who loved the band’s earlier music during her teen years) were having an incredible amount of fun. The enthusiasm for music was infectious.

(What was I doing? I was in the back holding one sleeping child and one exhausted and nearly-sleeping child.)

3. Ann Radcliffe on what money can’t buy
Our opinions are formed without money. Our love occurs without money. The people we look up to have nothing to do with money.

Poverty cannot deprive us of many consolations. It cannot rob us of the affection we have for each other, or degrade us in our own opinion, of in that of any person, whose opinion we ought to value. – Ann Radcliffe

So many of the things we value in life have almost nothing to do with money.

4. Sand castle building
This is one of my favorite art forms, seriously. You can do amazing things with sand, but in a moment, your hard work returns to the beach with scarcely a sign that you’ve done anything at all.

This video shows some of the highlights of a national sand sculpting competition. I spent about twelve hours on a sand castle once, using putty knives and other materials, and it was a drop in the bucket compared to these.

5. Plato on wealth and poverty
Discontent comes from both wealth and poverty?

Wealth is the parent of luxury and indolence, and poverty of meanness and viciousness, and both of discontent. – Plato

I tend to think that discontent comes from neither wealth nor poverty. Instead, discontent comes from the person who is discontented, the person who cannot find happiness in what they have.

6. Henri Matisse – Fruit and Coffeepot (1898)
My children and I have been looking at a lot of impressionist and post-impressionist art, going so far as to look at brushstrokes and the like. We’ve all found that we really like the work of Henri Matisse, and this is a great example of it.

Henri Matisse - Fruit and Coffeepot [c.1898]

This feels like a memory of a pleasant morning.

7. Henry Taylor on standard of living
If you want to live well, you already have the solution.

The art of living easily as to money is to pitch your scale of living one degree below your means. – Sir Henry Taylor

Live on less than what you bring in. If you do that consistently, your life will go much easier than it will if you ignore it.

8. Amazing violin performance
A reader who is studying the violin in school sent this to me, stating flatly that this is beyond her skill level. I was just stunned by this.

Stunning performance. I don’t care that the person playing is twelve or fifty, that’s impressive.

9. Themistocles on rich people and trustworthy people
Would you rather have a rich person near you or a reliable person near you?

I choose the likely man in preference to the rich man; I want a man without money rather than money without a man. – Themistocles

I tend to think that a reliable person will eventually become rich, whereas a rich person has no guarantee of being reliable in any way. I’ll take the person with characteristics I value over the person with a wallet full of money.

10. The Strangest Secret by Earl Nightingale
I heard this short speech on a radio station a long time ago. I really liked it, but I was never able to find it again. Until this week.

A reader sent this along to me and I thought I should share it with you. This really isn’t much of a video – just start playing it and just listen.

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