Updated on 08.08.11

Ten Pieces of Inspiration #27

Trent Hamm

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. Cooking with my youngest child
Lately, when we’ve been working on making meals, our youngest son has insisted on being put in his high chair and pulled as close to the counter as possible. From there, he smiles and watches and occasionally receives little samples of the meal to come.


Part of what I like about this picture is that you can see part of the ongoing art project that his two older siblings are working on over at the other table. There are crayons and art supplies and mixing bowls all over the place!

2. Publius Syrus on multitasking
The only time I can ever multitask successfully is when none of the tasks really require my focus. If I multitask with things that require focus, I end up failing at all of them.

To do two things at once is to do neither. – Publius Syrus

If you want to get something great done, multitasking has to go out the window.

3. Etsy
I’m not so much inspired by Etsy itself, but inspired that the presence of such a marketplace has convinced a few of my friends to attempt selling their artwork.

For example, one old friend of mine sells his custom fantasy art on Etsy. He’s drawn elaborate things in his notebooks for years, but now he’s actually doing it and making a bit of a profit from it.

I’m inspired when people take the gifts they have and actually do something with them.

4. James Bryce on the value of a book
Over the last few years, I’ve tried to stick to books that leave me with something of lasting value when I’m finished reading with it. I’ve learned something. I’ve grown in some way as a person.

The worth of a book is to be measured by what you can carry away from it. – James Bryce

The best book, in my eyes, is one that simultaneously entertains you enough to keep you coming back for more while causing you to think and see the world in a different way.

5. The corn field
There is a large corn field behind our house. I love to go exploring in it, and at times I’ll take my two older children over there as well. It’s just quiet and peaceful and when the corn is particularly high, it feels intensely private, too.

Corn field

I took a bunch of pictures of the field, but none of them came out particularly well. Instead, this image by Fish Hawk captures it quite well, the green and the yellow and the seemingly endless rows.

6. The Moth
The Moth is a podcast dedicated to storytelling, and most of the episodes of the podcast are tremendous. A good storyteller can pull you in, no matter what the topic, and that’s really the focus here. The content of the stories themselves are less important than the fact that there’s a good storyteller telling them.

With that as a criteria, every episode is strong. Some are surprising, others are humorous, all leave you entertained at the end. Start off at the story page on the site and listen to some of them.

7. Les Brown on the uselessness of negativity
Negativity without genuine reason just takes you down.

Don’t let the negativity given to you by the world disempower you. Instead give to yourself that which empowers you. – Les Brown

If you don’t have a thick skin, you let others have the power.

8. Wednesday
This is a short film, written and directed by Rob Sorrenti, about a boy and a girl born in the same hospital at the same time who meet again later in life.

I liked so many things about this film. The little touches really made it for me.

9. The Great Figure by William Carlos Williams
What often amazes me about the written word is how few it takes to paint a detailed picture in your mind.

“Among the rain
and lights
I saw the figure 5
in gold
on a red
to gong clangs
siren howls
and wheels rumbling
through the dark city.”

Those words painted a very detailed picture in my mind, and I’m willing to bet that they painted a similarly detailed picture in yours. Some details might not be the same, but our pictures have a lot of similarities. That’s powerful.

10. Sammy Davis, Jr. performing “I Can’t Get Started
He was just a fantastic performer and entertainer.

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  1. lurker carl says:

    Trent, this template still needs to be repaired.

    Before anyone goes playing in a farmer’s field, remember y’all are tresspassing on private property and disrespecting a family’s livelihood. Put into perspective, you wouldn’t appreciate the farmer walking into your house and playing around on your computers. Always get permission first, hidden dangers lurk even in the most inviting and tranquil places, especially so with agriculture.

  2. jon says:

    I was thinking the same thing about the corn. That is private property, what you are doing is criminal trespass. You must always get permission first.

  3. Nancy says:

    A note of caution for corn field wanderers. Unattended children can get lost in cornfields! We live on a farm, and my children didn’t go into cornfields without their dad for that reason & the bugs and spiders weren’t fun either!

  4. valleycat1 says:

    Can someone with a Twitter or Facebook account contact Trent about the template/formatting issue with these 10 pieces of inspiration articles? I’ve been leaving comments here & emailing him to no avail, but it sounds like he does read Tweets & his Facebook page. I don’t have either, so can’t get through.

    For those of you not affected by the formatting issue, it not only affects this article but all the ones posted prior to it, so now when I try to browse back in time on this site, I eventually end up with one word to a screen view….

    And as a farmer, I ditto the comments about not going into someone else’s property, especially without permission. And if you’re accessing it via your back yard, be advised that farmers spray & put out pesticides of all kinds but are only required to post warning notices at logical entry points (along public roads or at the road’s entry to their property).

  5. con says:

    Yes, the font size is HUGE. I don’t have a problem today, but I will have it later. ALWAYS. On his Inspiration pieces mainly. I wonder why he doesn’t try to fix it? But some people seen to not have a problem.

    Maybe he has gotten permission to go in the corn fields. If so, great. If not, not so great.

  6. con says:


  7. kristine says:

    No idea why my mention of DeMuth’s painting based on the quoted poem did not make it through moderation. Seems so arbitrarty.

  8. SwingCheese says:

    @Con: It seems to be a browser issue, maybe? I have no problems viewing it on my mac, but if I’m using a PC, I have the same issues that you all are describing.

  9. Jules says:

    Those with formatting issues might try switching browsers. I’ve never had a problem viewing TSD in Chrome, and I use several different computers regularly.

    And, well, I have to agree with the cornfield: unless you have explicit permission, it is trespassing, and frankly, knowing what’s involved in farming, that sounds kind of dangerous.

  10. deRuiter says:

    Every cornstalk a tresspasser knocks down or damages subtracts from a farmer’s profit on his labor. Don’t tresspass. I’m having trouble with the garbled, oversize print issue too. Pity someone with a passion for writing doesn’t trouble to fix his writing so it may be read! I guess the advertsising clicks pay whether the text is legible or not.

  11. marta says:

    Are the people with the formatting issues on IE? I view the site on my Macs with Safari and on a PC with Firefox, and I never had any problems.

  12. con says:

    I’m on a PC with Firefox. So, maybe it’s me. I’m not very computer savvy and am not going to change any browsers just to read that post. I have never had any problems with anything else, so it’s not worth it.

  13. KCDesi says:

    My 2 cents. I use firefox too and didn’t encounter any formatting prblems.

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