Ten Pieces of Inspiration #28

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. Black Button
This is a really interesting short film about a choice.

Would you push the button? I wouldn’t.

2. Winston Churchill on remaining true
Winston Churchill delivered this as part of a commencement speech at his old school (Harrow) in 1941, just as the tide was gently beginning to turn in the second World War.

“Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never – in nothing, great or small, large or petty – never give in, except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.” – Winston Churchill

It is so easy to be overwhelmed by the expectations of society and of the community around you. Don’t give in, except to what you think is right and wrong.

3. Lonely Tree by Julie Berlin
I think we all feel like this sometimes.

Lonely tree

There is a big part of me that’s drawn to trees like this. If I were in that field, I would have a very hard time resisting walking toward that tree.

4. Thoreau on aiming high
What are you doing to make the world a better place?

Aim above morality. Be not simply good, be good for something. – Henry David Thoreau

One of the challenges I always had at my previous job is that I couldn’t connect it very well to improving the world. All I felt like I was doing was setting up resources that were mostly used by companies to increase their profits. Although I liked the work, when I thought about the end product of it, I often felt empty.

5. Chris Anderson on technology’s long tail
The “long tail” refers to the fact that even relatively unsuccessful creative works will often sell slowly for a long time, picking up fans and viewers and readers along the way.

Part of the reason I enjoy writing online so much is because online writing has a tremendously long tail. People are regularly stumbling on things I wrote in 2007 and 2008.

6. J. M. Barrie on life and humility
If we ever begin to think too much of ourselves, life will inevitably slap us in the face.

“Life is a long lesson in humility.” – J. M. Barrie

Be glad with what you have and don’t come to expect that the world owes you anything.

7. Mencken on the depth and width of life
What is the width and depth of your life?

“You can’t do anything about the length of your life, but you can do something about its width and depth” – Henry Louis Mencken

Width is all about how many people you affect with what you do, how many valuable relationships you have, and so on. Depth is about how deeply your life affects others. Every time you build up a relationship or help someone in need, you add to the depth and width of your life.

8. StartCooking
This is a YouTube channel filled with great instructional cooking videos, particularly aimed toward beginners. I particularly like their short instructional videos, like this one on preparing garlic:

Short, sweet, to the point, and upbeat. It’s exactly what you want in a cooking video.

9. e.ggtimer.com
The name really says it all. This is simply a very flexible timer for whatever your needs may be.

I actually have a series of bookmarks to various specific timers for my own use: 45 minutes for uninterrupted writing, a 2 hour reminder to get away from the screen and stretch, a nice morning routine, and a teeth-brushing timer.

10. Woman at Her Toilette: Madame Poupoule (1898), by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
For the longest time, I thought this was a woman sitting in a cafe reading a book. I didn’t know the title of the painting, but I saw it once many years ago and it stuck in my mind.

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

I found it again this week, and to say I was surprised by the actual name of it is an understatement.