Updated on 08.08.11

Ten Pieces of Inspiration #29

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. Hans Christian Andersen on what we need
Just living isn’t enough. You need a little more.

“Just living is not enough. One must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.” – Hans Christian Andersen

I would probably add love – both in giving it and receiving it – to that list.

2. Bokeh Snow tree branches in Massachusetts blizzard by Pink Sherbet
It is always in the peak of summer that I dream about the chill of winter.

Bokeh Snow tree branches in Massachusetts blizzard Creative Commons

Similarly, it is always in the peak of winter that I dream about the warmth of summer.

3. Robert Louis Stevenson on what we can’t fix
Why do we, as humans, focus so much on the things that we cannot fix and instead ignore the things we can fix?

“A great part of life consists in contemplating what we cannot cure.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

I can’t change the world, but I can change one life. If I can change one life a day, though, have I not changed the world?

4. Don’t Give Up by Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush
These are probably my two favorite solo pop musicians of the 1970s and 1980s, performing a duet.

Kate Bush’s voice sends shivers down my spine every time I hear it.

5. Kickstarter
I am often inspired by this site, where people with creative projects of all kinds are able to get them funded by their fans. I have actually considered Kickstarting my long-talked-about fantasy novel as a way to get me beyond character sketches and plot outlines and onto actually writing the book.

6. Bruce Schneier on the mirage of security online
This short presentation really lays out why I’m very nervous about sharing my personal data online.

Security is only as strong as the least intelligent person who wrote software for the system you’re using. Do you really feel good leaving your personal data out there in this person’s hands?

7. Danny Kaye on living
It’s better to do something and mess it up than to do nothing at all.

“Life is a great big canvas, and you should throw all the paint on it you can.” – Danny Kaye

This blog is living proof of that maxim.

8. Brahms Violin Concerto in D Major, Op 77: I. Allegro non troppo (First Movement), played by Henryk Szeryng
This is another piece of wonderful violin music. As always, pieces like this take me to another place.

There’s a woodwind section in the middle (at about 9:50) that just takes my breath away.

9. Victor Hugo on strength and will
Most of us have the capacity for amazing things. We just don’t have the will and sustained effort in us that it takes to make amazing things happen.

“People do not lack strength, they lack will.” – Victor Hugo

The only reason you’re not successful is because you’re not doing what you dream of doing every single day. The people who are successful are the people who are doing what you dream of doing. Every. Single. Day.

10. The Story of a Sign
It’s all about perspective.

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  1. kristine says:

    The Story of a Sign is one I always show in my Media/filmmaking class. Great short. And ditto Kate Bush/ Gabriel. I have not seen their talent equaled lately. There is talent out there, but I miss lyrics that dig deeper than pop and zeitgeist, and beautifully written metaphors. Tori Amos always reminded me of a pseudo-Kate.

    Online security-interestingly, regarding banking online- your info is online whether you choose to access it or not. Using online banking only means there is an additional point of entry- your personal password. Soon this will be the same for medical history.

  2. deRuiter says:

    Prining continues to be crazy, mostly illegible as the stories progress from one-ten, why is this never fixed?

  3. Mark Gavagan says:

    #5 – I don’t understand why Kickstarter funding would be a factor at all for your “long-talked-about fantasy novel.”

    If you’d like $10 for a pen and pad of paper, in order to get motivated, I’d be happy to underwrite the effort.

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