Ten Pieces of Inspiration #33

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. Randy Pausch on time management
An awful lot of people have seen Randy Pausch’s “Last Lecture,” but I actually found his talk on time management to be at least as compelling.

Every moment is a choice. Are you making a worthwhile choice with that moment?

2. Song of the Open Road (last section) by Walt Whitman
This is a rather long poem, so I’ll just quote the final section here.

Allons! the road is before us!
It is safe–I have tried it–my own feet have tried it well–be not detain’d!
Let the paper remain on the desk unwritten, and the book on the shelf unopen’d!
Let the tools remain in the workshop! let the money remain unearn’d!
Let the school stand! mind not the cry of the teacher!
Let the preacher preach in his pulpit! let the lawyer plead in the
court, and the judge expound the law.

Camerado, I give you my hand!
I give you my love more precious than money,
I give you myself before preaching or law;
Will you give me yourselp. will you come travel with me?
Shall we stick by each other as long as we live?

What’s holding you back from taking that journey?

3. Romance isn’t just for teenagers… taken by Ed Yourdon
I love watching old couples. Quite often, you’re seeing two people who have spent the vast majority of their lives together. They rely on each other in so many little ways that just come so naturally to the two of them.

Romance isn't just for teenagers...

I see Sarah and I slowly slipping into this pattern. We anticipate each other more and more as time goes on. I’ve learned to just do little things automatically because it will make her path easier, and she does those things for me.

4. Henryk Szeryng plays Brahms Violin Concerto (3rd Mov.)
This is just brilliant.

When I find videos like this on YouTube, I don’t even watch. I usually just close my eyes and listen.

5. Steve Jobs on life direction
This is from his wonderful 2005 Stanford commencement address:

When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

This way of thinking led me to make an awful lot of hard choices. If I go more than seven days or so without saying “yes,” then I know something needs to change in my life.

6. Agesilaus on liberty and frugality
This quote made me think quite a lot about the connections between freedom and frugality.

“By sowing frugality we reap liberty, a golden harvest.” – Agesilaus

If we are frugal, then we accumulate the resources we need to be free. Free of managers, free of want, free of time constraints. We build these freedoms through being frugal.

7. Ric Elias talks about surviving a plane crash
This is a really thoughtful look at a life-or-death moment, told with a healthy bit of humor, too.

I would like to think I wouldn’t lock up in such a situation.

8. Sliderocket
If your job or business or career path requires you to make presentations, you might want to give Sliderocket a shot.

This tool solves many of the issues that traditional PowerPoint slides have when it comes to the new era of online sharing. It makes sharing slides really really easy and it also makes it easy for people to comment on your slides, too.

I find it an invaluable tool for presenting today.

9. Aristotle on greatness and habits
The great people practice the things that make them great until they become natural.

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle

What do you want to be? Practice doing that every day and you’ll eventually be there.

10. Tim Minchin’s Storm
This is an animated YouTube video about a thought-provoking dinner conversation. Be aware that there is some adult language involved.

This video was passed back and forth among a circle of my friends all week and resulted in one of the most civil discussions about faith and religion that I’ve yet seen. Hopefully, it’ll inspire the same type of talk with your friends.