Updated on 09.02.11

Ten Pieces of Inspiration #35

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.

This edition is going to be very quote-heavy. I spent some time this week working on a slide show project where photographs were paired with inspirational quotes. I found a lot of them during the search and wanted to share some of them with you.

1. Abraham Lincoln on the life in your years
I would far rather live until 50 having done something of value with my life than live until 80 having not left my mark on the world in any way.

“And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” – Abraham Lincoln

What have you done with your life? What can you do with the years you have left to change those around you for the better?

2. T. S. Eliot on exploration
This quote captures how I feel sometimes when I revisit my very familiar hometown. All of it is so familiar, but at the same time all of it is so new.

“We must not cease from exploration. And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we began and to know the place for the first time.” – T. S. Eliot

Exploring the world lets you see what you already have through new eyes.

3. Catchafire
If you’ve ever thought about giving time to charity but didn’t know where to start, Catchafire solves that problem. It’s simply a clearinghouse of charities with time and skill needs. You simply go there, identify the time and skills you have, and it finds charities that really need your help to further a good cause.

4. Bob Proctor on the big journey
You’re in the driver’s seat. Where do you want to go today?

“It doesn’t matter where you are, you are nowhere compared to where you can go.” – Bob Proctor

Don’t limit yourself. Think big.

5. Dale Carnegie on the present
The present is loaded with so much beauty and so many opportunities that I can’t help but wish I had more time to enjoy it.

“One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon-instead of enjoying the roses blooming outside our windows today.” – Dale Carnegie

You don’t need to buy stuff to enjoy today.

6. Chess with my son
Over several days recently, I’ve been playing chess with my oldest son after he’s arrived home from school. He’s a quick learner.

Chess with champagne !

What’s really made the experience wonderful, though, is his enthusiasm. He enjoys playing and wants to get better at it.

Many thanks to Mukumbura for the picture.

7. Niccolo Machiavelli on small plans
Going to the grocery store and to the bank isn’t inspirational.

“Make no small plans for they have no power to stir the soul.” – Niccolo Machiavelli

Doing something big certainly can be. Think big.

8. Thomas Jefferson on luck and work
Luck is a natural outgrowth of hard work.

“I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.” – Thomas Jefferson

I see this time and time again in my own life. When I put in the time, good things happen.

9. Nat King Cole singing “L-O-V-E”
This is one of those “American standards” that is familar to many.

What stunned me about this is that just recently I learned that he recorded this while extremely ill. He entered the hospital just a day or two after recording this and passed away within two months. Knowing that caused me to listen to this song in a completely different way.

10. Pablo Picasso on art and maturity
I see this in my children every day. How can they keep their abundance of creativity into adulthood?

“All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” – Pablo Picasso

More importantly, how can they find ways to channel it into something productive without giving up on it?

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  1. Johanna says:

    “I would far rather live until 50 having done something of value with my life than live until 80 having not left my mark on the world in any way.”

    I’d like to see you revisit this statement when you’re 49.

    And isn’t it possible to do both? Live until 80 *and* do something of value with your life? That seems like kind of a strange trade-off to consider, especially since how long you live is mostly out of your control, and mostly independent of whether you’re doing something of value with your life.

  2. krantcents says:

    Doing things with your family (your son) are some of the most import and rewarding things to do. I loved playing games with my friends, family and especially with my kids. I think they get a lot from it too!

  3. valleycat1 says:

    “having not left my mark on the world in any way.” – Everyone makes a mark – some large, some small; and I don’t think any of us has much of an idea how many marks we’re making each day, or what value we’re adding to the people we encounter or the environment/our town/our neighborhood. So, although I’m all for living mindfully and making an effort, I’ll take the years – based on having been treated several years ago for a chronic disease with a possible shortened lifespan.

  4. Georgia says:

    Thank you for putting on that song by Nat “King” Cole. His music was top notch and I loved it. I am going to add his name to Lost.fm and Pandora.com.

  5. joan says:

    My hat is off to your son, I never could get the hang of Chess; altho, one of my children played in chess compitations.

  6. David says:

    Nothing wrong with quoting Eliot, but you should do so correctly:

    We shall not cease from exploration
    And the end of all our exploring
    Will be to arrive where we started
    And know the place for the first time.

    T S Eliot, Little Gidding

  7. Karen says:

    Glad you are teaching your son chess. My Dad taught me and it was our time together.

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