Ten Pieces of Inspiration #43

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. Walt Whitman on living
If you manage to do these things, you’ll live a very great life.

This is what you should do:
Love the earth and sun and animals,
despise riches, give alms to everyone that asks,
stand up for the stupid and crazy,
devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants,
argue not concerning God,
have patience and indulgence toward the people…
reexamine all you have been told in school or church or in any book,
dismiss what insults your very soul,
and your flesh shall become a great poem.

– Walt Whitman, excerpt from the preface to Leaves of Grass

The thing I find fascinating is that many of the tenets of a better life are consistent no matter what your philosophy or religion is. They’re constantly repeated because they’re so true.

2. Dick and Rick Hoyt
Rick Hoyt is Dick Hoyt’s son. Rick was born with cerebral palsy. Yet, the two of them have competed in Ironman triathlons as a team.

It’s just an amazing story.

3. Thomas Jefferson on attitude
I often write that you can’t make someone adopt better behaviors if they don’t want to. On the other hand, people who want something can often go to amazing lengths to achieve it.

Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude. – Thomas Jefferson

The right attitude can lead to almost anything. The wrong attitude can lead to almost nothing.

4. Pamela Meyer on how to spot a liar
This is a really fascinating look into the science behind lying.

This video made me think quite a lot over the past week.

5. Orchard in Bloom, Louveciennes (1872) by Camille Pissarro
Ever since our family’s trip to the Art Institute of Chicago, I’ve been adding a lot of Pissarro’s art to my desktop background folder. This is just another great example of it.

Orchard in Bloom, Louveciennes by Camille Pissarro

Great landscapes make me want to be there, and this easily achieves that.

6. Thoreau on character
Good character is built one small action at a time, one small difficult decision at a time. It’s much easier to be of bad character.

You cannot dream yourself into a character; you must hammer and forge yourself one. – Henry David Thoreau

Have you ever noticed that I quote Thoreau a lot in these articles (and Ralph Waldo Emerson, too)? I can’t tell you how much of an impact Thoreau and Emerson’s writings have had on me over the course of my life.

7. Failure doesn’t write your story
If you’ve never failed, you’ve never lived.

Failure is often the forge for better things. It’s a chance to learn what doesn’t work so that next time you can discard those mistakes.

8. CometDocs
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve received a document from a friend in a format that’s basically unusable to me. This is the easiest tool I’ve yet found for solving this problem in a general way.

CometDocs does nothing more than convert documents from one format to another about as easily as possible. That’s a tool that’s got a permanent place in my bookmarks now.

9. Aldous Huxley on ceilings and floors
Often, when people achieve success, it becomes their new standard. Successful people often repeat that success.

Every ceiling, when reached, becomes a floor, upon which one walks as a matter of course and prescriptive right. – Aldous Huxley

Why is that? It’s something I’ve observed, but it’s something I can’t quite quantify.

10. Nat King Cole, Mel Torme, and Judy Christy performing How High the Moon
I would love to hear a great recording of this. The scratchiness of this recording adds some charm, though.

I love old jazz standards lately.

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