Ten Pieces of Inspiration #45

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. Joyce Lock on strengths and weaknesses
I’ve become a big believer in the idea that you should work to make your strengths as strong as possible so that they overshadow your weaknesses and eventually overtake them. Lock explains this idea very eloquently.

“Build upon strengths, and weaknesses will gradually take care of themselves.” – Joyce Lock

Keep this in mind as you think about what to improve in yourself.

2. Halloween
My children went trick-or-treating this year. That night is one of the highlights of the fall for me, as I love seeing all of the children of our neighborhood out having fun.

Jack o' Lanterns

Thanks to Teo for the wonderful picture.

3. Spellboy
This is an online spell checker. All you have to do is paste in your text and it finds and corrects misspellings for you.

Why do I like it? It’s really easy to use. Plus, I wish that people would use it when posting online. I catch the vast majority of my own mistakes, but I often see postings online where people seem to not care about their spelling, not realizing that multiple spelling errors start to undermine the credibility of what the person is saying. This tool makes that go away.

If you want to make a point, spell well. This great tool will help with that.

4. Churchill on putting worry to work
Worrying doesn’t accomplish a thing.

“Let our advance worrying become advance thinking and planning.” – Winston Churchill

When you find yourself worrying, instead ask yourself what you can do about it.

5. Sarah Kaminsky on her father the forger
The thing that stuck with me here is that everyone has some skill that’s valuable and useful. We just need to look for situations where our skill works for something great.

I really enjoyed this story and presentation.

6. The Grant Wood murals at the Iowa State University library
If you live anywhere in central Iowa and haven’t seen these, you’re missing out. They’re an absolute art treasure hidden away on the Iowa State campus.

Wood, well known for his painting “American Gothic,” painted these on the library walls in the 1930s, employing assistants who had presented work at the Iowa State Fair in the early 1930s. The result is some fantastic art that’s quite impressive in scope, yet it’s almost hidden away. It’s a treasure worth finding.

7. Cecile Springer on challenging yourself
If you don’t challenge yourself, you’ll never really get anywhere.

“Above all, challenge yourself. You may well surprise yourself at what strengths you have, what you can accomplish.” – Cecile Springer

I’ve come to not like situations that come easy to me. I’d rather have a situation where I fail over and over, but sense that I’m improving a little over time.

8. Julian Treasure on five ways to listen better
If I’ve learned one lesson lately, it’s that listening is incredibly valuable. It’s more valuable than talking, I think.

The simplicity and practicality of this talk was quite worthwhile.

9. Tom’s custom art
An old friend of mine has taken the first step towards turning a hobby into a side business. Tom has always liked to sketch things and make wonderful drawings, but lately he’s started drawing fantasy art on play mats, which are essentially large mousepads that you can use for various purposes.

I’m absolutely ecstatic that Tom has taken this step and I wanted to share his work with all of you.

10. Jim Carrey on visualization
I don’t believe in The Secret. I don’t believe that if you just visualize something, it will come true. This is much closer to what I believe.

“I would visualize things coming to me. It would just make me feel better. Visualization works if you work hard. That’s the thing. You can’t just visualize and go eat a sandwich.” – Jim Carrey

If I think about good outcomes for my hard work, I feel better, but I know it won’t happen if I don’t put in the hard work.

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