Updated on 11.04.11

Ten Pieces of Inspiration #45

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. 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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  1. Steven says:

    Is this some kind of joke?

    “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.”

  2. Johanna says:

    Too bad there’s not also an online fact checker. That would be really inspiring.

  3. marta says:

    LULZ @ #3.

  4. Riki says:

    I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a spelling mistake on this website. If so, then definitely not very often.

    It’s every other writing convention that’s a complete mess. I try to mind my tongue for fear of being overly harsh but, quite frankly, the writing on this site is very poor in quality and accuracy. The beauty of blogs is that anybody can call themselves a professional writer (and earn their living from writing) without possessing a superior grasp of written language. But is this professional-quality writing? Nope, not even close.

    The question is — does Trent do it purposefully to drive page views? Because it’s certainly not the content that keeps me coming back on a regular basis.

  5. Becca says:

    I believe in all of my writing applications on the computer, a little red squiggly line tells me if I have spelled a word wrong, which is most helpful with typos. It is as not helpful with words that I can never remember how to spell. I usually give it a few efforts, and if I can’t get it I just Google as close as I am able to spell the word. Google has a polite way of saying something like “didn’t you mean…?” It invariably gives me the right spelling and also a definition to be sure I have the right word. The other very useful tool, which I found secondhand somewhere, is a “Misspeller’s Dictionary” which lists words in ways most people typically misspell them, alongside the correct spellings.
    Of course what really throws me is when the red squiggly line doesn’t recognize a correctly spelled word. Ironically, it doesn’t recognize “misspeller” and so I had to go upstairs just now and check my dictionary to be sure I had it right.

  6. Gretchen says:

    +1 to Riki’s last comment.

    And because I’m looking for some sort of comment on how Trent feels about the “hard working” Kim K’s divorce.

  7. graytham says:

    Sarah Kaminsky’s talk was fascinating- well worth watching all the way to the end.

  8. kristine says:

    Just curious what you think about image theft. Juzam Djinn and MTG are copyrighted. You can’t just reproduce them on something and sell it. At 85 for those mats, I am fairly certain that licensing was not obtained. It might be your friends art, but it the characters are copyrighted, and the names. (by Hasbro, and the creator gets royalties)

    This literally takes money out of the pocket of the artist who created the characters in the first place- not the best homage. It is out and out theft, and unambiguous. It does not matter that he is a small shop. It does not matter that he is unlikely to be prosecuted. He should create his own characters, and not profit from someone else’s artwork, without permission or royalty.

    Once image recognition is up to full speed, image pirating web merchants will be easy to catch. The days of easy licensing theft are numbered.

  9. kristine says:

    PS- My closest friend was an editor at Marvel- gave Ross and Busziek their big break. He worked on all the top series. He now teaches, paints custom furniture- went rural. (Also a first rate designer). Does he ever reproduce even the images he personally conceived of and drew for Marvel? NO. He does not own them. They were done under contract, and he was paid well, and it was not a royalty situation- it was a salaried situation. Could he easily draw any of their characters and put them in new poses/situations? Of course! He could do so on a local and unseen level- profiting nicely, but he won’t. He respects property rights, and backs up his integrity with his actions.

    It is ironic when artists steal and profit from an artist he admires. Read any professional artist mag: theft is a huge problem, forcing many talented artists to take cubicle jobs. Artists with a respect for his peers will use his talent to create his own vision, not coattail via theft off another artist, or pay for that privilege. Sorry- but this really burns my buns!

  10. kristine says:

    Sorry for the their/his plural confusion- I was really steamed and typing fast.

  11. Vivianne says:

    Spell checking will only go so far. A distressing number of these errors slipped under spellboy’s radar:

    Why dew eye like it? It’s really E Z two ewes. Plus, I wish that pee pull would ewes it when posting online. Eye catch the vast majority of mi own miss takes, butt eye often sea postings online were pee pull seam to knot care about there spelling, knot realizing that multiple spelling heir ores start too undermine the credibility of what the pair son is say ying. This towel makes that goo a weigh.

  12. Bookaunt says:

    I too really enjoyed Sarah Kaminsky’s talk. And it was nice to realize that I still retain some comprehension of French – but not enough to do without the subtitles.

  13. deRuiter says:

    Steven #1, kudos for spotting the joke!!!! “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.”

  14. kristine says:

    “This tool makes that go away” was pretty funny too.

  15. jackie.n says:

    notice that the beginning portion is deleted. proof that trent does read our comments.

  16. Vanessa says:

    What was deleted?

    If Trent reads the comments why hasn’t he addressed Kristine’s concern about selling copyrighted images?

    Also, lol @ Vivianne!

  17. jackie.n says:

    the comment that #1 and #13 copied, about spellcheck. i read the original post, then after these 2 comments presto!! it’s deleted.
    i am not sure why the copyrighted images haven’t been addressed as well, i mean deleted.
    as for his recent praise of kim kardashian, hmmmm, probably wishing he hadn’t “gone there”. makes my comment about my girl courtney stodden look even better. at least we know her intentions right from the beginning of her “hard working” career and what she calls a marriage.

  18. jackie.n says:

    and please for the love of ….trent, if you are going to complain about posters on the internet not using spellcheck then you have no business using the phrase “each week, i highlight 10 things each week….it’s been mentioned before.

    ( i stand corrected. my bad. in my earlier post i was addressing #3 of trent’s inspirations. he did not delete. sorry, i was wrong. when i first read his post i thought it was part of the opening narrative. my fervent apologies.)

  19. I’m really hoping Trent is joking on #3. It’s hard to tell sometimes whether someone is being sarcastic or not in writing so I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and hopefully he’s just poking a bit of fun at himself.

    I’m sure he’s well aware of the fact that most of his posts have at least one if not more grammar/spelling mistakes.

    “Each week, I highlight ten things each week”…

  20. Rockledge says:

    Visualization doesn’t make things happen on its own, but I find if I visualize myself doing something, I’m more likely to actually do it. Like making sure I go for a walk that day even if my arthritis is acting up, or eating properly, or giving a presentation. The more detail I visualize beforehand, the more likely I will actually do it.

    As to grammar and spelling errors, as annoying as they are, “let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” The thing that drives me crazy in my own writing, is that some of the rules have changed since I went to school and not always for the better.

    I can say y’all have made me feel very self-conscious about posting right now! But we here Texans have a hankering to communicate with you Yankees, anyhows.

  21. jackie.n says:

    to #20–rockledge..

    this is NOT a blog. this is trent’s income stream and career. i think (in my opinion) that a business similiar to his should be held in a higher standard of grammar, spelling, and fact checking/reporting. if it’s “just a blog” who would give a crap about such incidentals as correct sentence structure, repetition of words, and most importantly, truthful information?

    read #4 riki–i agree with that poster that one has to be careful about comments or else the “trent” diehards will hang you out to dry.

  22. Steven says:

    There have been more than once that I’ve really enjoyed an article that Trent has wrote that I’ve wanted to share, but it’s so full of spelling and/or grammatical errors that I decided against sharing. Like Trent points out in this post, it detracts from the credibility of the article.

    Even more than this being Trent’s source of income (and ignoring the fact that these errors say a lot about his lack of concern for his “customers”) Trent, no doubt, wants to improve as a writer. Without constructive criticisms from his readers, how is he to improve? By writing more and making the same mistakes over and over again? (And you’d think that someone whose passion is writing, they’d put more effort into it. Maybe it’s time he cut down to one article a day, and focus on tightening his writing.)

    Sure, this is a “free” blog, and we don’t have to come here if we don’t want, but in all honesty, that argument is getting tired. We are Trent’s customers. It is our visits that earn him a living, and therefore I believe he has a responsibility to provide us with content that is on par with what he’d provide to a paying client.

  23. Steven says:

    *has written…(ah, the irony does not escape me.)

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