Updated on 02.17.12

Ten Pieces of Inspiration #60

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. Jenna McCarthy on what you don’t know about marriage
This is a wonderful talk about what actually makes marriage work.

I think there’s quite a lot to what she’s saying here, based on my own experience.

2. Robert Yates on work and credit
Some of the most amazing things I’ve ever done in my life were ones where no one really cared about who received the compliments or rewards later. So many things in life really come down to people positioning themselves for credit.

It is amazing what can be accomplished when nobody cares about who gets the credit. – Robert Yates

The best coworker I ever had truly didn’t care whose name appeared on documents or anything else.

3. Freerice
I’ve visited this so many times over the years.

It’s simple. You learn vocabulary words. Rice gets donated to the hungry. It’s a clever way to see the World Food Programme at work while also expanding your language.

4. Winston Churchill on carrying forth
This one has really inspired me a lot lately.

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts. – Winston Churchill

The thing that really matters, above all else, is that you keep trying. You keep moving forward, trying to get better at what you do, and making effort to produce something worthwhile.

5. Neil Young singing Heart of Gold
I’ve been able to sing along with this since I was a kid, and I still can.

I actually sang this to my kids the other night as they were going to sleep. My daughter held my hand and told me I wasn’t old yet.

6. Benjamin Disraeli on hope and preparation
There is never a reason not to prepare for bad things, even when things are going well.

I am prepared for the worst, but hope the best. – Benjamin Disraeli

Never, ever allow yourself to be blinded by the light.

7. The first hints of spring
They’re just starting to pop up here and there. I heard a bird recently that I hadn’t heard in months. I saw a bit of green in the field behind our house.

snow melting

The snow melts, and life grows. Thanks to Anthony Easton for the image.

8. Henry Adams on teaching
Although this is a great teaching quote, I think it applies to a lot of things.

A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops. – Henry Adams

Whenever you do something that has an impact on someone else’s life, there’s a snowball effect that you never see.

9. The Garden of St. Paul’s Hospital (1889) by Vincent van Gogh
I am astonished by all of van Gogh’s later works. There’s something so incredibly alive about them, something I’ve never seen in other paintings.

Van Gogh Museum - The garden of St. Paul's Hospital, 1889

The mix of reds and greens here is amazing.

10. The Tao Te Ching on desire
If you want something, your perspective on things is distorted by your own desire.

The secret waits for eyes unclouded by longing.

The less desire you have, the easier it is to see situations for what they really are.

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  1. Kai says:

    I see the posts about how horribly long and cold the Iowa winter is, and how you can’t do anything in it.

    And then I see comments about grass starting to green and birds showing up and signs of spring in February.
    And I laugh at the American conception of ‘winter’…

    I love freerice as a mental-break activity.

  2. Johanna says:

    Yes, because winter weather is exactly the same everywhere in America and never changes from year to year.

  3. Kai says:

    I had assumed it was just mild, but from the commentary, people seem to consider Iowa pretty bad for winter. That’s why it’s funny. Complaints that it sometimes reaches *gasp* 0 Fahrenheit???? and spring might not come until *gasp* March??

    He has complained this winter about how bad winter is and how he can’t do anything.
    Popular commentary has been reminding Trent that you can do all kinds of things in the snow, but all seem to go with the idea that winter is pretty bad where he is.

  4. Katie says:

    Kai, the continental U.S. has, by and large, been experiencing an incredibly mild winter this year; Iowa can have winters that are much more intense than this year’s and certainly snow can be on the ground later than March.

    That said, if you’re from somewhere where normal winter temperatures are far below zero degrees Fahrenheit you might consider that your perspective is just skewed and winters that are not, objectively on a global scale, particularly mild will seem like that to you.

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