Ten Pieces of Inspiration #66

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. Aging Imaginations
A friend of mine who is dealing with a death close to her shared this video and said it helped her with grief. After watching it, I understand why.

Our minds can help us cope with pain if we allow it to happen.

2. Francis Bacon on ability
I believe strongly that natural talent is made even better through careful practice and cultivation.

“Natural abilities are like natural plants, that need pruning by study.” – Francis Bacon

It’s not enough just to practice. You need to study how you’re practicing and think about what you’re doing to refine your skill.

3. Whistler’s Arrangement in Grey and Black No. 1 (Whistler’s Mother)
One sign of a great painting is that I notice something new each time I look at it.

James Abbot McNeil Whistler: Arrangement in Grey and Black No. I: (Whistler's Mother)

The painting on the wall. The symbol on the curtain. The expression on the woman’s face. These are little mysteries.

4. de La Rochefoucauld on courage
Whenever we’re in a social situation, we tend to put on our best behavior – our social face, if you will. But do we do the same things when we’re alone?

“Perfect courage is to do without witnesses what one would be capable of doing with the world looking on.” – Francois de La Rochefoucauld

It’s easier to take a tough stand if you’re surrounded by people who support you and agree with you. It’s much harder when you’re alone.

5. Billy Collins on capturing everyday moments
I love hearing about how creative people find inspiration in everyday life.

The transition from an everyday moment into a creative work (and back) is a beautiful one.

6. Sholem Asch on memory
It can be easy to dwell on the mistakes of the past, but in order to move forward, you have to move on and forget about them.

“Not the power to remember, but its very opposite, the power to forget, is a necessary condition for our existence.” – Sholem Asch

It’s hard to do this sometimes, but it needs to be done. The past cannot come back. It can only hold us back.

7. Emerson on friendship and sincerity
This is perhaps the best definition of a friend that I’ve ever found.

“A friend is a person with whom I may be sincere. Before him, I may think aloud.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thinking aloud means you’re going to be wrong sometimes, but it’s also a valuable part of figuring things out. Thinking aloud in the company of friends means that your errors won’t bring you down. In fact, they often bring you closer.

8. Old sheds, garages, and barns
I love exploring these places.

Old Shed

You never know what you might find in them. They’re loaded with mystery and adventure.

Thanks to James Case for the image.

9. Thoreau on money
The things I value most aren’t bought.

“Money is not required to buy one necessity of the soul.” – Henry David Thoreau

Friendship. Love. Good humor. Bright sunshine. The endless beauty of nature. All free.

10. Dick Dale performs Misirlou
This gets impressive about a minute in (the intro at the beginning is nothing too special).

The skill on display here is just amazing. That’s the reward of a lot of hard practice.

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