Ten Pieces of Inspiration #79

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. Friendship during a disaster
I can’t tell you how much I enjoy going through The Commons, which is a warehouse of public domain pictures on Flickr. I’ll often go to that page, hit reload a few times, and just deeply enjoy the glimpses into the past that it provides.

Conditions in Newtown, Caersws and Ellesmere during the severe winter of 1939-40

This picture depicts flooding in Wales in early 1940 and how a few people were responding to it. To put that in perspective, the Battle of Britain happened later that year. Seeing things like this puts your own problems in perspective.

2. Mark Twain on life
Life is too short to worry too much about the “rules” that other people have created.

“Life is short, break the rules. Forgive quickly, kiss slowly. Love truly. Laugh uncontrollably and never regret anything that makes you smile.” – Mark Twain

If it makes you happy and it doesn’t hurt others, go for it.

3. Tolstoy on the good and the pretty
You can never judge a book by its cover.

“What a strange illusion it is to suppose that beauty is goodness.” – Leo Tolstoy

A beautiful thing may be a good thing, but being beautiful does not mean that something is good.

4. Beeban Kidron on the shared wonder of film
Most of the points he makes apply to most art forms. They’re at their most powerful when they are shared with others and become a shared experience.

One of my favorite things to do is to go to a film or another form of art with a friend or two and view or listen to the art independently, then discuss it afterwards. Not only do I learn a lot about the art from my friend, I also learn a lot about my friend and cement our friendship.

5. Marquee
A lot of people out there have a need to occasionally just throw together a good looking web page or two. Perhaps they want to announce a wedding or a retirement party. You want it to look pretty good, but you don’t want to hire someone to do it for you and you want something more than just a Facebook event page.

That’s pretty much what Marquee is designed for. It’s incredibly easy to use, you can throw together almost anything you can think of in just a few minutes by just dragging and dropping with your mouse, and it’s ready to go. I love this tool and I expect to be using it quite a few times in the near future.

6. John Green on faith and shame
When it comes to the fundamental mysteries of life, a healthy dose of doubt is a good thing.

“I am not embarrassed by my faith, but I’m also not embarrassed by my doubt.” – John Green

It means you’re thinking about it.

7. Theodore Roosevelt on voting
This is one of those brilliant quotes that people on opposite sides of an issue will both want to claim.

“A vote is like a rifle; its usefulness depends upon the character of the user.” – Theodore Roosevelt

The statement is pretty accurate, of course.

8. New York City, 1967
There’s something I really find pleasing about early color photographs. Many of them are faded a bit now, but even when they were freshly taken, there was just something pleasingly “off” about the colors.

New York City, 1967

I have fond memories of taking photos like this with my grandmother’s instant Polaroid camera when I was a child. My favorite part was seeing how the colors were just slightly different than reality, as though the picture had already faded a bit even though it was just taken. This picture, by John Atherton, is a really nice example of that. It’s real, but the fading and colors lets you know it comes from a different time.

9. Emerson on heroes
Most people who commit heroic acts are just ordinary people who happened to step up to the challenge at a key moment.

“A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is brave five minutes longer.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

10. Whitney Houston singing Saving All My Love For You in 1985
Recently, I was having a discussion with a friend about the passing of Whitney Houston a few months ago. My friend passed along this video, which is one of the best demonstrations of vocal talent I’ve heard in a long time.

She had amazing talent, that’s for sure.

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