Ten Pieces of Inspiration #87

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. Seth Godin on life and vacations
Vacation, to me, isn’t an escape. It’s an opportunity to see parts of the world that I don’t get to see in my daily life.

“Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, you ought to set up a life you don’t need to escape from.” – Seth Godin

I agree with Seth. If vacation is an escape from your life, then there’s something that needs fixing in your life.

2. Frank Sinatra recording It Was a Very Good Year
I love the studio preparation that’s going on for the first two minutes of the video. Then, at about the two minute mark, the song bursts in.

Great recordings take a lot of work and preparation. It’s not just some guy standing up there singing.

3. Amelia Earhart on kindness
Being kind to others pays so many dividends in the wider community.

“A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees.” – Amelia Earhart

If you’re kind to someone, you’re putting them in a better situation to be kind to someone else – and then the kindness moves forward. Often, it comes back to you in the form of a better community of people around you. Don’t worry about what you immediately get in return.

4. “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All” by Anne-Marie Slaughter
This article addresses a topic that Sarah and I have discussed many times. Simply put, people can’t have it all. In every life, there are choices to be made between competing priorities, and because of those choices, you are letting something down.

The closest a person can come to “having it all” is to always make the best choice between those competing priorities. No one ever does, though.

5. Henry Rollins on scars
The bad things that happen to you can be a source of strength if you allow them to be.

“Scar tissue is stronger than regular tissue. Realize the strength, move on.” – Henry Rollins

Don’t dwell on the bad things that have happened. Instead, look at what they’ve taught you, realize that you’ve survived them, and press forward with your life.

6. 1893 World’s Fair
I have this passion for reading about and seeing pictures of world’s fairs from the past, particularly the 1893 and the 1939 ones. There’s something wonderfully nostalgic and yet optimistic about it.

World's Columbian Exposition: Ferris Wheel, Chicago, United States, 1893.

The 1893 fair saw the debut of the Ferris wheel, as well as the first wide-scale demonstration of electrical lighting. Thanks to the Brooklyn Museum for this wonderful picture of the wheel.

7. Ruth Renkel on light and shadow
The unknown can be a scary place.

“Never fear shadows. They simply mean there’s a light shining somewhere nearby.” – Ruth Renkel

However, there are very few paths that someone hasn’t walked before. Keep in mind that others have done it, so you can, too.

8. Social Tables
At our wedding reception, we essentially let everyone sit where they please. It worked fairly well, but we soon found that there were some rather uncomfortable pairings of people. Afterwards, I got more than a few comments from friends and family about the “odd” people at their table.

I wish I had taken the time to come up with a seating arrangement, but it seemed like a very daunting task. If Social Tables had existed then, I would have been thrilled to use it. It’s just a great tool for mixed social situations like our wedding reception.

9. Hannah Fry on the complexity of life
Most of life ends up being a bunch of very similar patterns. Big social changes that seem unique actually mostly follow the same pattern.

I just found this talk really, really fascinating and thought-provoking.

10. Thich Nhat Hanh on how to live
This works.

“Smile, breathe and go slowly.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

If you approach everything in life with that attitude, you’re going to find a lot of good things.

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