Ten Pieces of Inspiration #98

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. Stephen Covey on the tools for change
We have what we need to bring about change in our lives.

“Every human has four endowments – self awareness, conscience, independent will and creative imagination. These give us the ultimate human freedom… The power to choose, to respond, to change.” – Stephen R. Covey

The question really is how we choose to use those tools.

2. Coffee beans
A few days ago, I was discussing with my son how coffee beans are picked and then gradually transformed into the coffee that people drink. As usual in these discussions, I try to find pictures that visually illustrate what I’m talking about, and this one popped up.

Coffee Beans

There’s something about this flood of beans I find quite appealing, even though I’m not much of a coffee drinker.

Thanks to Stirling Noyes for the picture.

3. William Shedd on unfurling one’s sails
You can’t conquer life’s journeys if you never take a chance.

“A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for.” – William Shedd

4. Harvest season
From late September to early November here in Iowa, the crops are harvested. The farmers are busy and the fields descend from green to brown, with bits of yellow peeking out.

Getting Ready for Harvest Season

Thanks to Alternative Heat for the image.

5. Martin Luther King, Jr. on love and hate
The next time you don’t like someone, ask yourself why that is. What brings about that dislike?

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Strive to tear down that wall.

6. Statwing
I really love well-executed, simple, fascinating tools that take advantage of the large amounts of data and the interconnectivity of the internet to solve some simple problem. Here, it’s statistical analysis, at least on a basic level.

I “run the numbers” all the time on various things. Most of the time, I use Excel. I still use SAS (a stat package I learned in college) sometimes. However, I’ve always been looking for a simpler medium, and I think Statwing does it. It takes in large data sets, helps you visualize the results in lots of different ways, and helps you make a presentation out of it. It’s perfect for what I need. Sometimes.

7. Anaïs Nin on seeing the world
When you see something, you almost always have a gut response to it. That response shades how you see that thing. You identify traits as being “good” or “bad,” often without any real connection to the person or thing you’re observing.

“We see the world not as it is, but as we are.” – Anaïs Nin

We’d all be better off if we broke past that initial gut response sometimes.

8. Meet Thomas Suarez, a twelve year old app developer
I really hope to raise a child with even a large fraction of the entrepreneurial bent, intellect, and poise of this child.

9. Larry Fitzgerald on dealing with pressure
I’m often under pressure at various points in my life, and sometimes it’s frustrating.

“Pressure is a privilege.” – Larry Fitzgerald

That pressure, though, comes from a life that has led me to a point where I can ply my skills in a situation that actually matters. That’s actually a big thrill when I step back and look at it.

10. Swedish fluteplayer, circa 1890
As much as I appreciate music, it’s almost commonplace now. It’s so easy to hear unlimited music that it sometimes gets lost in the shuffle.

Fluteplayer, Lysekil, Sweden

In some ways, it would be wonderful to live in a world where the only music was live music.

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