Ten Pieces of Inspiration #13

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. A big sister comes into her own
Our daughter has been struggling with the role of being a big sister to her baby brother. She had been the baby of the family for years, then suddenly there was a new little one around. She didn’t know how to play with him or how to act around him. She would hug him once in a while.

Girl and baby brother

Recently, that began to change. She’s started to relish her role as a big sister, showing him how to do many different things like drinking from a cup and how to pull himself up. The little one has responded to the change: he now looks at his big sister with a smile and a twinkle in his eye that wasn’t really there before.

She’s taking on a new challenge in her life and, from my eyes, she’s passing with flying colors.

2. Emerson on costs
To acquire money, we’re always spending something. Time. Energy. Ethics. Ideas. Is it worth it?

Money often costs too much. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

What are we trading away for more money?

3. Seesmic
Seesmic is how I use Twitter. Without it, it would be very difficult to follow the flood of tweets that are going on out there. Seesmic makes it easy for me to follow who I want to follow and, more importantly, what I want to follow. Plus, I can see all of the tweets directed at me (private or otherwise) all of the public tweets I want to see without clicking around – it’s all in one place.

4. John Wooden on leadership
Leadership is about people, not about results. If you cultivate good people, the results will follow.

John Wooden is one of the few true heroes I have. He established a basketball coaching standard that will probably never be matched while also turning out some amazing articulate and thoughtful people like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bill Walton.

5. Billy Rose on basic investing
I like little quips about what to invest in – and what not to invest in. This one gave me a chuckle.

Never invest your money in anything that eats or needs repainting. – Billy Rose

Any investment that requires a constant supply of money to work and doesn’t provide a guaranteed return is an investment you should avoid unless you really know what you’re doing or you want to work hard for it.

I think I’ll pass on buying hogs, in other words.

6. Splashup Light
I’ve been a Photoshop user for many, many years, but I have to say that Splashup Light is the best free simple image editor I’ve found yet.

I’ve found myself using it as a quick-and-dirty image editor, particularly on my relatively slow desktop computer where I can be halfway done with what I want to do using Splashup before Photoshop is finished loading.

It doesn’t do everything, but it does a lot of the tasks I need to do very quickly and efficiently. That’s just the kind of tool I love.

7. Mumford and Sons
This band was pretty much the soundtrack of March for my ears. While Little Lion Man (just a note for some readers, there’s language use in Little Lion Man that may not be suitable for some, though it’s used here to express a genuine emotion than to be purely vulgar) was their bigger hit, my favorite song by them is Winter Winds:

8. Charles Lamb on borrowers and lenders
Which would you rather be?

The human species, according to the best theory I can form of it, is composed of two distinct races, the men who borrow, and the men who lend. – Charles Lamb

I think I’d rather be a lender than a borrower. Right now, I’m lending money to banks via my savings and lending money to companies via the stocks I own. Much better than borrowing – and having to pay interest.

9. Chess
Over the last few weeks, I’ve been teaching my oldest child how to play chess (hopefully to be followed by go and Arimaa).


I started with chess because it’s the game I felt I could explain the easiest to him. I usually remove several of my own pieces from the board (the queen, a knight, three pawns, and a rook, usually) and try to play him well.

There’s nothing more wonderful than watching the boy’s mind click as he begins to see patterns and put moves together in a sensible order. He’s still learning how the pieces move, but a few days ago, he used his bishop to take out two of my pieces in consecutive turns and his thrill at his own success was wonderful to watch.

Many thanks to soupboy for the wonderful chess photo.

10. Lulu
Lulu is an amazing web service that makes it incredibly easy to self-publish, taking your own book from a manuscript on your desk to an item available at Amazon.com.

Now, why on Earth would I find this kind of tool inspirational? I’ll leave that one up to your imagination.

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