Ten Pieces of Inspiration #139

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. Derek Jeter on hard work

“There may be people that have more talent than you, but there’s no excuse for anyone to work harder than you.” – Derek Jeter

The thing I always find amazing about people at the top of their field is that we never see the countless hours they put in behind the scenes to get where they are at. Whenever I see a sports star like Derek Jeter, I see someone who put in insane numbers of hours practicing every little bit of their craft. If you want to be great at something, the main ingredient to get there is work.

2. David Allen on stress-free productivity

This is a great summary of his “getting things done” philosophy, which I totally agree with in the general sense and largely agree with in terms of all of the specifics.

3. George Bernard Shaw on marriage

“Marriage is an alliance entered into by a man who can’t sleep with the window shut, and a woman who can’t sleep with the window open.” – George Bernard Shaw

This made me laugh, particularly after a night when one of us will have the window on our side of the bed open with no blankets while the other has their window shut and is buried under a pile of blankets.

4. Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros – Home

I absolutely love this song.

5. Emerson on ambition and work

“Without ambition one starts nothing. Without work one finishes nothing. The prize will not be sent to you. You have to win it.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Once again, hard work wins the day. You can’t expect to achieve greatness without a ton of work.

6. Thoreau on looking back

“Never look back unless you are planning to go that way.” – Henry David Thoreau

Don’t waste an ounce of your time or energy on regret.

7. Feedly

I have a small mountain of websites that I read virtually every day. For the longest time, I kept up with them by using Google Reader, but it recently closed. Since then, I’ve been trying several replacements for Reader. Feedly is the best one I’ve found. I currently follow 146 websites using Feedly, a number that drifts slowly upward all the time.

8. Margaret Atwood on growing up

“Another belief of mine: that everyone else my age is an adult, whereas I am merely in disguise.” – Margaret Atwood

I’m thankful for the fact that most of my closest friends seem to still have a child inside of them, too.

9. Play Without Thinking

This is a short documentary about Kliff Kingsbury, the new head football coach at Texas Tech. His philosophy is an interesting one – he would rather have a small number of plays that the players know so well that they can execute them without thinking consciously about it, instead moving through the play and reacting to small changes on instinct.

I suspect he’ll find success with this, actually. The fewer things you have to think about in a key moment, the better you’re going to execute the remaining things that you do have to think about. I compare it to having a grocery list in hand when you go into the store – since you no longer have to think about what items you need, you can instead focus on maximizing each of the individual purchases and avoid dumb purchases.

10. Philip K. Dick on education

“The trouble with being educated is that it takes a long time; it uses up the better part of your life and when you are finished what you know is that you would have benefited more by going into banking.” – Philip K. Dick

I certainly know the feeling.

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