Ten Pieces of Inspiration #38

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. Popurls
Popurls basically takes the headlines from a bunch of other sites that aggregate links (like Metafilter and Reddit and Longreads) and presents them all on one page so you can just read through tons of headlines and choose articles that you want to read.

I visit this about once a day and almost always find something interesting to read.

2. Niall Ferguson on the six “killer apps” of prosperity
Why have Western cultures (the United States and Europe) been so successful at creating prosperity for themselves? This talk offers up six really interesting ideas for that.

The best part is that these six ideas are pretty obviously being picked up by the rest of the world, particularly China and India.

3. Dan Millman on the good and evil of money
What you use money for is merely an expression of the person you already are.

Money is neither my god nor my devil. It is a form of energy that tends to make us more of who we already are, whether it’s greedy or loving. – Dan Millman

Money doesn’t “change” anything. It often just allows people to amplify who they really are.

4. Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata
This is the definitive “going to sleep” music for me. This can put me into a sleepy state very quickly.

I’ve often wondered if I didn’t hear it at bedtime as a child.

5. Ronald Reagan on exploration
A few days ago, I was talking to a friend of mine about the Challenger disaster, which happened in 1986 when both of us were in elementary school. She said, “You know, I have mixed feelings about Reagan as president but his speech made me feel better after the Challenger blew up.” I knew exactly what she meant. From his speech on January 28, 1986:

And I want to say something to the school children of America who were watching the live coverage of the shuttle’s takeoff. I know it is hard to understand, but sometimes painful things like this happen. It’s all part of the process of exploration and discovery. It’s all part of taking a chance and expanding man’s horizons. The future doesn’t belong to the fainthearted; it belongs to the brave. The Challenger crew was pulling us into the future, and we’ll continue to follow them.

Exploring and pushing your boundaries is never without risk. Those who willingly push them are doing themselves and mankind a great service. They knew the risk, and they should be celebrated rather than mourned.

6. Emerson on money and principles
Continuing that idea from earlier about money simply amplifying who you are, Ralph Waldo Emerson hits a home run with this thought.

A man is usually more careful of his money than he is of his principles. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Almost everyone “sells out” some aspect of their principles for money. Are you working at a job that completely matches your principles and beliefs? If you are, you’re in the huge minority.

7. Emerson String Quartet performing Shostakovich’s String Quartet #3, III
Upbeat. Fun. Amazing.

This is one of those things I love to listen to with my eyes closed, then go do something energetic.

8. Theodore Roosevelt on your situation
It doesn’t matter what your situation is. It matters what you choose to do with that situation.

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are. – Theodore Roosevelt

We all wish something was different in our life and our situation. If we spend all of our time wishing and blaming, though, we end up not following through with what we can do with our own life.

9. Web Sudoku
If you’ve ever played Sudoku online, be prepared to lose some hours. This is how to make a wonderful web interface for a simple game.

10. Louise Fresco on feeding the world
This is a fascinating perspective on the common mass-produced loaf of bread.

It really casts mass produced items in a completely different light.

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