Ten Pieces of Inspiration #65

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. Girl’s first ski jump
This is such a beautiful example of someone overcoming fear and trying something scary, new, and challenging.

The victory isn’t the jump itself, but the fact that she was able to overcome her fears and nervousness.

2. WikiHow
I’ve been spending a ton of time at WikiHow as of late, reading various how-to’s and editing a few of them.

WikiHow is much like it sounds – it’s a how-to that can be edited by anyone (though edits wind up being reviewed pretty carefully). It’s a pretty useful place to find a quick how-to for something you’re struggling to do.

3. Tugging away
When the weather turns nice, I start looking forward to some time spent on a quiet shore somewhere with a fishing pole in my hand. It’s one of the sweetest pieces of spring and summer for me.

Tugging Away...

I really liked how this picture captured many of the essences of fishing that I enjoy: the beautiful daytime weather, the give-and-take battle with the fish, the sensation of the tugging in your hand. Kudos to Adriane Dizon for such a wonderful picture.

4. Helen Keller on optimism
The surest way to make sure you don’t do something is to decide that you can’t and label it impossible.

“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement; nothing can be done without hope.” – Helen Keller

My argument is that if someone is able to do it (or do something similar), why can’t I do it?

5. Brené Brown on listening to shame
I find insights into human behavior to be fascinating. Why do people do what they do? This short talk lays out an angle I hadn’t really considered before.

Brown’s presentation here is quite enjoyable, and the ideas she offers up are pretty thought-provoking.

6. Aretha Franklin singing I Say A Little Prayer
I read a great profile of Aretha Franklin in a recent issue of Harpers and I found myself drawn to explore her music a little more.

There are many more stunning examples of her music, but this one just clicked with me for some reason.

7. River flooding and prevention
One event that had a big impact on my life was the Mississippi River flooding of 1993, which severely damaged my hometown. While our house escaped it, we had many people staying with us for months after the flood.

The strongest memory I have of it, though, was of the people who were fighting the flood prior to the levee breach. You had young people and old people out there filling and carrying sandbags. I saw people who hadn’t spoken to each other in years passing sandbags back and forth. The human effort was beautiful in the face of tragedy.

Each spring, when we have a run of rainy days, I always think back to 1993.

Volunteers in Parkville, Mo prepare for flood waters

This picture, provided by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, almost perfectly shows what I’m talking about. You have a group of people of all ages, differing ethnic groups, and differing socioeconomic backgrounds working together for a common cause. That’s a beautiful thing.

8. Heraclitus on time
Whenever I feel stressed for time, I look at how my children spend it.

“Time is a game played beautifully by children.” – Heraclitus

They fill their time with whatever they’re passionate about in the moment, nothing more, nothing less.

9. March showers bring April flowers?
This year has featured an exceptionally warm March, which has brought the usual bevy of Midwestern thunderstorms with it.


I watched a series of thunderclouds (and attempted to take pictures of them, though this image by chascar is far better than any I was able to take) roll across the sky a few nights ago and was struck by the raw power and beauty of nature.

10. Steve Conrad on dreams
The Pursuit of Happyness was one of my favorite films of the last several years. Rather than focusing on the downside of life, it focused instead on what a person can build if they put their mind to it.

“Don’t ever let someone tell you, you can’t do something. Not even me. You got a dream, you got to protect it. People can’t do something themselves, they want to tell you you can’t do it. You want something, go get it. Period.” – Steve Conrad, in The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)

Don’t let go of the big dreams you’ve always had for yourself.

Loading Disqus Comments ...