Ten Pieces of Inspiration #78

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. Nietzsche on tiredness and focus
Most of my mistakes are made when I’m overworked. I usually end up being zero productive or even negative productive after a certain point.

“When we are tired, we are attacked by ideas we conquered long ago.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

If your job involves thinking at all, make sure to attack it with a fresh mind and make sure to walk away when your mind is dull. If you don’t do that, you’ll end up regretting it.

2. Canadian Brass on Tiny Music
NPR distributes a YouTube video series in which musicians play an abbreviated concert in a very tiny room. I love listening to these and often discover great new music, like this:

My favorite part was the “Tuba Tiger Rag” which starts around the 4:50 mark.

3. Fred Astaire on the challenges of parenting
I am a parent. A big part of that job is being an example of how to behave for my children.

“The hardest job kids face today is learning good manners without seeing any.” – Fred Astaire

If I don’t act polite and mannered, how should I expect my children to act that way?

4. Frisbee and a dog
Recently, I was telling my children about my favorite dog from childhood, Patch. He was incredibly friendly and smart and died too young due to an accident with a car.


I tried to find a good picture of him, but I didn’t have any, so I started searching for one. This comes the closest to capturing the friendly Frisbee-chasing blurry essence of Patch. I still miss him, twenty years after his passing.

5. Bibemus Quarry (1898) by Paul Cezanne
I grew up near a rock quarry that had been later filled in with water and stocked with fish.

Cezanne: Bibemus Quarry

This beautiful painting by Cezanne reminds me of it in many ways. It makes me want to go back there and stick a pole in the water.

6. Epicurus on the help of friends
Often, just knowing our friends are there for us is enough. We don’t actually need them a lot of the time.

“We do not so much need the help of our friends as the confidence of their help in need.” – Epicurus

If my close friends were to ever call on me for anything, I’d be there immediately. The thing is, that knowledge is enough most of the time.

7. DailyBurn
I’ve been looking for a website that offers detailed coaching with workout and meal planning for people who want to get in better shape but don’t have easy access to a gym. While there are a lot of free options out there, this one (at $5 a month) blows them out of the water.

This is the best-executed online fitness program I’ve seen yet. I would love to see some sort of ad-supported free version of this.

8. Voltaire on the hand life deals you
There are some factors in life that you just can’t escape. Perhaps you have a handicap. Maybe you’re prone to depression.

“Each player must accept the cards life deals him or her: but once they are in hand, he or she alone must decide how to play the cards in order to win the game.” – Voltaire

Whatever it is, you can’t let it be a crutch. You have to play the hand life deals you. What you make of your life is up to you.

9. Baby Soda Jazz Band
While I prefer living in rural areas, there is one big reason I wish I lived in a larger city: the live music.

The ability to happen upon something like this going on in a park seems amazing to me.

10. Robert Schuller on fears
Don’t be afraid of failure. You’re going to fail at some things in life. Don’t be afraid to make a leap (of course, there’s nothing wrong with making sure you’ll fall on a cushion, either.)

“If you listen to your fears, you will die never knowing what a great person you might have been.” – Dr. Robert Schuller

Give that thing you’ve been dreaming about a try.

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