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. James Baldwin on reading
“You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the world, but then you read.” – James Baldwin
To me, books make the world much smaller, not bigger. Without them, I would have a very difficult time understanding the plight of someone down the street, let alone someone halfway across the world.
2. Ken Jennings on the usefulness of human knowledge
What good is knowledge in the era of Wikipedia and other online sources that can help us find any fact almost immediately? It’s the human mind’s ability to reprocess it.
3. Howard Zinn on the future
“I wonder how the foreign policies of the United States would look if we wiped out the national boundaries of the world, at least in our minds, and thought of all children everywhere as our own.” – Howard Zinn
I also wonder what the world would be like if people realized that giving children the best education possible would have at least as big of an impact on their retirement as Social Security does.
The children that are starting school today are going to be running the world when we retire and the quality of their education is going to determine how they run it.
Social Security is without value in a malfunctioning world.
4. Welcome home
Sometimes there is nothing greater than simply returning home.
5. Cicero on a content life
“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.” – Cicero
This sounds like a pretty wonderful life to me.
6. Vincent van Gogh on spring
“It is sometimes so bitterly cold in the winter that one says, ‘The cold is too awful for me to care whether summer is coming or not; the harm outdoes the good.’ But with or without our approval, the severe weather does come to an end eventually and one fine morning the wind changes and there is the thaw. When I compare the state of the weather to our state of mind and our circumstances, subject to change and fluctuation like the weather, then I still have some hope that things may get better.” – Vincent van Gogh
The seasons change and so do we.
7. Your Victory Garden counts more than ever!
The idea of a “victory garden” is still inspiring to me. A garden still eases your need for outside sources for food, which increases your independence and decreases the strain on the food delivery network. That’s a victory.
8. Upton Sinclair on motivation
“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!” – Upton Sinclair
An awful lot of people’s livelihoods rely on someone else not knowing something.
9. Haydn’s String Quartet No.3 in C major, Op.76 ‘Emperor’
Two violins, a cello, and a viola create amazing music together.
10. Roger Ebert on our abilities
“I believe that if, at the end, according to our abilities, we have done something to make others a little happier, and something to make ourselves a little happier, that is about the best we can do.” – Roger Ebert
In the early to mid-1990s, Roger Ebert (along with Gene Siskel) introduced me to at least a dozen amazing films that I would have never otherwise watched. I’d see something really interesting on their television show, hunt it down in the recesses of the local video rental stores (or request it), and spend two or three hours deeply engaged in something amazing.
Thank you, guys, for changing a rural teenager’s life.