Sampling of recent inspirations

One of the reasons I read so much is to be inspired by the written word.

  • Inspiration to blog: “Don’t Lose Your Voice” (and I don’t want to)
  • Inspiration to develop: “Radical simplicity” (i.e. the crux of Adam Bosworth’s ICSOC04 talk, which he posted here); key point: “When developers fall in love with the technical mechanics of solving a problem, they risk forgetting the problem itself, and by extension, the people they are ostensibly serving by solving the problem.” (and I don’t want to)
  • Inspiration to design: “You know you’ve achieved perfection in design, not when you have nothing more to add, but when you have nothing more to take away” -Antoine de Saint Exupery
  • Inspiration to engage: “I would much rather do battle with a sworn enemy than with an enemy who finds expediency in posing as a friend.” -Ari Shamron to Gabriel Allon in The Kill Artist
  • Inspiration to perceive: “Where some see stasis, those of us of a certain age tend to see slow-swinging pendulums. Where some perceive exciting ideas as brand new, others perceive in them shades of the past.” -Tom Yager (reminds me of listening to Pat Helland speak)
  • Inspiration to act: “If It’s Urgent, Ignore It

In this last reference, Seth Godin offers several nuggets as follows: (a) “If you focus on the important stuff, the urgent will take care of itself.” (b) “Urgent is not an excuse. In fact, urgent is often an indictment – a sure sign that you’ve been putting off the important stuff until it mushrooms out of control.” (c) “You will succeed in the face of change when you make the difficult [important] decisions first.”

This last quote reminds me of a gift my wife received from a past friend. It was a tall glass container with a cork plug top that contained walnuts-in-the-shell and unpopped popcorn kernels. It’s purpose certainly wasn’t to raise the level of kitchen decor, but rather to make a profound point visually: focus on the big things first and the little things will essentially take care of themselves. You see, you could only fit all the shells and kernels if you dealt with the shells first. If you were to empty the container and then re-fill it first with kernels and then will shells, the cork wouldn’t fit.