Inspiration

March 3rd, 2011

Over the last couple of weeks the following quotes have really resonated with me. I thought I would share them with you in the hope they will inspire you as they have me.

 

Be so good they cannot ignore you.”

- Steve Martin

[Context] I had an experience over the last fortnight where I felt that I had nailed a performance in a competition and (in my books at least) was far ahead of the competition. I didn’t win. It really brought home for me the importance of this statement. In anything subjective, being merely good is not sufficient to overcome any bias that may WILL come into play.  What became clear to me was the truth in Steve Martin’s statement – and it is something I have decided to adopt as a life philosophy.

 

“Where your invest your love, you invest your life.”

- Mumford and Sons

[Context] This line from a Mumford and Sons song resonated with me because at times I get caught up in work, and in projects I am developing, and loose sight of relationships. It reminded me to be careful where I invest my love – work, or people. This isn’t to say investing it in work, or a purpose is bad – its just about making sure you get that balance correct.

 

“Are you goin to tell me the skies the limit, when there is footprints on the moon. I don’t need a TV show to dance with stars, not me I’m good.

- Where Do We Go From Here (Chris Brown ft Pitbull)

[Context] My mother always used to say to me when I was young that I should shoot for the stars, because if I missed, I might still reach the moon. The idea was that I should think big, because even it if failed, I would end up in an amazing place. This line from a Pitbull’s verse in this song resonated with me in the sense that it encourages you to think big, and don’t listen to the limitations others might place on you.

 

“Many persons have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.”

- Helen Keller

[Context] I recently delivered a speech on super heroes. The commonality amongst all super heroes is that they have fidelity to a worthy purpose. This quote reminded me that in some way, every one who is committed to a worthy purpose is a hero.

 

Tom: These Playmobil toys of yours do amazingly well. What is your secret? What do they do that is so interesting?

Playmobil CEO: It’s not what the toy does that’s interesting. It’s what the child does with the toy that is interesting.

[Context] This interchange resonated with me because of the simple, yet very apparent difference in mindset between the two people. I think this highlights the importance of not just focusing on the features of a product or service, but really understanding how people use it and benefit from it. This connected with me because I have been reading a lot lately over the last year on Customer Development (Steve Blank), and Lean Start Up (Eric Reis) which have a strong focus on ‘getting out of the building’ and talking to the people who use/potentially would use your product/service to see whether what they do with your product/service is interesting.

 

 

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