Lest I forget

Zoom calls, feedback, inspirational quotes. Also, 7 other things worth your time.

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(If you’ve already replied, you’re covered; I’ll send out a calendar invitation with Zoom link details and all that to everyone at once, sometime tonight or tomorrow.)

Third: If you gave me feedback last week, either you’ve already heard from me, or you will over the next day or two. I had about 400 replies, so it took a minute to read them all. I’ll have an update on “the way forward” next week. I think it will be pretty great. (Actually, if you haven’t replied, no reason why you can’t still. Here’s another link.)

And, now, lest I forget, the main event…

For five years now, going on six, I’ve put together an annual list of 365 inspirational quotes to run on Inc.com around New Year’s Day: one quote for every day of the year (366 for leap years, naturally).

Here are the links to the 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, and 2016 editions.

I’m working on the 2021 list right now. In fact, I’m going one more step this year, and compiling a free inspirational quotes e-book.

Now, a quick story that some of you may have heard, and then a small ask.

The story is this. As you can imagine, it’s a bit of a bear pulling this compendium together year after year.

More than once, I’ve wondered: What’s the point, really? Do people truly find inspiration in lists of quotes like these?

Also, more than once, I’ve found myself sitting at my in-laws’ house during the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day, scrounging a few more quotes, making sure I don’t repeat any, and struggling to get the formatting right…

Last year, I almost said to heck with it, but I drove on—mostly, I suppose, because I’m stubborn and it’s a streak. The list went live on New Year’s Day.

Then, hours later, January 1, 2020, I got this message from a reader who said they had been contemplating taking their own life.

“Then, by chance, I opened your article of quotes for 2020.

I read them all. Every one of them.

Thank you."

I was stunned. I wound up corresponding with this person a bit, asking them to call the suicide prevention hotline.

Without divulging any confidences, I think they’re OK (and they later encouraged me to share this story).

But, I mean: Talk about motivation to keep going with the quotes, right? If the list helped even a tiny bit, I guess it goes to show you never really know the effects you have on other people.

Now, of course I have to continue for another year. This is where you might come in. Maybe some of you have favorite inspirational or motivational quotes?

I’m especially looking for newer ones — things you won’t necessarily find in a typical “quote anthology” from the last year or two.

I’ll share a couple of my favorites below, just to get everyone in the mood, but if you have one to share, there are three options as always:

1. reply to this email, or

2. add them in the comments (if they’re working, that is; my one big complaint about this platform), or

3. go to this form (I guess this is my day to include a bunch of Google forms).

Leave a comment

If you submit a quote, and I use it, I’ll try to thank everyone in the e-book, assuming you want credit.

OK, a few of my favorites. What does it say about me that all of these are from people who were way before my time?

  • “The crisis of today is the joke of tomorrow.” — H.G. Wells

  • ““Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get.” — Dale Carnegie (also attributed to Ingrid Bergman, I might have to investigate)

  • “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.” — Helen Keller

And, I’ll add this one that’s been on my my mind recently after the death of Tony Hsieh and some of the coverage since then. It’s funny, I wouldn’t have called this quote inspirational once—but now I think it is.

7 other things worth your time

  • The FDA could give final approval to authorize emergency mass distribution of Pfizer’s Covid vaccine as early as today, after another panel approved it yesterday. Initial doses for front-line health care workers and high-risk patients could therefore start in the U.S. as soon as next week. (Fox Business)

  • The owner of a pool and spa business in Florida said it was a good year for his company, but that earlier in life, he knew what it’s like to be poor enough to have your electricity shut off for non-payment. So, he decided to “share what I have with the people who need it,” by paying off the past-due utility bills of 114 families. “That really impacted me,” he said, “that people can't even afford to pay a $100 bill.” (CNN)

  • In 2019, big companies saw the most volatility in terms of CEO turnover in years. But this year, even with the Covid crisis, has turned out to be one of the most stable years in terms of corporate leadership going back to the financial crisis, with very low turnover. (CNBC)

  • Harrison Ford, 78, will play Indiana Jones in one last movie. Fun fact, Sean Connery was 59 when he played Indiana Jones’s father in 1989, and part of the joke was that he was supposedly so old. (NY Post)

  • Kudos to reporter Lisette Voytko, who realized that since Elon Musk is moving to Texas, and Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos already live in Washington State, this means that the three wealthiest Americans are all poised to pay zero state income tax going forward. There’s a paywall on this story, but frankly I think I’m going to write about her observation for Inc.com, so I’ll provide that link next week. (Forbes)

  • Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were named Time’s Person of the Year. But “person” is singular, right? Still, that’s how they phrased it. Remember, it was only 21 years ago that Time was still calling this “Man of the Year,” which seems awfully anachronistic now. (Time)

  • This is interesting. Researchers say they’ve observed Asian honey bees coating their hives with animal dung to defend against murder hornets. Yes, this is kind of gross, but the researchers say it’s a surprising example of insects figuring out how to use tools to achieve an objective. (National Geographic)

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