30 Days Of Genius Blog: Seth Godin
There is something about listening to Seth Godin that makes you feel like you can do anything. All of his interviews are filled with such vast amounts of wisdom, it is hard to contain it to a single interview.
Once again, the focus of the 30 Days Of Genius Blog is to extract the information that can help you get to where you want to go. I use the interviews with the amazing Chase Jarvis to answer questions that can help you as an individual, a person searching for answers.
I hope you enjoy.
How Do I Deal With Fear?
Believe it or not, we all walk around with a genius inside of us. I think you know that. At least you know it about yourself. You know there is something big inside of you, something special, but it won’t come out.
Because you won’t let it out.
And why would I do that?
Because you are scared.
In your mind, it would be better to keep that genius a secret, keep what makes you special and unique to yourself, than risk failing. Because you will fail. I guarantee it. Why? Because that is life. That is what happens when you put yourself out there, when you try something new, something special. You fail.
And that’s where you give up.
You don’t think about all the times you are going to get back on your feet, try again, and keep pushing until you build something special, create something memorable.
You are letting fear stop you when you should be using it as a compass to guide you.
If you are being honest, you know you hover near the middle, right in the eye of the tornado where it is safe, where it is secure. Why would you do something people may react negatively to? That is scary. So you put out the safe content, take the safe pictures, and work the safe job. Tapping in to your genius isn’t even an option for you. That would mean allowing yourself to be uncomfortable, or worse, failing, facing ridicule, and answering questions.
No thank you.
Some of you try to fool yourselves in to thinking you are not hiding. You search for writing hacks, creativity hacks, who uses which pencil, what writer uses the same moleskin, has the same keyboard. Who cares about any of that? That’s their outlet. That’s their process. Why do you want it to be yours? Because that keeps you from having to figure out your own. Figuring myself out? My own recipe for success? No thank you. You don’t even ask yourself the questions: Does their moleskin even work for you? Do you even like that pencil? Or does it make you feel like you are doing something to have a particular item, or a strategy, or a process that you read about? Does that bring you closer to putting yourself out there? Probably not.
But you are tricking yourself in to thinking you are doing something.
Be honest with yourself.
Once you figure out that you have a genius inside of you. Once you figure out that you need to find your own process, your own strategies, your own favorite pencil or keyboard, you will need to understand the power of now.
It has never been easier to follow your heart than right now.
You want to be a writer? You are. Now write something and self-publish it, or blog it. Congratulations, you’re a writer. Do you know how hard it was to be a writer when Hemingway was starting out? You don’t even have an excuse for not being a writer today if that’s what you truly want to be.
You want to be a musician? Great. You are a musician. Record your songs and put them online, sell your MP3s, maybe press a record, go for the nostalgia crowd. You can do anything you want. Why? Because now is the moment in history where you can be anything you want, as long as you work past the fear.
If you can see yourself the way you really are. If you can see the world how it really is, not how you want it to be, it is exponentially easier to tap in to your genius.
The truth is you don’t need to be picked anymore. You just need to pick yourself.
How Can I Be More Effective?
The best way to answer this question is with another question: What is it for?
Once you answer that, you can piece through any and everything you are doing.
Does the work you are doing match the goal you are trying to reach?
Here is a tough one, would you hire yourself? Seriously. Would you? Or would you hire someone else because they are better than you? Would the people around you say all the good things about you that you are saying about yourself?
Tough questions, but vital to your effectiveness.
Align yourself. Align your thoughts. Align your work.
Focus on what helps you reach the goal, stop doing the stuff that does not.
You need to be honest with yourself. No more hiding.
What is the change you are trying to make? Are you reaching the people you are trying to impact? What are they saying about you? What do you want them to say about you? How do you want them to react?
What is your narrative? Would they notice you if you were gone? Why or why not?
You have to answer these difficult questions because you have a goal, remember? The best way to be where you want to be in 5 or 10 years is to do something today. Answering these questions is a great place to start, then you get back to work, pushing hard. Nothing worth doing is ever easy.
How Does The World Work?
In relationship to creating or building something, ideas that spread win. Whatever you are “architecting,” you can build sharing in to it. Focus on making a change. A real change, not a new version of something else. Focus on people leaving your project different than they came to it. Can you make that kind of a change happen? If you can, you really have something. If you can’t, there is still time to figure it out.
After all, now is the best time to work on what gets you to tomorrow.
“The secret is there is no secret.”
“Create a life where you bound out of bed in the morning, excited to work.”
Seth Godin Links
Chase Jarvis Links