by Seth Godin
Seth Godin is to creative professionals what Moses what to Jewish people under ancient Egyptian rule.
He guides people out of their restrictive beliefs, and catapults their minds into the world of possibility. How terrifying to the whip holders!
This book is about the "Linchpins" of industry who don't labor, don't manage, but create shortcuts, solve problems and innovate the world around us.
Seth challenges us to think about this:
What do schools do?
- Do they teach us to adapt under any cerebral circumstance?
- Do they mold us into world-conquering thought leaders?
- Or, do they make us memorize names, dates and ideas?
If you selected the last answer, you have been molded properly!
Yes, academia must have a function, but that function is working for the system, and not your inner "genius" as Seth calls it. After all, who pays for public school: you, or the government?
Seth believes all of us have an inner "lizard brain" as well. This lizard brain works to keep us safe by making us fearful, angry, hungry, scared and horny.
This makes a lot of sense to me.
Have you ever had a lot of work to do, and it made you hungry or horny? You just had to have sex or eat before you continued? Of course you have.
This is because the lizard brain doesn't want you to thrive, It wants you to rest on the coach with a hoagie, a remote control, and spend infinite amounts of time on Facebook.
It makes sense.
The path to mediocrity is lined with comfort and sugar. The road to success is paved with pain and black coffee.
While Mark Zuckerberg could have taken a safe degree from Harvard, he chose the unknown instead, and converted his inner genius into the cheapest streamlined communications network known to man.
This book does an excellent job explaining how we get sidetracked, and how to combat it.
But Seth doesn't want you to quit your job and start your own company, he wants you to realize you can if you wanted to, and you'd be great at it.
In the end, Seth claims that the founder of Yahoo, Sir Richard Branson, spends most of his day doing what anyone else can; however, it's those few minutes he spends making key decisions that no one else in the world can replicate.
The other 2 points I found extremely helpful from this book are:
- Modern white collar professionals are the factory workers of today (makes sense, right?)
- Relentlessly checking metrics during the day (website volume, Facebook likes, re-tweets, etc.) is one of the biggest time vampires known to man.
Pick this one up if you don't see yourself as simply a laborer, or a manager.
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