Favourite snippets from Seth Godin’s “What Matters Now”

what matters nowI was reading the e-book that Seth Godin posted on his blog called “What Matters Now“. Originally published as a New Year’s post, Seth picked the brains of over 70 leading thinkers, asking each to share one important idea. Here are some excerpts of my favourites.

Elizabeth Gilbert
Take two steps back. Turn off all your electronics and surrender over all your aspirations and do absolutely nothing for a spell. I know, I know – we all need to save the world. But trust me: the world will still need saving tomorrow. In the meantime, you’re going to have a stroke soon (or cause a stroke in somebody else) if you don’t calm the hell down.

Howard Mann
I’m continually amazed by the number of people on Twitter and on blogs, and the growth of people (and brands) on Facebook. But I’m also amazed by how so many of us are spending our time. The echo chamber we’re building is getting larger and louder.
More megaphones don’t equal a better dialogue.
We’ve become slaves to our mobile devices and the glow of our screens…We walk the streets with our heads down staring into 3-inch screens while the world whisks by doing the same. And yet we’re convinced we are more connected to each other than ever before. Multi-tasking has become a badge of honor. I want to know why.

Marti Barletta
Forget about working on your weaknesses —> Focus on supporting your strengths.
The beautiful thing about being on a team is that, believe it or not, lots of people love doing the things you hate. And hate doing the things you love. So quit diligently developing your weaknesses. Instead, partner with someone very UNlike you, share the work and share the wealth and everyone’s happy.

Daniel H. Pink
If we want engagement, and the mediocrity busting results it produces, we have to make sure people have autonomy over the four most important aspects of their work:
Task – What they do
Time – When they do it
Technique – How they do it
Team – Whom they do it with.
After a decade of truly spectacular underachievement, what we need now is less management and more freedom – fewer individual automatons and more autonomous individuals.

Steven Pressfield
We live in the age of distraction, of Twitter and multi-tasking and short attention spans. Even these micro-essays are part of it. Whereas what produces real work (and happiness for each of us, in my opinion) is depth, focus, concentration and commitment over time.
There’s tremendous power in putting your ass where your heart wants to be. Being there is just the first step. You must stay for more than a few minutes or one 140-character post.

Derek Sivers
You grow (and thrive!) by doing what excites you and what scares you everyday, not by trying to find your passion.

Tim Sanders
The secret to unbreakable confidence is a lifestyle of emotional/mental diet and exercise.
1. Feed Your Mind Good Stuff
Stop reading negative information, listening to negative people or watching cable network news. You are loading up with fear. Replace that information with studies about the future or an improved you. You’ll soon emerge as a solution provider instead of a Chicken Little.
2. Exercise Your Gratitude Muscle
Gratefulness is a muscle, not a feeling. You need to work it out daily. Every morning, give thanks to two people that helped you yesterday and one person that will assist you today. This will focus your mind on what you have, and you’ll soon realize you are not alone.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Show, don’t tell. To write fiction and to have faith is to take an imaginative leap.
And because life is always full of doubts and fears, to act is to take that leap.
So leap.

Merlin Mann
I wonder … about folks who check for new email every 5 minutes, follow 5,000 people on Twitter, or try to do anything sane with 500 RSS feeds.
Some graze unlimited bowls of information by choice. Others claim it’s a necessity of remaining employed, landing sales, or “staying in the loop.” Could be. What about you?
How do you know when you’ve had “enough?”
Not everything, all the time, completely, forever. Just enough. Enough to start, finish, or simply maintain.
…consider asking, “How do I know what I need to know — just for now?”
Then savor every bite.

J.C. Hutchins
Most of us settle in, and settle for what we have. Rather than pursue, we accept.
Remember that relentless optimism you once had? The goals you wished to achieve, before settling in? They’re still there. You need a nudge to find them; a little gumption.
It requires courage and faith, both of which you can muster. It requires effort — but this effortless life isn’t as satisfying as it seems, is it?
Declare war on passivity. Hush the inner voice that insists you’re over the hill, past your prime, unworthy of attaining those dreams. Disbelief is now the enemy, as is the notion of settling. Get hungry — hyena hungry. Get fired up. Find your backbone, and your wings.
Flap ‘em. It’s the only way you’ll be able to fly.

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