Seth Godin needs no introduction. A world class marketer, a best-selling author of a dozen books, an unmatched voice of influence, not to mention a sincerely genuine person on every interview and interaction. He is too good to be real and yet so real, it’s hard to believe.
“Art, at least art as I define it, is the intentional act of using your humanity to create a change in another person.”
I love how he prepares you for his book though.
How does he know this in advance anyway?
He warns that you will feel like putting the book down but don’t. Just push through the resistance and read anyway. He was talking directly to me. I did put the book down. I even came close to shipping it off to a friend. Something about the beginning of the book bothered me. Maybe it was my stupid lizard brain, fully in action even before I knew its name.
“We need to stand up and be remarkable. Be human. Contribute. Interact. Take the risk that you might get someone upset…. you’ll probably delight them instead.”
No matter, I came back to it. I read it. I finished it. I devoured it. I loved it. And now I am going to tell you about it, although it’s likely I am the only person to have not read Linchpin sooner, and you may very well be telling me about it.
“You become a winner because you’re good at losing. The hard part about losing is that you might permit it to give strength to the resistance, that you might believe that you don’t deserve to win, that you might, in some dark corner of your soul, give up.
Because I did not know – admitting with a blush! – here is a formal definition:
Reading is the best pastime for the mind! See more book reviews In Print.
As per Merriam-Webster:
Linchpin: one that serves to hold together parts or elements that exist or function as a unit …
“And while many copies are sold and many classes attended, the failure rate is astonishingly high. It’s not because the books and classes aren’t good. It’s because the resistance is stronger.”
It was a book wildly different from Gary’s “Thank You Economy” but passionate and loud and clear, just like Gary. Except in Seth’s style, which is loud in an understated quiet way. Seth doesn’t scream in your face – while I do love the way Gary does – but after you read him, he follows you stealthily everywhere you go, much like a shadow and try as you might, you cannot get the concepts of the linchpin or the lizard brain out of your head.
“You have to choose your art. It is not preordained; there isn’t only one art for you.”
You examine your every move; you look at your decisions with fresh new perspective, and you wonder why no one else told you to do “emotional work” and called you an artist all these years when you were trying to give your art to the world. And why you let the “lizard brain” have so much power over your plans and prospects.
“The quiet confidence it takes to withstand the urge to flee builds confidence in those around you.”
The lizard brain, you ask? Let me explain. It is the lazy, disgusting, shameless, despicable part of you that creates a wall of resistance when you are about to do something remarkable. It is the path to least resistance. It is the give-it-to-me-now-or-else-I-quit mentality. It is the quitter before the game has even begun. It is the excuses, the lapses, the gaps in your productivity and the killer of your ideas. It is the fear, the security-and-comfort-loving, risk-averse, mediocrity-praising part of your brain.
It is what stops you from creating your art and your genius.
“When you haven’t set up a judge and jury for your work, you get to do art that doesn’t alert the resistance. And then you can leverage that art into the next thing.”
The daemon and the resistance at work. You Are a Genius. The lizard brain. Giving and receiving. Could have, should have, would have: Didn’t! Doing something remarkable. Having the guts to do it in the first place. And most of all, being indispensable. And becoming the linchpin.
“Artists are indispensable linchpins.”
What now? What will I do differently now because in the end, that is what matters! If you read Linchpin, what did you do differently after closing the last page on the book? What you become and how you manifest your knowledge onto your life is what counts,
Reading matters. Execution matters more.
“Some people, though, have an itch for a different future, one with radically different rules.”
To permanently shut off the lizard brain may take a long time but recognizing the things that stand in the way of our dreams is the first step toward greatness.
So what does it take to be the linchpin, to become truly indispensable? Is it to write endlessly, to create daily, to be original and authentic and to do it day in and day out tirelessly? Is it to dig deep and find one single genius idea and spend the rest of your days on bringing it to life? Or is it going through one bad idea after another until a good one emerges?
“Choose to change your perspective. … The power of choice is just that. Power.”
I have come to know my lizard brain and I have seen evidence of my linchpin within. What about you?
“The linchpin is able to invent a future, fall in love with it, live in it and then abandon it on a moment’s notice.”
PS: Thank you, Seth!
PPS: All the quotes in red are taken from Linchpin.
PPPS: You are the linchpin, you know? 🙂