In his new book Linchpin, Seth Godin convinces you to become a linchpin — someone who’s indispensible. How do you do that? By being a freak and a revolutionary.
I’m not even kidding.
Seth doesn’t use those exact words, but this book is about the Freak Revolution. It’s about how we can revolutionize the job culture and thereby the world.
Be a freak (what Seth would call a heretic) because the old way of doing things is broken. The freaks are the only ones who are willing to break the rules and step outside the box.
Be a revolutionary (what Seth would call a leader) because no one is going to tell you what to do. There is no map. It’s up to you to step up and change the world.
Like we’ve been saying. (:
There’s a revolution going on, baby, and things ain’t never gonna be the same. It used to be that you could make a good living being told what to do (control paradigm), but in the new world of work, it’s all about creativity and authentic human interactions (connection paradigm).
It reminds me of all those sci-fi stories about the future economies that arise after all our basic and comfort needs are trivially met by a workforce of robot drones. What do those sci-fi economies value? Art. Delivering unique creativity. The future is closer than you might have thought.
It also reminds me of Atlas Shrugged 2: One Hour Later. (:
Public school teaches you to conform and obey. Seth doesn’t talk explicitly about homeschooling or unschooling, but we’re on the same page when it comes to our opinions of public school.
Gifts build connection. Gifts build tribes. A gift freely given is rooted in connection. A “gift” with expectation of reciprocation is rooted in control.
Mark Silver says that everything is going to be okay.
Seth Godin says that “No, everything is not going to be okay.”
I completely and wholeheartedly agree with both of them.
As with most things, it depends on what you mean by “okay”.
Seth is right that you can’t depend on physical or material safety. Seth is also right that you can’t depend on emotional safety, unless you’re perfectly armored or perfectly enlightened.
But Mark is right that you can depend on spiritual safety. If you know that you are Loved, if you know that your Self is far more than your circumstances, if you know that there is love available even here… then you know, deep in your heart, that everything will be okay, no matter what.
Yes, you might face hardship. Yes, your project might fail. Yes, people might be cruel to you.
Yes, there is love available even here.
Well, I’ll be! Seth Godin is talking about the triple soul! He labels Higher Self daemon, and Fetch lizard brain. He only mentions Talking Self implicitly (as the part of us that strives to bridge the two other parts) but it’s fascinating to see it from a different perspective.
I’m always amazed by Seth’s talent for brevity with impact. He summarizes four entire chapters of The Usual Error in four pages. The usual error, it’s not all about me, the lollipop, and part of rephrasing things positively — the part that talks about how “I can’t” is a cop-out. We can always come up with excuses to limit ourselves and make ourselves feel comfortable and safe, but don’t fool yourself into thinking it’s anything but your own choice.
Real art requires imperfectionism. Delegate wholeheartedly. Always have exactly one mid-boss. Seek out discomfort. No one actually knows what to do. “I’ll do what I love later” never works. Accept that you might step on a snake.
We tell ourselves stories in which we play the part of the hero: the iPhone effect. This particularly amuses me because I thought the iPhone effect was inspired by a post Seth wrote, but it wasn’t. And now he finally writes about it in Linchpin.
Growth can be painful. You may lose friends and loved ones. But you will gain new ones. (This, on page 31, was the first point in the book when I cried. The way Seth talks about this is so kind and compassionate.)
“The result of getting back in touch with our pre-commercial selves will actually create a post-commercial world that feeds us, enriches us, and gives us the stability we’ve been seeking for so long.”
Yes, that quote is from Linchpin. Doesn’t it remind you of something that could have been written by Daniel Quinn in Beyond Civilization?
The control-based job culture sucks your soul.
People are starving for authentic connection.
It all comes down to fear and love.
Be an edgewalker. Break the rules.
Change the world.
Follow your heart.
Shift the paradigm.
Despite the fact that it’s only January, I hereby give Linchpin my Best Book of 2010 Award.
Then live it.