The law of synchronicity was alive and well this morning as I lay in bed listening to a fascinating conversation on the radio. Krista Tippett interviewed Seth Godin, an internet thought leader, innovator, and author who has recently written a new book, The Icarus Deception: How High Will You Fly?, which I read for hours on a plane a few days ago. Godin characterizes his book as ” A rant, a manifesto, a description of the end of the industrial world we grew up in and most of all, a call to take advantage of the opportunities that lie before us. Go make a ruckus.”
We are taught by our family and culture to avoid making a ruckus, and are deathly afraid of really putting ourselves out there. Godin refers to the resistance of the lizard brain, that primitive instinctual but often limiting part of ourselves:
“The toxic force inside us that holds us back from achieving our calling, by (a) writing a personal vision–a clear statement describing who we are and what we want to accomplish–and (b) by establishing Big Hairy Audacious Goals, clear, important, easy to understand goals that are profoundly motivating, emotionally and intellectually.”
“That’s what every artists wrestles with all day long is that voice in the back of their head that says, uh-oh, you’ve gone too far. Better not show this to anyone.” That is a familiar feeling for me. How much do I dare? How out there can I be?
Godin is committed to helping others become their best selves.
“There’s one view of the world — call it the Walmart view — that says that what people want, what all people want is as much as stuff as possible for as cheap a price as possible. And if you look at the world through that lens — and there are plenty of people who do — you can come up with a strategy to achieve that. And that’s Black Friday sales and that’s self-storage units. And that’s somebody who’s happy to push you to buy something you don’t need. Because the object of the game is for them to have more stuff. And that’s a world based on scarcity. I don’t have enough stuff, how do I get more stuff?
There’s a different view and we see it in so many places, but it doesn’t get a lot of press — which is the view not based on scarcity but based on abundance. That in an abundance economy we, the thing we don’t have enough of is we don’t have enough connection — we’re lonely. And we don’t have enough time. And if people can offer us connection and meaning and a place where we can be our best selves — yes, we will seek that out. No, it probably doesn’t help you build a big profitable public company, but yes, it helps you make a better difference to the community that you’ve chosen to live in.”
My daughter has a new dedicated and helpful math tutor, Taylor Jacobson, a courageous young man who seems to be a living embodiment of Godin’s philosophy. He recently launched an inspiring blog, 21 Switchbacks. I encourage my readers to check it out. I really liked his post The Thin Line Between Failure and Success.
I resonate with the mission of helping others to become their best selves. Psychotherapy, if practiced properly, can be wonderfully subversive, as it potentially gives people a chance to throw off the shackles of familial and societal conditioning, to feel more free to follow their heart, and to have more intimate and meaningful connections to themselves and others. In addition, no one can be their best self if they are eating a diet that is making them ill, or if they don’t know how to move and rest, and live divorced from the cycles of day and night, the seasons, stars and natural world. All of these simple ingredients are a recipe for creating the conditions which make it possible for us to give our unique gift to the world. The world is hungry for our contribution. I am with Godin and Taylor, “Go Make a Ruckus”.
Here is a video of an engaging recent interview with Seth Godin: