Picked up the new Seth Godin book yesterday and read it today.  It’s an easy read, especially since I’d already encountered many of the ideas through his blogs and videos he’s published about the book.

“Art is a personal act of courage, something one human does that creates changes another.  Art is a personal gift that changes the recipient.”

Why aren’t you making art, regardless of what it is that you are doing?  Godin argues that we aren’t “shipping” enough (producing enough art) because of “the resistance–our lizard brain.”

What’s a lizard brain, you ask?

“The lizard brain is hungry, scared, angry, and horny.  The lizard brain only wants to eat and be safe. The lizard brain will fight (to the death) if it has to, but would rather run away.  It likes a vendetta and had no trouble getting angry.  The lizard brain cares what everyone else thinks, because status in the tribe is essential to its survival. The lizard brain is the reason you’re afraid, the reason you don’t do all the art you can, the reason you didn’t ship when you can.  The lizard brain is the source of the resistance.”

Kill your lizard brain.  Be a linchpin.

3 thoughts on “Linchpin

  1. I have to admit I don’t “get” Seth Godin’s writing. Oh, I get the gist of what he’s saying (I went to his blog and read several posts) but I don’t agree with much of it. “Art is … something one human does that creates changes [for] another. Art is a personal gift that changes the recipient,” for instance. Think about that. It *may*, if the right person happens to be there to receive it. But if you’re going to make a sweeping statement I’d take the first part that I excluded about personal courage and then say art is a personal gift that changes the artist. As a writer (and painter, too), I don’t create with an audience in mind; I create to express myself.

    Anyway, he makes me think and question, which is always a good thing. Thanks for sharing this.

  2. Some days, Godin’s blog connects with me–some days it doesn’t. But almost every day, it makes me stop and think. In this instance, Godin is calling any work done with passion and mindfulness art–so he’s taking this definition beyond the typical “art” we all think of (writing, drawing) and including things as simple as serving coffee. If you serve coffee with mindfulness and passion, then you are engaging in an art. It’s a way of looking at your work and engaging with it rather than just being a drone and being told what to do.

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