The whole and its parts

The whole & its parts

What matters now

Browsing the web I came across a free ebook written by Seth Godin and friends. “What matters now” has been published in December 2009 and it hasn’t lost its relevance.

It’s as Elizabeth Gilbert wrote, “Trust me: The world will still need saving tomorrow“. As much as things may be changing fast, not all of them so dramatically that they would be gone tomorrow.

Seth brought a group of people together in his unique fashion, creating a benefit for all of them as well as for us readers. Reading the book I’ve found a lot of wisdom and insights beautifully transformed into words.

I’ve been thinking lately about the difference between the quest to have influence and the one to act. By framing influence within leadership Michael Hyatt clarified my thinking:

“Leadership is more than influence. It is about reminding people of what it is we are trying to build—and why it matters.”

Steven Pressfield and Hugh MacLeod both point at our ability to draw a line and its importance. While they both link it with artists I see it in a larger context. What I see daily is, that this line is all about committing to what we want to achieve and getting it done instead of dreaming about it.

“The most important thing a creative person can learn professionally is where to draw the red line that separates what you are willing to do, and what you are not” Hugh MacLeod

“The antidote to these scattering influences is tough-mindedness, which I define as the ability to draw lines and boundaries within which we protect and preserve the mental and emotional space to do our work and to be true to our selves.” Steven Pressfield

A lot of the book is linked to the relationships we have with ourselves, others and life. In his contribution “Enrichment”, Rajesh Setty included a simple test for success:

“The Litmus Test: If you are truly enriching someone’s life, they will typically miss you in their past. They think their lives would have been even better if they had met you earlier.”

Seth is right when he writes: “In a digital world, the gift I give you almost always benefits me more than it costs.”. It’s not entirely fair of mine to extract small sentences from the book as it removes them from the context they are in and transforms them somewhat. Maybe it still works as the invitation they are intended to be, to read the book by yourself. The simple fact of extracting some ideas from it gave me more food for thought than simply reading it.

It’s your turn.

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