I just finished Seth Godin’s latest book The Practice, and it’s excellent. If you’ve not read it yet you should absolutely pick it up.
His main push in the book (and in his other work lately) is encouragement to get out there and do your craft, but do it for yourself. The act of doing what you love is the main thing, and working on your practice is the purpose, similar to my goals for consistently writing this blog.
Some lessons from the book have shown up in recent posts of mine, like Goals Are A Commitment To The Process, and others will show up in future posts. Between those, here are four other themes from the book with quotes from Seth and others:
“It is better to follow your own path, however imperfectly, than to follow someone else’s perfectly”The Bhagavad-Gita
If we failed, would it be worth the journey?
Seth has talked a good bit about juggling over the years, and how the key to successful juggling is perfecting the throw, not the catch.
Our work is about throwing. The catching can take care of itself.
This one isn’t really about catching, but about the work being it’s own reward.
Like playing catch with your four-year-old in the backyard. You’re not playing to win, you’re simply playing catch.
For someone, not everyone
For years, anything on TV had to be created “for everyone” because there were only a few channels. With the rise of cable and the vastly larger number of channels, you could create shows for a specific audience:
TV became better thanks to HBO and shows like The Sopranos that could be created for “someone” instead of “everyone”.
It’s hard to be specific about your audience, because it puts you on the hook. If your specific audience doesn’t like your work, you’re sunk, so it’s easier to design for the generic “they”.
As I recently posted, praise and criticism are both vapor. You shouldn’t seek to offend, but your focus should be on internal growth.
If our focus is on external validation, then the journey will always be fraught.
Chop Wood and Carry Water
This quote came from the middle of the book, but sums up the entire thing perfectly. Keep chopping.
This is the practice. Simply to chop the wood and carry the water. Again and again.
For more, go grab the book and devour it.