(Want to know what other people thought of the book? Seth shared early reactions on his blog.)
The idea that anxiety is experiencing failure in advance, that the voice in our head is only a narrator, and that focus is important above all else seem self evident and pretty life coach-y now that I’m reading this as I type it, but all three are better encouragement than they seemed at first.
Seth Godin’s latest, What To Do When It’s Your Turn (and it’s always your turn), is his latest from his direct, author-to-reader publishing group the Domino Project. Or at least it has a domino on it, so I assume that connects it in some way.
I picked three passages from the book that stood out to me, then re-read the book and picked out seven more. Then Chris Franklin and I, before the camera rolled, discussed those and picked three that we both agreed on — two of my three early choices made it, which gave me hope we’d have much to discuss.
The first, sankhara-dukkha, is about the suffering your fear causes. You see, human brains don’t know the difference between physical danger (getting eaten) and psychological danger (public speaking), so we often experience physical symptoms whenever we get anxious. In this case, the fear of what could happen paralyzes many of us and Godin has dubbed anxiety as “experiencing fear in advance”
The lesson is simple: nothing that we face on a daily basis is worth the anxiety and/or fear we allow to consume us.
Our second topic blew my mind. Titled “free will and the play-by-play in your head”, Godin explained that our body and/or sub-conscious makes decisions and then the voice in our head narrates what happens. This means that whatever the voice in our head is saying doesn’t matter much because it’s only trying to make sense of something we’ve already decided.
The lesson here? Don’t trust that voice. Listen to it, sure, but don’t let what it says matter in what you’ve already decided to do, just go do it.
Which brings us to our third topic, a play on Nike’s “Just Do It”, titled “Only Do It.’ In this, Godin defines just as meaning do that thing without debate, without distractions, and without bargaining with the fear. Just do that one thing, and worry about how it’s going to turn out later.
My takeaway from this is that I should get off my ass and finish the many projects I’ve longed to, including a novel, a podcast, an updated version of HipCider, and a general lifestyle of creating.
To get that started, I needed a little bit of help. Good thing I already had that with the man below.
Here’s me and my buddy Franklin’s young podcast “The Portland Creative”, where he talks to his friends about what they do for a living.
Seth Godin’s latest, What To Do When It’s Your Turn (and it’s always your turn)