Poke the Box by Seth Godin
"She wasn’t handed initiative, she took it."
The book Poke by Seth Godin is a short and simple read that does what all good books should do it makes you think about your life and where you stand. Are you a cog, or do you make things happen? Seth Godin believe that great skills aren't enough any more, what matters is that you take action.
"The challenge, it turns out, isn’t in perfecting your ability to know when to start and when to stand by. The challenge is getting into the habit of starting. No, the opportunity is bigger than that—it’s to see that all around you are platforms, opportunities, and entire organizations that will come to life once you are driven enough and brave enough to contribute the initiative they are missing. My thesis: All of the other elements are cheaper and easier to find than ever before. Which makes the motive force so critical."
We have built the largest economic engine in history. All the tools are here, cheaper than ever before. The market is waiting, the capital is waiting, the factories are waiting, and yes, even the stores are waiting. They’re waiting for someone to say “go.”
"Ownership doesn’t have to be equity or even control. Ownership comes from understanding and from having the power to make things happen." Too often we wait for others to give us permission, to give us the go to get the better position, to get the better job. Take ownership of your life, of your career.
"I define anxiety as experiencing failure in advance…and if you have anxiety about initiating a project, then of course you will associate risk with failure. These people have made two mistakes. First, they’ve assumed that risk is a bad thing, and second, they’ve confused risk and flux, and come to the conclusion that movement is a bad thing as well."
"Like a rock in a flowing river, you might be standing still, but given the movement around you, collisions are inevitable.The irony for the person who prefers no movement is that there’s far less turbulence around the log floating down that same river. It’s moving, it’s changing, but compared to the river around it, it’s relatively calm." - This quote, this thought, literally made me see my world differently.
"Steven Pressfield gives the voice of the lizard brain a name: he calls it the resistance. And the resistance is talking to you as you read this, urging you to compromise, to not be an troublemaker, to avoid rash moves. For many of us, the resistance is always chattering away, frequently sabotaging our best opportunities and ruining our best chance to do great work. Naming it helps you befriend it, and befriending it helps you ignore it."
"Zig Ziglar taught me this twenty years ago. Make your schedule before you start. Don’t allow setbacks or blocks or anxiety to push you to say, “hey, maybe I should check my e-mail for a while, or you know, I could use a nap.” If you do that, the lizard brain will soon be trained to use that escape hatch again and again."
"The difference is that the creative person is satisfied once he sees how it’s done. The initiator won’t rest until he does it."
"Reject the tyranny of picked. Pick yourself." - be your own team, make your own choices, define your own life.
"Now, think about the newer organizations, the ones that are growing and making an impact. Think about Apple, Google, director James Cameron’s team, Ideo, Pixar, and Electronic Arts. These are project-centric organizations. Each one of these organizations consists of groups of committed people who ship projects. No projects, no organization. Coasting isn’t an option because projects don’t last forever. The people stick around, the posture persists, but the projects need to be refreshed. After a project is shipped, there’s no useful work until someone starts a new project. As organizations have begun to coalesce around projects, they’ve made a startling discovery: the starting part is harder than it looks."
"Excellence isn’t about working extra hard to do what you’re told. It’s about taking the initiative to do work you decide is worth doing. Please stop waiting for a map. We reward those who draw maps, not those who follow them."
"The alternative is to relentlessly and consistently be starting something (and finishing it). Poking doesn’t mean right. It means action." - there is no done, there is no you, there is just next.
"Starting means you’re going to finish. If it doesn’t ship, you’ve failed." - always remember until it ships, until it happens, until you do, it is nothing but an idea, and ideas are cheap. Execution matters.
"The challenge is to focus on the work, not on the fear that comes from doing the work. But if you succeed often enough to be given the privilege of failing next time, then you’re on the road to a series of failures. Fail, succeed, fail, fail, fail, succeed—you get the idea. Starting isn’t like that. Starting something is not an event; it’s a series of events"
"There will be other jobs, better jobs, bosses more willing to create growth. The only way you will find those jobs and those bosses, though, is to have a personal standard that demands failure, not one that guarantees success. Intellectual integrity goes beyond being clever—it requires that you put your ideas into the world." - it is amazing how hard we try to stay in one place, amazing and sad. Break free, understand new is good.
"If you can’t fail, it doesn’t count."
"There are other organisms with other reproductive strategies. Take the dandelion: a single dandelion may produce 2,000 seeds per year, indiscriminately firing them off into the sky at the slightest breeze, without any care for where the seeds are heading and whether they’ll get an hospitable reception when they touch down. And indeed, most of those thousands of seeds will likely fall on hard, unyielding pavement, there to lie fallow and unconsummated, a failure in the genetic race to survive and copy. But the disposition of each—or even most—of the seeds [isn’t] the important thing, from a dandelion’s point of view. The important thing is that every spring, every crack in every pavement is filled with dandelions."
Be everywhere, learn the new, understand that the scary part isn't the unknown, it is being the same next year as your are today.
“We all are learning, modifying, or destroying ideas all the time. Rapid destruction of your ideas when the time is right is one of the most valuable qualities you can acquire. You must force yourself to consider arguments on the other side.
— Charles T. Munger”
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