Seth Godin’s “The Practice”
There are certain books that we all should have on our Writer’s Bookshelf. Here’s one that I can’t recommend highly enough:
Seth Godin’s The Practice.
I’m a huge fan of Seth’s work and I have been since Tribes in 2008. Every book of Seth’s that I’ve read has advanced my understanding of what it means to be a professional and to be an ethical and moral contributor to my brothers and sisters and to the planet. The Dip, Purple Cow, Linchpin, This is Marketing … all great. I even have Seth’s 20-pound mastodon, What Does it Sound Like When You Change Your Mind? on my coffee table.
The Practice is in many ways the best of all. It’s for you and me. It’s for writers and artists. Most of Seth’s work—his blog, his podcast, his altMBA program, the many series he does on freelancing and entrepreneurship and other topics—casts a wide, ambitious net to include business people, marketers, anyone who aspires to “create a ruckus” (in Seth’s phrase) or make a real change in the world.
The Practice is about creative work exclusively. Seth’s premise (which I agree with 100%) is that doing the work is everything.
Success comes when you do the work.
Satisfaction comes when you do the work.
Fulfilment comes when you do the work.
“Practice” in Seth’s definition does not mean what you do in preparation for the Real Game, as in basketball practice or practicing playing the piano.
“The practice” is the game.
The practice is what you and I do every day when we enter our workspace, close the door, and sit down to pursue our dream.
The practice is lifelong. The practice transcends aspiration for success. The practice endures when everything else fades. The practice is personal. It is ours alone. It is sacred.
Observe any artist you admire—living or dead, male or female, wild-and-crazy or conventional and sane. Every one will have a practice, and if you ask them their secret, they’ll tell you, “I do it every day and nothing gets in the way of that.”
The Practice by Seth Godin. It sits beside my desktop and it should sit beside yours.
P.S. Seth’s blog is the first thing I read every morning. (The second is Ryan Holiday’s The Daily Stoic.)