A Hero of Mine
I don’t have many heroes, but one of them is Seth Godin. Do you know him? I’d try to pin Seth down in one phrase but the range of his work is so vast—from one of his early companies, Yoyodyne, through his ground-breaking books Tribes and Purple Cow and Linchpin (not to mention his educational masterpiece, the altMBA Program) and his current collective anti-climate-change enterprise, The Carbon Almanac––that the best I can say to describe him is “VISIONARY.”
I follow everything Seth does, from his daily blog posts to every book and video and project he comes up with.
But this post is to give a shout-out to Seth’s newest book, out just last week, The Song of Significance. Two of the Evil Monsters that Seth regularly jousts with are Education—the factory-prep way we teach our kids—and Conventional Work—the jobs that our race-to-the-bottom economic culture holds out to us as ways of making a living. Ugh!
The Song of Significance is aimed at an audience caught in one or both of these hellholes, but it’s equally applicable (maybe more so) to those of us who are either independent operators or are striving to be independent artists/writers/filmmakers, etc.
I think of Seth sometimes as a Periclean Athenian. What I mean by that is that his ideal man or woman (and he walks this walk himself) embodies that Classical-citizen self-autonomy that I at least associate with the original democratic Golden Age. Seth’s ideal is the self-contained individual, who knows her own mind, who holds herself to a high moral standard, whose work is aimed at service to the greater community and to the planet, and who follows the calling she was born to be and to become without the need for societal approval or third-party validation. That’s a mouthful, I know. It’s what Seth means in this new book by Significance.
Can we, Seth asks, find in our lives, work, and family not just meaning … but our meaning? And how can we live it out within cultural and economic environments that are indifferent to such an aspiration, if not outright hostile?
The Song of Significance by Seth Godin. Five stars. Check it out!
On another, semi-related note, the thirteen short videos I did for Instagram about “The Foolscap Method”, i.e. how I start a book or movie … are now available on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL_6twVl5XOXvZiV4JEPiwr1GeslgHj4NQ.
They’re free, they’re all in one place. You can start at Episode 1 and scroll straight through to Episode 13. I will almost certainly at some point put these ideas together into a book, but for now you can get a pretty full picture at the link above.