Are you Indispensable?

December 19, 2010

The intriguing question in the title of this post is a central question of the recent book by Seth Godin, called Linchpin that I had the pleasure to read in the last few days. The intentions of this remerkable piece of writing are best expressed by Seth’s words found in the last chapter…

“I didn’t set out to get you to quit your job or to persuade you to become an entrepreneur or merely to change the entire world.

All I wanted to do in this book was to sell you on being the artist you already are. To make a difference. To stand for something. To get the respect and security you deserve.

If I’ve succeeded, then you know that you have a gift to give, something you can do to change the world (or your part of it) for the better. I hope you’ll do that, because we need you.”

I find reading this book trully an inspiring endeavour, a must read for anyone aspiring to make a difference in the world or ‘just’ to live a meaningful life and follow one own’s calling. In a layered flow that builts well on itself, Seth explores the limits of where the evolution of our economy and world of work brought us to date and paints a clear picture of what it will take on an individual level to create what’s next – a more inspired and fullfilled future for anyone willing to do the inner work that is required.

Seth outlines very well the challenges of the current model, the reasons for finding ourselves where we are as well as the inner factors that prevent us from going further and changing what does not serve us anymore. It is inspiring to imagine what is possible if more and more people follow the path that this book clearly outlines, which at the same time is a path that is waiting to be made by YOU.

In the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead, where there is no path and leave a trail.”

The writing is clear, energetic, inspirational and poetic. I found that reading the book evoked many ideas in my mind, brought my awareness to areas where I can improve as well as inspired me to take tangible actions to move things forward.

And this happens everytime I get in touch with Seth’s writing.

Seth is trully a remarkable author with a consistent voice who presents things in a simple yet not simplistic ways and does not allow your inspired self to hide at any point. The metaphores are powerful, intentional and crystal clear.

Such a pleasure to read. He is not a guide with words only, he trully stands behind what he writes and speaks from years of experience. I’ve had a pleasure to meet Seth in person this year and was very inspired by the combination of clarity, challenge, humility and humanity.

If you’re looking for an interesting present for yourself or someone who matters to you, I think this book is a worthy candidate. You can find my twitter notes here.

So… Are you Indispensable?

PS Seth’s blog is one of the few I regurarly make time to read and I am never dissapointed. Find for yourself at www.sethgodin.com

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What does it take to move things forward?

March 3, 2010

I have just seen a fascinating movie in the cinema a documentary called Mugabe and the White African. Please see trailer bellow…

The documentary is based on a true story, that has been happening for past few years and in fact still is happening as you read these lines. Mike Campbell is a white farmer living on a farm in Zimbabwe and the movie outlines his non-violent fight against the current regime in the country that is basically ‘throwing’ out all the white farmers based on the color of their skin. A challenging story to watch outlines the conditions in which people live, the fear, violence, rule of the privileged few, poverty, international law suit and the choices of the Zimbabwean government. Mike and his friends nearly loose their lives as they struggle to address the siutation in the ‘legal’ way by appealing to the law. The movie finishes with a ‘victory’ that turns sour as the court rule is not accepted by the country in question.

For me it is a fascinating story of human courage, the power to take a stand and do whatever needs to be done to make things better. Yet it again showes the striking diversity of our world today… I know we talk a lot about ‘gaps’ and ‘diversity’, but these somehow don’t make it fully through before one sees the stories of real people. People who live in the same time, inhabit the same world and share the same planet. Yet, the reality they face is so vastly different from mine that one feels like on a constantly shifting sand of what is ‘normal’, expected and regular. And there are many more stories to be told in the world, there is lots to work on.

So how do we produce sustainable positive development when the fundamental premises on which we would like to ‘help’ are so different from what we know? How many of our ‘concepts’ and ‘solutions’ can we realistically expect to work in so different conditions? Is it enough to give compassion and financial resources while what is need is also security, infrastructure and functioning government/education and healthcare? What qualifies as an adequate and sustainable intervention that acknowledges all the vast differences and does exactly what is needed rather than what we ‘assume’ is needed?

Clear goal but no easy answers… Lots of things to improve everywhere we go. The movie gave me some answers – passionate and committed people who fight for what they see possible, yet do so in a way that does not simply reproduce what created the challenge in the first place. And who knows, maybe all these individual actions of courage, bravery and hope will sooner or later come together, add up and produce a sustainable change towards the world we seek…

What do you think? What are you ‘fighting for’ right now?