I’m absolutely enthralled by Seth Godin’s new book, The Icarus Deception: how high will you fly? It feels like he’s speaking right to me, addressing my concerns, challenges, fears and aspirations. As I read this book (and underlined it with my multi-colored pencil which makes reading even more fun) I kept reflecting on passages and thinking, “what a great quote.” Upon finishing I realized it might be one of the most quotable books I’ve ever read.
I could sit here and rant on and on about the meaning and implications of this book. Or I could let Seth speak for himself. I’m inclined to do the later and share with you my top 31 quotes from The Icarus Deception…ok with a little of my own provocations too 😉
1. “Revolutions…destroy the perfect, disrupt the status quo and change everything” – Seth Godin, The industrial revolution was but a moment in time. That moment has now passed. Does this sound like an opportunity to celebrate or the end of an era to mourn and grieve?
2. “Courage is the willingness to speak the truth about what you see and to own what you say.” – Seth Godin, Been there done that…..wow, intense. You’re saying I need to do more of this!! Ok, best to put away the turtle shell, no more hiding from the world.
3. “We’ve been trained to prefer being right to learning something, to prefer passing the test to making a difference, and most of all to prefer fitting in with the right people…” – Seth Godin, Damn such insidious habits and destructive obsessions! Must change these dastardly habits…What’s your preference?
4. “We have embraced the industrial propaganda with such enthusiasm that we have changed the very nature of our dreams.” – Seth Godin, Really think about it……today’s dreams, aren’t the same dreams as our ancestors. Is your dream being fueled by all the propaganda?
5. “Just because you’re winning a game doesn’t mean it’s a good game.” – Seth Godin, Are you being driven by a competitive drive to win without regard for the game you’re playing?
6. “The search for the right answer is the enemy of art.” – Seth Godin, There is not right answer in art, there is no right answer in art, there is no right answer in art…ignore what my 9th grade English teacher said…there is no right answer in art.
7. “It’s difficult to overcome a lifetime of education (and brainwashing). New habits will have to be created, and new expectations to go with them.” – Seth Godin, Take stock, create space, and start etching away at your daily routines. New habits take time, continuous effort and self-awareness.
8. “The more valuable someone’s attention is the harder it is to earn.” – Seth Godin, How valuable is the attention of the person you want to connect with? What can you do to better earn it?
9. “Our cultural instinct is to wait to get picked…No one is going to pick you. Pick yourself.” – Seth Godin, Remembering gym class in elementary school…and middle school…and high school…and softball last summer – always the last to get picked…..Wanting to be picked and not getting picked gets old after a while, trust me. Are you still waiting?
10. “We have no good way to measure a connection or even talk about it.” – Seth Godin, We can’t easily quantify the things that are most valuable so lets change our measures of success!
11. “An artists is someone who does something for the first time, something human, something that touches another.” – Seth Godin, What have you done for the first time, how have you touched another?
12. “Correct is fine but it is better to be interesting” – Seth Godin, Seriously, stop trying to be right, just be real!
13. “The emotional labor that needs to be done offers no shortcuts” – Seth Godin, There ain’t no silver bullet, and there’s no simple button so get used to sticking it out and persevering.
14. “There’s a huge difference between the shallow pleasure of instant applause and the long-lasting impact of true connection.” – Seth Godin, Tuche! Is your effort genuinely motivated or driven by egotistical pursuits? The instant applause is what we’ve been taught to want – another habit in need of changing…
15. “The industrialist offer us a trade. We can trade in our loneliness for the embrace of the mob and trade our innate fears for a steady paycheck…it’s hardly a fair trade.” – Seth Godin, How have you been duped and what are you going to do about it?
16. “Worldviews run deep, and they change the way we interpret events in the world, [and] the people in it.” – Seth Godin, How are your world views influencing your actions?
17. “When your art fails, make better art.” – Seth Godin, Another way of saying – when you fall of the horse, get back on it. There’s giving up or there’s going on!
18. “The question isn’t whether you are capable of godlike work. (you are.) The question is: Are you willing?” – Seth Godin, Yes! You?
18. “Giving up your attachment to what might happen…is an essential part of commitment.” – Seth Godin, Say goodbye to your inner control freak! Another habit in need of changing…
20. “Love is a commitment to a person, not to that person’s behavior.” – Seth Godin, Oh, beautifully said. Is your love (for yourself and others) conditional?
21. “When times change, the resilience and speed and adaptive ability of the artist will easily outlast the lumbering, brittle industrialist.” – Seth Godin, It’s only a matter of time. Tick Toc, Tick Toc, Tick Toc. Are you nimble enough to beat the clock?
22. “It takes confidence and guts to intentionally create tension.” – Seth Godin, Yeah, it does. Get comfortable with the discomfort of tension.
23. “It’s never too late to redefine self-control, to change long-ingrained habits, and to do the work you’re capable of.” – Seth Godin, There are no excuses. Forget what you didn’t do yesterday, what are you going to do today….tomorrow?
24. “We have been brainwashed by school, indoctrinated by industrial propaganda, and mesmerized by the popular media into believing that compliance is not only safe but right and necessary.” – Seth Godin, Noncompliance, it is such a dirty word in our society….a beautiful, dirty little word.
25. “Blaming the system is soothing because it lets you off the hook. But when the system was broken, we wonder why you were relying on it in the first place.” Seth Godin, Oh Snap!
26. “We see what we believe, not the other way around.” – Seth Godin, So much for having to see it to believe it…..this actually makes a lot of sense given the ignorance to the blatant challenges we’re facing. What aren’t you seeing because your beliefs blind you to it?
27. “We can’t rely on others to be our teachers anymore…the future belongs to individuals who decide to become great bosses (and teachers).” – Seth Godin, Are you willing to be your own teacher?
28. “It’s unlikely that you’ll create something scarce without doing something risky to get there.” – Seth Godin, Are you ready to face your fears, buck up and make the leap?
29. “Freedom isn’t the ability to do whatever you want. It’s the willingness to do whatever you want.” – Seth Godin, Are you willing?
30. “Art is a process…and it’s a process that never ends.” Seth Godin, Just like Lifelong learning is a continuous, never ending process – go Nerds!
31. “Your biggest failure is the thing you dreamed of contributing but didn’t find the guts to do.” – Seth Godin, Are you fully sharing yourself, your vision, your actions with the world?
What was your favorite quote from The Icarus Deception?
Register for an EntrepreNerds discussion in 2013 and receive a signed copy of The Icarus Deception FREE thanks to our sponsors Old Firehouse Books and the Publisher and of course, Seth Godin! Act fast, offer available while our limited supplies last…..