Tuesday, March 9, 2010

No, You Rock, Seth Godin!

This morning, Seth Godin posted this:

You rock

This is deceptive.

You don't rock all the time. No one does. No one is a rock star, superstar, world-changing artist all the time. In fact, it's a self-defeating goal. You can't do it.

No, but you might rock five minutes a day.

Five minutes to write a blog post that changes everything, or five minutes to deliver an act of generosity that changes someone. Five minutes to invent a great new feature, or five minutes to teach a groundbreaking skill in a way that no one ever thought of before. Five minutes to tell the truth (or hear the truth).

Five minutes a day you might do exceptional work, remarkable work, work that matters. Five minutes a day you might defeat the lizard brain long enough to stand up and make a difference.

And five minutes of rocking would be enough, because it would be five minutes more than just about anyone else.

It is a great example of the quick shots of inspirational adrenaline that Seth scribbles out nearly every day (sometimes multiple times a day) on his blog. But I would amend his wise words just in the slightest and add emphasis to one line in particular.

First, the amendment. I don't think five minutes is enough. I also believe that we are capable of much more than that. I appreciate that Seth is letting us off easy, but I personally feel that I can work in flow for between 30 minutes to 2 hours almost every day. For more on Flow, a brilliant practice that you should be bringing into your business life, you can go here.

Now for the emphasis. He says that a potential great work is "to deliver an act of generosity that changes someone." I say that the greatest work you can do is lift another person with your generosity. I would emphasize Seth's point that the work you do in a day is measured by the people you can effect.

If you are in business, your output of a product or service is only as good as the positive change it creates in the lives of your customers. But you, as a human, are also only as good as the positive change you are directly making in the lives of your people. Your employees, your co-workers, your family and friends should all end each day feeling appreciated and fulfilled, bettered for having passed through another day of trials, growth and human interaction.

And that typically takes you just a little longer than five minutes.

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