My favorite thing about Seth Godin is he knows how to play the changes. The melodies are always a little different, but the harmonies, structure, and tone we expect of his work find the realm where he does best. Make a ruckus, do the real work, and if you’re scared that’s a great compass for where you should go.
The Icarus Deception fits right into Seth’s repertoire. A full book of content, but chunked up into essays. Once you hit something that resonates, it’s better to put the book down and go act on it instead of staying in reading mode. And it’s a book that will make you want to get something done for sure.
We’ve all been told the story of Icarus flying too close to the sun, but for some reason we’re not all told the other warning: don’t fly too low, or the sea may drag you down. Right now, there is so much opportunity that not enough are aiming to the skies. That’s what Seth wants to solve in this book.
Since Linchpin in 2010, I’ve followed Seth. He caught me right when I decided I wasn’t my best work wouldn’t be as a musician. I needed help to think about my new path, and Linchpin was the start of it. I knew whatever was coming next, it would happen because I made myself ready for it. Trusting on my high school GPA or my bachelor’s degree to get me anywhere was foolish at best, and life-threatening at worst.
Icarus came out two years later, but it was always on my “to read” list instead of “reading.” After Seth’s excellent episode on the Tim Ferriss podcast, I decided to pick up where I left off. When I noticed he read the audiobook himself, that also seemed like a good fit. He’s a speaker and teacher as much as he is an author, and I can’t get enough of hearing him talk.
It’s hard to get through the book, because so many times he’ll say something great that makes you want to go make some art instead. To start that project you’ve been too scared to try. To make your mark at your job. But then it’s also easy to get through the book; it’s refreshing, it’s inspiring, and you want more of it when it’s done.
A good one from Seth, and I’d ask for an encore too.
The Icarus Deception by Seth Godin, part of my 2017 Reading