Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Can I Blog Every Day For a Week?

I’m consuming books like crazy lately (reading isn’t accurate as half of them have been audio books in the car).  A little bit of non-fiction, some WWII-era and some personal development books – if that’s what the self-help section is now called? I don’t like either of those terms though because the books have been far more profound for me than any "be the best you can be" type books I've read in the past.

Perhaps subconsciously knowing it was the perfect compliment, I selected The Icarus Deception (SethGodin) off the library shelf when I picked up A Whole New Mind (Daniel Pink). The latter, recommended by a classmate was a light and uplifting read, er listen. There were many great anecdotes paralleling my day-to-day experiences, the odd "ah ha!" and several actionable takeaways to exercise the 'right' half of my brain. I was so intrigued, I copied many of the suggestions and references down as future homework.

The Icarus Deception has given me some homework too. Firstly, this blog post is the first in what will be an attempt to blog everyday, if only to write every day. I won't promise inspiration, but I will test the hypothesis that knowing you must 'create art' or write, leads you to look for more beauty and interpretation in your day. At a minimum, it'll be good practice.

So what is this book all about anyway? 

Albeit more deep and abstract than A Whole New Mind, the theme is not entirely different - flying higher, taking risks, ignoring the criticism and treating our work as art, in order to stand out and make a difference. Had I truly understood how challenging the book was when I read “[Godin's] most challenging book yet” on the jacket, I’m not sure I would’ve checked it out. But listening to it, I am enthralled by the underlying concepts and have replayed more than one section to ensure I am correctly hearing and interpreting Godin’s words.

It is one of those books I actually believe I'm wiser for hearing. It is just one trigger of several which is empowering me to embrace what makes me different, and not accept the mundanity of status quo. It is also a rally to challenge those who are continually seeking more, better and cheaper to look beyond the immediate and focus on long-term differentiation, which is only built through relationships and intimate understanding. Any argument against short-termism is always one I will favour.

I don't know if I could have clamoured through reading it, but if you can get your hands on an audio version and have several hours (its unabridged) The Icarus Deception is absolutely worth your time.   

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